Chicago, with its bustling urban setting, offers a variety of indoor rock climbing venues for both novices and experienced climbers. One notable gym is Movement Wrigleyville, located at 1150 W. Addison St., near Wrigley Field. This expansive facility covers three floors around a central atrium, offering 43,000 square feet of climbing terrain, including 11,000 square feet dedicated to bouldering, complemented by a range of yoga and fitness programs.
In addition to Movement, Brooklyn Boulders Chicago in the West Loop is another haven for climbing enthusiasts. With a sizeable 25,000 square feet of space, it provides auto-belay, lead walls, 50-foot roped walls, bouldering areas, and various fitness equipment. The gym organizes social events, such as DJ nights and movie nights, fostering a vibrant community. They also offer a Brooklyn Boulders Summer Camp for kids, emphasizing team-building, climbing, and STEM education.
For those looking for variety, First Ascent Climbing & Fitness, with four locations in Chicago, including Avondale and Uptown, is a popular choice. The Avondale branch, known for its 60-foot climbing wall and over 90 unique roped routes, is the largest among them. First Ascent Uptown, on the other hand, is housed in a portion of the historic Sheridan Trust Bank Building and focuses on bouldering with over 150 problems to tackle. These gyms cater to all levels of climbers and provide facilities like yoga classes, fitness rooms, and training walls.
Maggie Daley Park, situated at 337 E Randolph St, presents an outdoor climbing experience with its Climbing Park featuring custom-designed sculptural rocks and boulders. Managed by Lakeshore Sport & Fitness, this venue welcomes climbers of all skill levels, although children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Lastly, for those seeking a more traditional climbing environment, the Chicago Bouldering Collective (CBC) was known for its no-frills approach. However, as of March 2023, it's temporarily closed with plans to announce a new location soon.
The multifaceted climbing scene in Chicago caters to a broad spectrum of preferences, whether one is seeking a modern, amenity-rich gym or a more traditional, community-driven climbing experience. With options dispersed throughout the city, climbers have the luxury to choose a venue that aligns with their climbing objectives and social preferences.