Sometimes you gotta get up to get down…you know what we’re talking about. Rock climbing! From the outside in, what looks like a pretty easy activity is actually pretty tough and an unreal workout. Oh and yes, it’s awesome fun, too.
While us Ohio residents certainly have it good in the summertime, winters can be a bit, how do we say, testing? Luckily, indoor rock climbing keeps you inside where it’s warm and cozy. That being said, bring something you can sweat in, because it’s truly exercise like none other.
On the Rocks Elyria, OH — First and foremost, the staff here is incredible. Always looking out for you and jumping at teachable moments, you can tell these folks really enjoy their job. Which also makes On the Rocks the ideal place for those just learning how to climb. That being said, experienced climbers will also find difficult routes as well (up to v-12). “With over 8,000 square feet of climbing wall space our climbing gym offers bouldering, 10 auto belays, top-rope, and lead climbing with an adjustable training wall.”
Vertical Adventures Columbus, OH — Aptly named, the climbing options here are virtually endless. While we’ve only visited once, we were so blown away that it has to be on this list. Personal training gym? Check. Yoga? Check. Adaptive friendly climbing? Check. Again, awesome staff who did an excellent job at explaining climbing techniques to us noobs. Oh and did we mention, we’re pretty sure you can eat off the ground here…it’s that clean. Whoever’s overseeing the maintenance of this place deserves an award. If you’re like us and get really excited about new sports, be sure to visit the pro shop to dial in some new gear. Only bad thing about VA…we don’t live close enough.
Paddle & Climb Sandusky, OH — As you can probably guess by the name of this spot, there’s a few things going on here. A blend of outdoor retail shop, surf shop, climbing wall and paddle shop, there’s a lot to uncover. While it’s important to note this isn’t a typical climbing gym like the others, their 32′ auto-belay wall has eight different routes and is still very fun for all ages and ability levels. However, we love this place for way more than just the wall. The relaxed surf shop vibe here drew us in right away. In one day we were able to stay in the beautiful Sky Loft AirBnb upstairs, which has a climbing wall viewing area, rent paddle boards & kayaks, take a golf cart out to explore Sandusky and then snag some stylish threads on the way out. Did we mention it’s also steps from the water? One word: Sunsets. Wait, wait…one more thing. There’s also an organic smoothie and eats joint in the back called The Maca Root that serves mouth-watering avocado toast amongst other earthy treats. Okay, now we’re done. Although we’re sure they’ll add something else cool moments after we post this.
Nosotros Cleveland, OH — For an intro, we’re going to defer to what’s written on their website…because it’s super cool and they use the word “rad.” “Nosotros is a rad nonprofit rock gym that uses rock holds to heal households by providing time, money & service to those in need.” How cool is that? Climbing for a cause is a pretty sweet way to ascend. With two spots, one in Lakewood and a brand new location in downtown Cleveland, there’s plenty of opportunity for you to check this place out. Did we mention you can lift weights there, too? Pump up, climb up and chill out. These guys really have cultivated a stellar culture, one you definitely want to be a part of.
Cleveland Rock Gym Euclid, OH — To say this place is vast is an understatement. A ton of options including top-rope, a top notch inverted climbing wall, moon wall and bouldering (You can also join a bouldering league if you’re so inclined. Get it?). While this gym doesn’t have a brand new, squeaky clean feel that some others do, it more than makes up for it with an energy and vibe that you can’t manufacture. Old school couches and picnic tables scattered throughout make for a relaxing, comfy experience…and are perfect for splaying out in to rest your tired Gumby arms. To round it out, the staff was very helpful and chill – Even going as far as climbing with us to show us the way. One tip, be sure to plug the address in to your GPS as this hidden gem can be notoriously hard to find. (21200 St Clair Ave #B3, Euclid, OH 44117)
Welp, that about does it. While we’re sure there’s some other excellent rock gyms across Ohio, these are the ones we’ve come across and love. Have another recommendation? Let us know in the comments! Rock on, climber friends.