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The Cliffs at Gowanus
Photograph: Joshua Pestka

See inside the biggest rock climbing gym in NYC

The Cliffs at Gowanus has 45-foot-tall walls and a rooftop lounge.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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At 42,000 square feet with over 100 climbing routes across walls that reach as high as 45 feet, The Cliffs at Gowanus boasts the tallest walls and the largest climbing space in NYC—and it opens this weekend!

Located at 242 Butler Street, the gym kicks off its grand opening on Saturday, May 14 with free rock climbing, intro classes all day, competitions, local food trucks, rooftop live music and even circus performers during an after-party with free beer.

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The Cliffs at Gowanus
Photograph: Joshua Pestka
The Cliffs at Gowanus
Photograph: Joshua Pestka

The Cliffs at Gowanus has three floors of rock climbing, a full fitness center, a sunlit yoga studio, saunas and even a large rooftop with views of Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. It also has a wide range of training equipment, including a whole room dedicated to training and even dual 10-meter speed walls—like the ones featured in the Olympics. Not only that, there's a climbing gear shop in case you need to upgrade your kit.

It's inclusive, too, with climbing routes from beginner to advanced as well as bilingual instruction, classes for adaptive climbers and outdoor guided instruction. Of course, there will be time slots available for group events, birthday parties, and corporate team building, competitive and recreational youth programs, and programs providing access to underserved youth.

"There's a version of climbing for everyone—our job is to help figure out what it can be for you," said Harrison Rhodes, the general manager at The Cliffs at Gowanus. "My goal is to share this space with the community and create a welcoming environment for all."

A restaurant is on the way, too.

The Cliffs at Gowanus
Photograph: courtesy of Joshua Pestka
The Cliffs at Gowanus
Photograph: Joshua Pestka

It is The Cliffs Climbing + Fitness’ sixth location after The Cliffs at LIC, The Cliffs at Harlem, The Cliffs at DUMBO (an outdoor bouldering facility under the Manhattan Bridge), The Cliffs at Valhalla in Westchester, NY, and The Cliffs at Callowhill in Philadelphia. 

"I’ve never seen anything like what we’ve built here," said Mike Wolfert, the CEO and founder of The Cliffs. "We hope this all-encompassing facility will inspire new climbers and welcome existing ones to join a diverse, inclusive, and passionate community. Let’s have some fun together!"

A discounted "Learn To Climb" package is available for those new to the sport and an all-access membership is available for $125/mo. The previously mentioned locations are included in the membership. Right now, there is a limited-time waived initiation fee, where you can save $99 if you sign up to become a member.

For more information on the opening party, visit gowanus.thecliffsclimbing.com.

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