The Rock Gem Climbing Center, built in 1998, is a rock climbing facility devoted to climbers of all ages and abilities. The Rock Gem (previously owned by Hester’s Family Fitness Center) was reopened in 2014 by a local climber in efforts to give the Louisville climbing community a gym with a motivating, inspiring and positive atmosphere.


Everyone who enters the climbing area is required to have a signed waiver before they can participate. Any persons under the age of 18 must have their parent or legal guardian co-sign their waiver. You can print off one of our waivers and fill it out ahead of time, or fill one out when you come in to climb.


Do I need any experience to climb here?
Previous experience is not required. The Rock Gem caters to all skill levels and offers belay classes for those who are new to the sport. Our experienced staff will help guide you through everything you need to know to get started.

Do I need any Equipment to climb?
If you do not have your own equipment – not a problem! The Rock Gem offers harness and climbing shoe rentals for those who do not have their own gear.

What is Belaying and do I need to take the Belay Class?
Belaying is when a person controls the rope for the climber in order to keep them safe and prevent them from falling. The Belay Class teaches basic belay techniques and safety. If you have never belayed before there is a one time charge of $10 to take this class and it normally takes 15-20 minutes. Once you pass the class it certifies you to belay at The Rock Gem for all your future visits. If you are an experienced belayer, you do not need to take the class but you must be able to pass an examination before you can be certified to belay.

What is the difference between a Day Pass and a Bouldering Pass?
A Day Pass is for Route Climbing and Bouldering. Route Climbing is climbing with rope protection, which allows the climber to go all the way to the top of our walls safely. This is normally how people start to learn how to climb and it is usually done in pairs. The Rock Gem has a variety of routes with different levels of difficulties.
Bouldering is climbing low to the ground without a rope, our floors are padded for extra protection and soft landings. The Rock Gem specializes in bouldering and even features a unique bouldering cave.
So, if you would like to use a rope then a Day Pass is for you. Otherwise, you will only need a Bouldering pass. Either pass allows you to climb as much as you want for the entire day.

Does the Rock Gem offer Birthday parties and Group rates?
Yes, The Rock Gem has special pricing for groups of all kinds. We host birthday parties, team building, scout groups, church groups, even overnight lock-in parties and more. You can schedule groups during our normal business hours or rent the whole facility for yourselves. Groups must be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance in order to get the discounted price.

What should I wear?
You should wear comfortable, loose clothing that allows full range of motion. If you are planning on renting our climbing shoes, you may want to bring a pair of socks. Rental shoes are currently optional, however, we will soon be making it mandatory for all climbers to wear climbing shoes (rentals are $4).  Until then, if you are not going to wear climbing shoes make sure you wear a pair of sneakers or closed toed shoes. (Boots and sandals are not the best climbing foot-ware, and barefoot climbing is not allowed).

How old do you have to be to Belay?
You have to be 13 years or older to belay.

Does The Rock Gem have WiFi?