Climbing Wall | Recreational Services
The University of Iowa
Closed Today


The climbing wall is located in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. The wall boasts over 50 feet of amazing climbable features, including bulges, arêtes, roofs, cracks, and a separate bouldering wall. This state-of-the-art climbing wall boasts 10 top rope stations while every square inch is also open to lead climbing! Built by Entre-prises and designed to look and climb like real rock, this new wall will inspire seasoned climbers and beginners alike.

Try Climbs

Try Climbs are designed for people wishing to “try” climbing. The climbing wall staff will manage the safety systems while you experience the climbing wall first hand. Try Climbs are a great way to get a feel for the sport without committing to a lesson and learning all of the technical safety skills. Try Climbs are held during regular climbing wall hours and costs $5 (does not include walk-in fee).

Women's Climbing Clinic

Are you looking for a new way to challenge yourself? Join us for an afternoon of climbing and camaraderie! Climbing improves mental and physical fitness, builds confidence, is a ton of fun, and is a great way to meet new people. This event is for women who have no previous climbing experience.

Next Clinic: TBD

Bouldering Wall

Bouldering is rock climbing without the ropes and gear. Participants stay lower to the ground, often traversing the wall searching for the hardest movements. The focus is on body movement and honing their climbing skills without the restriction of technical climbing equipment. Bouldering is quite social as climbers take turns working together to unlock the sequence of movement required to complete a bouldering route. Please enjoy the separate bouldering wall as well as the “splash landing” wall overhanging the rec pool!

  • A short orientation is required to use the bouldering wall, free of charge.

Top Rope Climbing Lessons ($20)

Sign up in advance at the membership desk. A climbing lesson will teach you the basics to become oriented with the wall and the safety procedures for climbing safely. Topics include climbing knots, harnesses, belay skills, and climbing commands. Following the completion of the lesson, you will be asked to come back at a later date to complete the safety check, which is included in the lesson fee. Top Climbing Lessons max out at four participants per class.


  • Fall/Spring Semesters:
    • Mondays and Wednesdays | 6:30 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.
  • Summer Semester:
    • Wednesdays | 6:00 p.m.
  • By Appointment: 

Lead Climbing Lessons ($50)

After you've gained experience in top-rope climbing, the next step would be learning how to lead climb.  Lead climbing lessons are available by appointment. Email to set up your appointment. Ideally, you should have six months of climbing experience before taking a lead climbing lesson. All climbers wishing to lead climb are required to obtain a lead climbing approval card.

Safety Checks & Recertification ($10)

Safety Checks are required to obtain your approval card, which you need to climb at the wall. Safety checks can occur anytime the wall is open, and staff is available to check you. You will be required to demonstrate that you have retained the skills from the lesson. Upon passing the safety check, you will receive your approval card. Cards are valid for the current academic year. Safety check recertification is designed for people who have previously passed a safety check at our wall and are looking to update their approval cards. You must present your expired approval card to participate in the recertification process.

Private Lessons ($20 per hour)

Improve your technique, strengthen your core, and advance your skills to the next level by taking a personal training session. Personal training is designed with your specific goals in mind and maybe the link to taking your climbing to the next level. 

Exclusive Wall Rental

The climbing wall is available to rent for unique social events such as birthday celebrations, scout troop outings, workplace socials, residence hall, and Greek community events, to name a few. Rates and reservation instructions may be found on our Pool & Wall Parties page.

Learn More

Youth Climbing Team

The Youth Climbing Program was established to help young climbers learn and improve their climbing skills. The lessons and practices are designed to build confidence by focusing on problem-solving, communication, trust, and teamwork. Learn more here or please email or talk to our staff at the wall about our youth climbing team. Climbing coaches are dedicated to teaching the sport in a fun way!

Learn More

Personal Equipment

Personal climbing equipment is allowed at the climbing wall. All personal climbing equipment must be recorded during the orientation process and again at each daily sign-in. All climbers must complete the rules of conduct form and be responsible for the proper use and care of their equipment. No auto-locking belay devices are allowed at the CRWC climbing wall.


Do you still have additional questions? Send us an email and we would be happy to help answer them! 

David Patton
Assistant Director of Outdoor Recreation & Education


Everyone using the climbing wall or bouldering wall is required to fill out a waiver form. All climbers must also complete the rules of conduct form as well as the appropriate skills assessment for bouldering, top rope climbing or lead climbing. Each participant will be required to sign in each visit. All climbers are required to have their climbing wall approval card visible. The only exceptions are patrons participating in a try climb, a climbing lesson or a group climbing event.

Any individual under the age of 18 needs to have a parent or guardian present to sign the waiver form. 

Belay Device with Locker $2.00
Chalkbag $2.00
Harness $3.00
Helmet Free
Lead Climbing Lesson $50.00
Lead Climbing Package (rope/draws) $20.00
Lead Climbing Safety Check $10.00
Lead Rope $15.00
Private Lessons $20.00/Hour
Quickdraws (one set of 14) $10.00
Safety Check $10.00
Shoes $5.00
Top Rope Climbing Lesson $20.00
Top Rope Package (Shoes, Harness, Belay Device with Locker, Chalkbag) $10.00
Try Climb $5.00
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Climbing Wall is Closed