Rock climbing has become a popular and exciting outdoor activity with a growing number of climbers across the United States. Numbers of avid rock climbers from Minnesota have also grown in recent years. However, with all of the gear and time required to climb, it can quickly become an expensive hobby that sometimes even has a travel requirement. Thankfully, you do not have to travel all the way to Colorado to find some great locations to climb. You don’t even have to go outside to find a rock climbing location! Minnesota has a lot of great indoor climbing venues and places to practice skills without having to head out to a cliff. Indoor rock climbing gyms also offer support and education for learning new skills and ways to train for greater feats.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Vertical Endeavors
329 Lake Ave. S
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 279-9980
www.verticalendeavors.com

Located in Northern Minnesota, in the famous Canal Park of Duluth, Vertical Endeavors is an indoor-enthusiast’s dream. With two other locations in the Twin Cities, Vertical Endeavors has been a popular place for rock climbers for over twenty years. The staff is very knowledgeable and helpful in guiding visitors to the best walls for their skill level. The artificial rock surfaces are very realistic and great at mimicking outdoor climbs. Go with a group or go alone; this place has something for anyone willing to give indoor climbing a try. Be sure to check out their locations in each of the Twin Cities, too.

St. Cloud State University Climbing Wall
720 4th Ave. S
St. Cloud, MN 56301
(320) 308-0121
www.stcoudstate.edu

Midstate Minnesota houses a great climbing wall on St. Cloud State’s campus. What used to be available only to students of St. Cloud State is now open to the community for climbing fun. A huge 2,100 square foot area that runs from ceiling to floor welcomes climbers of all skill levels. Purchase a pass for a day or a season, and enjoy open climbing time in the facility. Practice corner climbs and other challenges during your climbs. SCSU also rents climbing shoes if needed.

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(credit: ThinkStock)

(credit: ThinkStock)

Minnesota Climbing Co-op
1620 Central Ave. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(915) 247-6622
www.mnclimbingcoop.com

The Minnesota Co-op of Climbers is just that, a place built by climbers for climbers. Buying into the co-op gets one a lifetime membership and unlimited climbing, as well as an opportunity to provide feedback and help make decisions about the facility. The co-op contains a ton of opportunities to climb and workout on a daily basis. Put your skills to the test on an advanced structure, try the climbing cave or just practice upper body strength on the pull-up bars.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Midwest Mountaineering
309 Cedar Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 339-3433
www.midwestmtn.com

Enter more than a store; enter a community of climbers. Midwest Mountaineering is a community of outdoor enthusiasts that love to talk and practice climbing. The highlight for climbers is an indoor “bouldering cave” made for climbers to practice their skills indoors. The cave is open for climbing most of the time, and Midwest Mountaineering often hosts clinics to help new and seasoned climbers learn new skills or get some tips. Rent shoes at the store and get lots of support as you climb year-round.

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Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for the last 10 years. Her hobbies include exercising, driving kids around, watching Minnesota sports, and reading self-help literature. Examiner.com.