Climbing has become a new passion for my son in recent weeks. I signed him up for some classes at a local climbing gym this month, and, with only three lessons so far, I’m surprised at how much his climbing has improved. He would be ecstatic if we could go to the gym every day, but, well, that’s just not going to happen, at least not at this point in time. Besides, why pay to spend an hour inside a dark cave-like climbing gym when the weather outside is so warm and beautiful? The alternatives? One, go find a natural rock to climb. Or… go to the park!
How is a climbing wall different from a normal climbing structure at the park? Perhaps I should start with a definition. Here’s a good one from Wikipedia… “A climbing wall is an artificially constructed wall with grips for hands and feet, usually used for indoor climbing, but sometimes located outdoors as well.” Rock gyms have the advantage of providing a rope belay system to safely allow climbing to greater heights (30 feet or higher). At the park, without ropes, these artificial walls are much smaller, but still super fun for kids. These structures are more like a simple version of the bouldering walls you’ll find at the rock gym. I think the photos speak for themselves.
- Kolb Park, Dublin
- Alamo Creek Park, Dublin (better for younger climbers)
- Shannon Park, Dublin (also good for young climbers)
- Val Vista Park, Pleasanton (walls for all ages)
- Heather Farms, Walnut Creek (wall for kids older than six)
We would love to hear about other parks in the Bay Area with fun rock walls. Please reply with other suggestions, and we’ll check those out, too!