A little frustrated about the lackluster winter weather that seems to be hanging around Iowa City? Cold enough to make you think twice about being outside, but not enough snow to work up a proper sweat, and how about the ice that has seemingly been sprayed onto the ground like slick cement? Fortunately, thanks to the 60-foot rock wall located at the University of Iowa’s Campus and Recreation Wellness Center (CRWC), you can get your adventure fix on either side of a rope.

Uiowa RecServ

Do You Have to Be a Student to Use the Rock Wall?


Students automatically pay for their recreational building membership through their tuition, but just like any other gym in the city, the University’s rec buildings, including the CRWC, are open to the public per a membership fee. What fee you pay monthly or annually depends on your membership type, and your least-expensive option would be to have a current student sponsor your membership. The rest of the non-student rates can be found here:

Year Month Daily
Student Sponsored Adult $30 $30
Alumni Sponsored Adult $432.25 $64.50 $8
Community Member $472.50 $64.50 $8


Additional Membership to Climb at the Wall

The University of Iowa’s indoor rock climbing wall is one of the tallest in the nation at 60 feet and includes real-rock features alongside classic climbing holds. Add into the mix a dynamic bouldering wall, anchors to practice lead climbing, a crack that runs the entire vertical length, and even a belay and rest ledge 20 feet off the ground on the wall’s western end, and it’s clear to see how the Iowa City community can benefit from such an adventure training resource.

Just like climbing in the outdoors though, there are inherent risks to the sport, of which can be fully avoided by proper training and maintenance. To aid in the continual maintenance, as well as ensure proper technique is practiced throughout the gym, the climbing wall does require an additional climbing wall certificate that costs $20 and includes a lesson on the principles of rock climbing.

Climbing Wall Pic
Uiowa RecServ


What does the $20 Climbing Certificate Get You?

The Climbing Wall certificate includes a two-hour lesson, plus a safety check the next time you come to climb. Once you pass your safety assessment, you are presented with an actual climbing certificate that will need to be on display every time you tie into the rope. After that, and for the next year, you are welcome to walk-in and climb whenever the climbing wall is open. If you are already familiar with the basics of climbing (i.e. belaying & tying-in), you can skip the lesson, but not the $20 fee, and go right into a safety-check. Climbing lessons are available Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:30 & 8:30 during the academic school year:

Climbing Wall Hours (during academic session):

Monday – Friday

4:00 pm – 10:00 pm

(Tuesday – closed at 9:00)

Saturday & Sunday

2:00 pm – 6:00

Want to Check it Out? 

Climbing is a sport that can change your life for the better, and despite Iowa not having some of the most-renown routes outside, the denizens of Iowa City can never complain about a lack of indoor resources. If you are interested in the sport as a very beginner and what to know what it is all about, you can participate in a Try Climb at the wall for $3, which allows you to climb once up and down the wall with a certified staff member to belay you. If you are interested in taking your climbing to the next level, lead climbing lessona are also available by request.

The One Stop Shop for All of your Gear

Not only does Fin & Feather support the University’s indoor climbing wall, but we also carry all the gear you need to safely navigate your way to the top. From lightweight (and padded) harnesses to climbing-specific shoes, you can use the rentals at the wall for as long as you want, but when it comes time to invest in your own comfortable gear, we have the stock and expertise to get you climbing high.Fin and Feather Outdoor Store Front