earth trek golden

Earth Treks Golden – Indoor Climbing Gym Review near Denver

Earth Treks Golden Review

My family and I visited cousins in Arrowhead, Colorado the beginning of January 2020. Our primary focus was skiing in Beaver Creek or Vail. However, rock climbing was always in the back of my brain. We flew into Denver and drove to Arrowhead. On our way to Arrowhead and it was still early, we decided to detour to Boulder to check out the University of Boulder for our kids.

It was neat to look at the architecture and the layout of the campus. We noticed that many students ride their bikes. After checking out the university, we decided to look up the nearest climbing gym. Well, it was a wild goose chase because the closest place I found through my android GPS was the Climbing Wall Association (CWA). It was not a climbing gym. Alas! However, later we found out that it was a non-profit organization that supports the growth, health, independence, and professionalism of the climbing wall industry. I thought CWA was interesting. They have an annual event that promotes and support building indoor rock climbing gyms. Sorry, I digress a little here. Shall save it for another article.

We gave up finding a gym nearby and headed off to Arrowhead. What ya know! We drove past a climbing gym after we gave up. It was and you may have guessed it “Earth Treks Golden”.

Name: Earth Treks Golden


Price: $22/day pass

Owners: Chris Warner, CEO, and founder

Overall Rank: 4.7 out of 5 stars from Google Review

Earth Treks Golden, An Overview

Earth Treks Golden is located at 700 Golden Ridge Rd, Golden, CO 80401. Their local phone number is 303-222-9564. Earth Treks Golden features 28,500 plus square feet of climbing and 45 feet high walls with 400+ roped routes, boulders, and a cool arch to lead climb under.

climbing arch

We gave ourselves a quick tour and it was an amazing place. They have two levels nicely layout with a yoga or fitness classroom, kids climbing area, and system boards for additional training on the second level. The first floor has the strength and workout facility and of course the climbing area including top rope, lead, and bouldering.

As I inquired further, I found out that there are additional climbing facilities such as Movement in Colorado and other regions of the United States such as Planet Granite affiliate with Earth Treks Golden. When you buy a membership at Earth Treks Golden, you can climb at other affiliate facilities for the same price.

Here are their different Regions and locations:

  • Maryland / Virginia:
    • Earth Treks Columbia
    • Earth Treks Crystal City
    • Earth Treks Hampden
    • Earth Treks Rockville
    • Earth Treks Timonium
    • Earth Treks Outdoor
  • Colorado:
    • Movement in Baker
    • Movement in Boulder
    • Movement in Rino
    • Earth Treks in Englewood
    • Earth Treks in Golden
  • California:
    • Planet Granite in Sunnyvale
    • Planet Granite in Belmont
    • Planet Granite in San Francisco
  • Oregon:
    • Planet Granite in Portland

The Good & the Bad

devil and angel

The Good:

PRO #1 It is a large climbing gym that provides almost everything you need to become a strong climber such as bouldering, top rope, lead, a workout facility, different types of classes, and strength training boards.

PRO #2 Purchase one membership and have access to any Earth Trek gyms, Planet Granite, or Movement in the different regions such as Maryland/Virginia, Colorado, California, or Oregon.

PRO #3 Friendly staff with great customer service.

PRO #4 The extra little perks such as child care service at Movement, private lockers with key codes, foot-washing station, complimentary mouthwash, lotion, hairdryer, etc.

The Bad:

CON #1 Expensive day pass and crowded evenings on weekdays and weekends.

CON #2 A complaint regarding baby strollers as being obstacles on the mats, especially when crowded.

CON #3 Since the merger, it has a corporate feel and losing the homey experience. The management team is not local so the staff cannot make final judgment calls without consulting management on the east coast.

CON #4 Complaints with no auto belays. “The bouldering walls are very high and the pads are quite firm which could lead to strains or sprains.” pointed out by a customer.


Who is Earth Treks Golden For?

Anyone who is a rock climber enthusiast, adventure seeker, and/or explorer of an alternative way to working out. Earth Treks have climbing challenges available for all levels from beginner to advance with top-roping, leading, or bouldering. It is a playground for everyone.

There was an interesting route that I have never seen before. It was called “The Buddy Climb”. This is where two people on top rope climb next to each other with two belayers below. In addition to the holds, the two climbers find ways to help each other climb up to the top. Too bad, I didn’t take any pictures to share because I was too busy belaying. It looked fun.

Earth Treks Golden Tools & Training

For Earth Treks Golden training facility, they have hydraulic campus boards, a tension board, and system boards for strengthening your grips with different variety of holds. In addition, they have a strength and cardio fitness area, group fitness classes, yoga, and private instructional areas.

tension boards

Below is a picture of the main floor strength and fitness area:

workout facility

Earth Treks Golden Support

When we visited, the staff was friendly and supportive. They checked all of us out for belay abilities. After we passed the belay test, we were free to climb. Similar to other gyms that we visited out of states, Earth Treks provides the lead rope for free. This is nice. However, we had to rent our harness, shoes, belay devices, and chalk bags because we left them at home. =( Prices do add up.

grigri device

I usually look for a special device or something to assist a belayer who is lighter than the climber. Some gyms have a 50-pound bag of weight and others have anchor rope. Earth Treks Golden has an anchor rope. Also, all top ropes are tied into a Grigri as a belay device. For lead belaying, you have the option to choose your belay device.

anchor rope

Here is a rope anchored to the ground. When you are belaying someone heavier than you, you would loop this rope to your carabiner attached to your harness. This prevents you from being pulled up too high when the climber falls.

Earth Treks Golden main intention is to provide excellent customer service to members and guests. I noticed that they strive to reply to the past year’s more recent reviews on Google whether the reviews are excellent or not. I think it is nice to read that they are interested to hear their customers’ feedback. Whether they follow through or not, only the local climbers can attest to the changes.

Earth Treks Golden Price

The general day pass visit is $22, the 7-visit pass is $139, and military 10% discount for a day pass. The rental gear has a separate price:

  • Climbing Shoes – $6
  • Harness – $5
  • Belay Device w/ locking carabiner – $2
  • Chalk Bag – $2
  • Package (all the above) – $11

There are also membership rates for monthly or yearly. You can visit their website for further details on their pricing.

My Final Opinion of Earth Treks Golden

Earth Treks Golden is not as tall as 60 ft high Stone Summit Climbing & Fitness Center in Atlanta, Georgia but it does hold its uniqueness. During my one day visit, I had a fun time climbing there. I enjoyed the feel and the challenges of new routes. Each gym has its unique routes set up by its route setters.

The day pass and rental gear prices are higher than the gyms I have visited in other states. It is more worthwhile to purchase a membership if I live in the area.

Even though some complaints hold such as the corporate feel or the homey feel of a gym, there usually two sides of a coin. This means you lose the homey feel and the price is higher when it is larger but you also gain more amenities and varieties with it being large. I guess it boils down to your preference or perspective.

For me, I love the opportunity to climb and explore new places. Ever since our local gym in Orlando closed in October 2019, I found prices have become less of a priority. I would travel at least an hour and a half just to climb. Of course, if the gym is reasonably priced that would be even better. I am also even open to bouldering which is not my favorite. If a gym like Earth Treks opens in Orlando, I would be there!

I love to hear your thoughts about Earth Treks Golden. Have you heard of it? Have you climbed there before? Please leave me your thoughts, complaints, praises, or questions below.

Earth Treks Golden at a Glance…

Name: Earth Treks Golden


Price: $22/day pass

Owners: Chris Warner, CEO, and founder

Overall Rank: 4.7 out of 5 stars from Google Review

VERDICT: legit

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