Being in the great outdoors is wonderful, but indoor rock climbing has much to recommend it. Being in a climate-controlled environment can be more comfortable, particularly during blisteringly hot Sacramento summers, and during the cold, rainy and windy season as well. The exhilarating sport of rock climbing requires focus, as it is challenging mentally as well as physically. These facilities in and around the capital city have excellent rock walls, training classes and knowledgeable staff to help along the way.
Sacramento Pipeworks
116 N. 16th St
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 341-0100

Pipeworks boasts impressive numbers to tempt climbing enthusiasts; the gym features 11,000 square feet of terrain for climbing, plus 9,000 square feet of bouldering. The lead wall is 40 feet high, and there are 89 top and lead ropes. There is always something new to try, as new routes are set every 12 weeks; current routes are posted on the gym’s website. Pipeworks offers introductory classes, as well as more advanced, comprehensive courses on traditional anchors, rappelling, multipitch, bouldering and Wolfgang Gullich’s hangboards and campus boards. The gym has a weight room, cardio equipment, CrossFit, yoga, belly dancing and Jiu Jitsu, among other things.

Rocknasium Climbing Gym
720 Olive Drive, Suite S
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 757-2902

The Rocknasium fitness and climbing gym opened in 1992, and updates to the facility and services are made regularly. Classes are available on climbing, lead climbing, belaying and team building. Introductory climbing classes are very helpful for novices, and can include safety, climbing technique and terminology, knot-tying, padding and belaying. Guests can choose to have the intro focus on top-rope or bouldering, or a combination of the two. Rocknasium also offers programs including personal fitness and yoga, which are designed specifically to complement climbing. Prices are reasonable, and there is a pro-shop on premises to purchase top-of-the-line equipment. Gear for adults and even very young children are also available to rent, as are portable climbing walls.

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West Sacramento Recreation Center
2801 Jefferson Road
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 617-4770

The recreation center has a 32-foot-high rock wall, and plenty of experienced, friendly staff members to help climbers when needed. There are routes for beginners to intermediate levels, and the routes are changed frequently. All climbers must be able to fit comfortably into a harness; this allows even young children to potentially use the wall. More experienced or adventurous climbers can choose to climb unrestrained in a bouldering section. The rec center is very large, with two gymnasiums, a cardio workout center, exercise and dance rooms, classrooms, childcare center, basketball courts, kinesis center and sizeable locker rooms. The outdoor space includes eight tennis courts, two waterslides and three swimming pools.

Granite Arch Climbing Center
11335 Folsom Blvd., Suite G
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
(916) 852-7625

With more than 20,000 square feet of rock walls, climbers of any age or experience can have a great experience. There are options for top roping, bouldering and lead climbing, training classes, memberships and day use opportunities, group events, climbing teams and much more. Shoes, harnesses, belay or break devices and virtually anything else needed to climb are available for rent, and high-quality supplies can be purchased as well.

SET Gymnastics
3997 N. Freeway Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 799-8509

After 14 successful years of business in their native Hawaii, owners Belle and Dan Misener brought their expertise to Natomas. Mr. Misener, a Marine veteran who served in Desert Shield/Desert Storm, coaches kids of all ages and skill levels. Services include classes in gymnastics, rock climbing, tumbling, fitness training and karate, and are appropriate for youngsters interested in everything from recreational fun to competitive sports. Although the rock climbing and bouldering wall is not extremely large, it includes beginner routes and inverted, upside-down routes for more experienced climbers.

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Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers business, employment, animal rescue, volunteerism and nonprofits. Her work can also be found at