Big Walls

The new Earth Treks in Englewood, Colorado is North America’s Largest Climbing Gym. It’s huge—53,000 square feet and 50 foot-tall walls—but that’s just the beginning.

Of the 43 new gyms that popped up in the U.S. since last year, one stands above the rest: Earth Treks Climbing, Fitness and Yoga in Englewood located in the former Sports Authority building and a short walk from University of Denver, Denver Tech Center, and located half a mile from the light rail. 

There, in a space near the size of a football field, at 1050 W Hampden Ave, is the latest Earth Treks gym, offering leading and toproping walls by Walltopia and designed by pro climber Jason Kehl—offering over 500 routes—and bouldering, plus a yoga studio, fitness and cardio facilities, and a fully stocked gear shop. The shop is filled with the latest climbing shoes, chalk bags, harnesses, and belay devices for purchase and for rent. The shop carries La Sportiva, SCARPA, Tenaya and Evolv brand climbing shoes. Additionally, the gym offers climbing classes for all abilities and onsite childcare ($5 per hour for members, $7 an hour for non-members. Childcare is capped at two hours). The Englewood location opened for business on August 31 the buzz is getting out fast. 

“We offer hour-long belay lessons to get newer climbers up to speed but still climbing safely,” Alex Garcia, supervisor at Earth Treks, says.

Twenty-five professional route setters flew into Denver before the gym’s grand opening to put up routes of all levels. The climbs cover the full spectrum, with everything from big, easy to grip holds for those new to the sport all the way up to cryptic sequences small crimps and monstrous jugs, and volumes, set for climbers of the highest caliber. Holds come from Tension, SoIll, and Kilter and more. The gym is designed to improve climbing skills, make friends and build community. 

“It has been awesome!,” Calvin Bond, a spokesperson for Earth Treks, told Elevation Outdoors. “People are thrilled to check out the new facility and there is great energy. We had been eyeing a second location somewhere in Denver and when this facility became available, we realized that it could be the perfect spot.” 

The Englewood location is Earth Treks second in Colorado, with Earth Treks Golden opening in 2013. The gym offers terrain for all abilities and ages, and the on-site gear shop offers everything a climber needs to get into the sport both for both indoor and outdoor climbing. The shop carries an array of climbing gear, clothing, food, books, magazines, and more. Continues Bond, “also, our staff is extremely familiar with all of our products and gear, and we are here to help you choose the best tools for you.”

Earth Treks Englewood is located 20 minutes from South Denver and is open seven days a week. The gym is in the middle of a bustling area of businesses, restaurants and coffee shops including Nixon’s Coffee House and the Whiskey Biscuit. 

The gym also offers space for parties and groups, and a unique service designed specifically for new climbers called Open Climb, which is available on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. An Open Climb pass includes a harness rental and time with an Earth Treks instructor for three routes. 

This is Earth Treks seventh gym location. There are five locations in Maryland and now two in Colorado. In addition to opening the Englewood location, Earth Treks, in partnered merged with Planet Granite at the start of 2018, which brings the gym tally to 10. 

Garcia, like many members, climbs at the gym three to four days a week. Depending on his work schedule, he gets on the walls before his shift starts, or he winds down the day with a late evening session. “The walls are amazing, the routes the setters put up are stellar, and the features that we have are amazing—the main wall is overhanging for sixty feet. To be more specific, it’s 15 clips to the top.”

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