10 Climbing Spots To Visit In & Around NYC

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A universal truth of rock climbing is that the first step toward crushing your next project (aka climbing a challenging route) is, well, finding one. As climbing rises in popularity — and more facilities open up around NYC — it can be tricky to know where to go.
Luckily, the other side of that double-edged sword is that there are more climbing gyms and routes to check out than ever. And whether you're a real rock aficionado or an indoor fan who'd prefer to stick to pulling plastic, you're ideal climbing setting is most likely a subway or car ride away.
Ahead, chalk up and find your next training spot or weekend getaway.
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Central Rock Gym Manhattan

The long-awaited NYC location of this northeastern chain is finally open. Although it's mainly a bouldering facility, it still boasts a fair share of tall roped climbs, whether you're a lead climber or prefer to stick with top roping. Consider it a well-equipped spot for all your climbing needs.
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Manhattan Plaza Health Club Climbing Gym

MPHC became NYC's very first commercial wall when it opened back in 1992. Since then, it's remained a mainstay among city climbers for its regular clinics (ice climbing training, anyone?), competitions, and private lessons. And its central location in Manhattan (just a stone's throw from Times Square) makes it super accessible.
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Brooklyn Boulders

With two locations within the city — the OG gym in Brooklyn and a newer one in Queens — offering a variety of classes for a range of skill levels, BKB caters to both the total beginner and the seasoned climber. Plus, its emphasis on community will have you feeling like a member of a new, sweaty family in no time.
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This Greenpoint-based gym boasts a 30-, 45-, and a delightfully daunting 60-degree wall, making it a necessary stop for any NYC climber with a penchant for overhangs. Geeking out about its site-specific layout and hold designs is encouraged.
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Central Park

Beginners can hit up Rat Rock near the Heckshcer Ballfields (where pro-climber Ashima Shiraishi first got a taste of the sport) while more experienced climbers can work Worthless Boulder over near 110th St. Those are hardly the only boulders worth visiting on your stroll through the iconic park, but they're great places to start.
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John Boyd Thacher State Park

Sport climbers (with access to a car) would be wise to get out of the city for the day and spend it projecting the routes at Thacher's recently reopened cliffs. Unlike the quartz rock you may find elsewhere when climbing upstate, this park is the only spot in the Northeast with cliffs of limestone. Since the area is, again, newly opened to climbers, don't forget your helmet.
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The Cliffs

As if its indoor facility in Long Island City (the largest climbing gym in the city), with its vast bouldering section and cave for lead climbing, wasn't enough, the Cliffs also offers a set of outdoor walls in DUMBO. Check it out if you want a taste of climbing outside while still safely pulling plastic.
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Steep Rock

Manhattan-based boulderers can take their pick between Steep Rock's Upper East Side and Harlem locations. Although SRB's gyms are on the smaller side, they're a great choice for the climber who wants to focus on improving their strength, technique, and overall bouldering ability.
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Mohonk Preserve

Home to part of the Shawangunk Ridge (commonly called "the Gunks"), Mohonk Preserve's main climbing area is known as The Trapps, with both rope routes and boulders to explore. Along with our next entry, this is one of the most accessible outdoor climbing areas from the city. Just load up your car with gear, snacks, and band-aids (seriously, those quartz pebbles are no joke), and head toward New Paltz. Pro tip: Download the Gunks route guide app for this area before heading out.
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Minnewaska State Park

Just a stone's throw away from the Mohonk Preserve is Minnewaska State Park, where climbers can continue to enjoy the variety of routes the that Gunks have to offer, from trad to top rope to bouldering. And don't forget — there's a Gunks app for this area, known as Peterskill, too.

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