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Arizona Bouldering Project in Tempe: More Than a Climbing Gym

Arizona Bouldering Project in Tempe: More Than a Climbing Gym

Tempe has a new attraction for tourists and locals alike.

It’s called Arizona Bouldering Project, and it’s part of a larger Bouldering Project movement making its way across the country.

I tried bouldering for the first time here and felt strong and accomplished after, a common sentiment amongst members.

Read on for my review.


Where is the Bouldering Project?

Bouldering Project Logo

The Bouldering Project started in Seattle in 2011 as a climbing gym and then some, emphasizing friendships, purpose, and gathering.

Since its launch, it has grown to Austin, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Brooklyn, Boston, DC, and its latest opening — Tempe. 

The Tempe location opened in September 2023.

At its core, it’s a community oriented space that seeks to bring people together with the common goal of wellness and self improvement.

What is the difference between rock climbing and bouldering?

Kilter boards and QR codes

Rock climbing is typically done with equipment, safety gear, and ropes. Bouldering is done freestyle, with no ropes.

For bouldering, the only equipment you need are special shoes. At Bouldering Project Tempe, they have shoes available for rent, $5 each time.

They also have shoes for sale at a small shop on site and you’re welcome to bring your own.

The walls used for bouldering here are state of the art. The bouldering routes are color coded, with yellow being the easiest route and white being the hardest.

Typically, rock climbs are graded. The color system encourages people to try a route simply for the fun of it, not necessarily for the clout of having completed it.

The walls are at different angles and consist of different pieces, assembled and reassembled regularly to present a constant challenge.

In bouldering, the pieces on the walls are meant to resemble a boulder, so they come in all shapes and sizes. The climbs also don’t go too high off the ground — the tallest climb at Bouldering Project Tempe is 17 feet.

As a climber, your goal is to put both hands on the top piece of the route, and safely work your way back down.

Since there are no ropes in bouldering, the entire floor is made of cushioned material to soften your fall and the staff will show you how to do a controlled dismount.

What services does Arizona Bouldering Project offer?

Cold plunge pool filled with water

In addition to the bouldering wall, there’s an event space that also consists of a bouldering space and can be used for parties.

There have two kilter boards that communicate with similar walls around the world, allowing you to do the same climb as a friend located elsewhere. The designated route lights up and shows you the path.

They also have a tension board designed to help you develop the grip on your fingers.

There’s a gym with fitness equipment and classes held regularly. There is also a yoga studio with yoga classes held regularly.

There are cold plunges available, soon to be located in the locker rooms.

Since this is also a gathering space, the lawn is a fun place to lounge with corn hole and hammocks.

Is there co-working space available?

Cornhole on lawn with yellow chairs in background

Co-working space is included with your membership to The Bouldering Project.

Currently, there are several tables and chairs set up around the building where you can find a nook, utilize the WiFi, and get work done.

Is there food on site?

Tempe Bouldering Project circuit key explaining difficulty of colors

There is a cafe on site called Pair Cupworks. The business is locally owned by a couple from downtown Mesa, Arizona.

You can get artisanal coffee and tea. Currently, food is not part of the menu. Click here to see their current menu.

What special events or activities take place here?

Tempe Bouldering Project class schedule

There are different events that take place here, like group climbs or outings, parents’ date night where parents can leave their kids while they go on a date, seasonal and themed events, and more.

They have a calendar of events on site and also send out a newsletter with events and updates to members.

How much are membership plans?

White building exterior with desert landscaping

You have four options for visiting Arizona Bouldering Project or becoming a member.

As a tourist, your best option is to purchase a day pass to get full access to the facilities for $25. There are special youth discounts — $5 off for those ages 14-20, and $10 off for those 13 and under.

If you’re considering a monthly membership, sign up for the Intro Pass, a 2-week all access pass that costs $47.50.

Monthly membership costs $95 for adults. You can freeze or cancel your membership at any time.

The annual membership is $595.

Bouldering Project Tempe Review

Rock wall with varying colors of blocks

I enjoyed visiting the Arizona Bouldering Project while in Tempe, Arizona. I thought it was a great way to stay active while on vacation, in a fun way.

You could tell this was a popular spot among local residents. People were sitting on the lawn, hanging out, and it seemed like there was a lot on the calendar.

If I was looking for a co-working space, this would be a great option.

I thought the space was bright, open, well equipped, and clean. I would definitely work out here regularly as a local.


Till next time, safe travels!

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