Earth Treks North America's Largest Climbing Gym

America’s Largest Climbing Gym: What It’s Like

Filed under: Climbing  News 

Earth Treks in Englewood, Colo., just opened last week. It is the largest climbing gym in the United States. We visited and were impressed it invested equally in roped climbing and bouldering.

Earth Treks North America's Largest Climbing Gym
Inside America’s largest climbing gym, Earth Treks in Englewood, Colo; photos by Nate Mitka

Hold after hold, I reach for big, white blocks that mark the direction of my route. I’m climbing a 5.10a that slightly overhangs on one of Earth Trek’s tallest walls. It towers 55 feet and is just one of the hundreds of routes climbers can choose from.

Earth Treks Englewood, located just south of Denver, opened last week. At 53,000 square feet, it’s North America’s largest climbing gym.

Initially, climbing in North America’s newly opened largest climbing gym went as expected. There are ropes, walls to climb, and staff to check you in. It felt like any other climbing gym.

But after my tour of the roped climbing area, the allure of Earth Trek dawned on me. The company invested nearly the same amount of space to both bouldering and roped climbing — a rarity in American climbing gyms.

Earth Treks North America's Largest Climbing Gym

Earth Treks Climb: America’s Largest Climbing Gym

I visited Earth Treks on a weekday afternoon for a climbing session and tour. Staff greeted me at the entrance, and I filled out a waiver.

Earth Trek’s marketing director, Tori Barnett, met me at the door for a tour.

The air was markedly calm, not exactly something you’d expect from a gym that opened one week ago. Climbers are going through the motions of picking routes, chalking up, and talking about weekend climbing plans.

Tori told me it picks up after working hours but never feels crowded, which is to be expected in a gym this big. There are plenty of routes for everyone.

Earth Treks North America's Largest Climbing Gym
The bouldering area extends so much farther than this; photo by Nate Mitka

We walked past places for belay lessons and exclusive climbing parties. Grigris hung from each of the top ropes, which is something new for Earth Treks. Climbers must use the gym’s belay devices if they want to top rope.

Earth Treks turned to professional climber Jason Kehl to design the walls. Each curve and overhang is proprietary to this gym, so climbing here is inherently unique.

But admittedly, there weren’t any jaw-dropping features on the walls. There are some cool, twisty cracks and a slab wall that stands out. And in the bouldering area, there are some challenging roofs and arches.

Otherwise, it’s pretty par for the course as far as climbing walls go.

Holds, Route Setting, Fitness: Earth Treks Englewood

Earth Treks flew in 25 route setters for the initial set at the gym. And after climbing a few top rope routes, the wall’s height is apparent.

The routes are long and enable setters to employ a multitude of fun problems for climbers to work through in each route.

And in the bouldering area, the routes are spread out — thanks in part to its massive space. You’ll find just about any style here, whether you prefer stemming, crimps, slabs, or slopers.

Earth Treks North America's Largest Climbing Gym
Earth Treks has five yoga classes most days of the week

Earth Treks hired four dedicated setters for the Englewood location. Every eight weeks, climbers can expect a totally new set gym.

Gym goers have access to a yoga studio, a fitness classroom, and a large free-weight and exercise equipment area. And you better believe there’s tons of climb-specific training equipment like Tension Boards, campus boards, and hang boards.

Earth Treks Englewood: Our Take

After climbing for two hours, I felt like I barely scratched the surface. In that time, I did some roped climbing, bouldering, and core. And I still felt like there was so much more to do.

Earth Treks North America's Largest Climbing Gym
Members have access to a large workout facility

Most days of the week, there are five yoga classes and two fitness classes. The fitness classes include core, high-intensity 30-minute workouts, and climb-specific training.

And child care is unique to this Earth Treks location. Parents can drop off their kiddos while they get their send on.

Rates are $22 for a day pass and $79 per month for an individual. You can learn more about pricing here.

I imagine Earth Treks to appeal to climbers with varied interests. With massive space dedicated to both fitness and climbing, you can work out in just about any way you can think of.

If you’re in the area, I definitely recommend checking it out. Climbing here is a novel experience and will definitely freshen up the gym climbing routine.

tagged: review
By
Midwest born, Nate Mitka is based in the GearJunkie Denver office. He is an advocate of all outdoor activities and has developed some habits, like running without headphones, eating raw vegetables, and fixing the chain on his ratty old bike.
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