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One of the BEST Backyard DIY Projects: DIY Climbing Rock Wall

Build Your Own DIY Rock Wall in your Backyard that your Children will LOVE!

Again, we are safe at home and trying to come up with ways to keep our sanity and have our children continue to be healthy and thriving. If you have been following some of our DIY projects, you know we have been doing a lot of DIY outdoor projects.

As soon as we knew we would not be able to even go to a public playground, we knew we needed to build our outdoor playset and with a DIY climbing rock wall.

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read full privacy policy here. *

Factors to consider when building a DIY rock wall for children

First, we had to consider a few things in the overall playset design. You can see how we built the whole play set in a future post!

-How high up would our rock wall go?

-Should it be just vertical? Or have a slant?

-What types of holds should we buy?

How much does it cost to build a DIY Climbing Rock Wall?

We needed the following supplies to build our DIY rock wall that attached to our children’s playset. We were able to build the rock wall part of the outdoor play set for under $100.

Boy climbing DIY rock wall


2″ x 4″ x 16′ Pressure Treated Lumber (We needed 4)

Rock Climbing Wall Holds

Screws (Make sure you order deck screws)

-Circular Saw


Note: We did not use the anchors that came with these rock holds because they were not long enough.  They were 1.25” long and a 2×4 is plus the rock hold is too thick for that. We attached these climbing rock wall holds with screws.

Here is a different brand with longer anchors that appears that it works with 2x4s and we wish we would have tried instead.

Why We Bought These Rock Wall Climbing Holds

We chose these children’s rock wall holds because they could be shipped right away, were highly rated and were pretty inexpensive. We figured we could try them out and always return them if they did not work well. Not to mention, this kit came with a pretty sturdy rope that we attached to the playset.

These rock wall holds were also very easy to install. My husband was able to add them to his rock wall structure within 30 minutes. We love when DIY projects don’t end up taking hours!

The 2 biggest cons to these rock wall holds, are their size and that we had to use our own screws to attach them to the 2 x 4s. My husband wishes they were a little larger, but our children seem to be able to easily use them. (I think secretly it is just because they are too small from him to use to climb the wall…

But this is not an adult wall!

If you are looking to build an indoor rock wall for adults, go ahead and check out this REI article

How to Build a DIY Climbing Rock Wall in your Backyard

As we have stated, our rock wall is attached to our playset. Depending on where you are putting your rock wall, you may need to build more of a structure to support your DIY rock wall.

Adding angled 2 x 4 for rock wall

At first, my husband was just going to make our wall vertical. Luckily, I convinced him that it needed to be on an angle. This design feature made it so much easier for our children to be able to climb up.

Step-by-Step Tutorial To Building A Rock Wall For Children

1. Our first “landing” is 5’ above the ground. If you want to figure out your climbing angle, use good old Pythagorean Theorem (a to help you decide the distance your base is away from the side. You should draw a triangle and do the math to figure out the climbing angle you want.

2. Cut two 2 x 4 boards at the size you decided to be the hypotenuse or angled part that that will be climbed on.

Rock wall holds with diy wall base

3. We placed our diagonal hypotenuse boards 42” apart so that our DIY climbing rock wall would be 42” wide.

4. Cut 2 x 4 boards to the desired width (again, ours was 42” apart). The number of 2 x 4s that you use will depend on how much space you want in between the board. 

5. Cut more 2 x 4s to create your climbing rock wall for your children. We spaced the boards 1.5 inches to 2 inches apart.

Circular saw cutting 2 x 4's for rock wall

If you space the rock wall holds farther apart, it will act more like a ladder it will be (in addition to the rock wall hand holds). If you only want the rock wall, then try to get the boards as close together as possible.

6. Attach all cut rock wall 2 x 4s boards to the two angled  2 x 4s using screws.

7. Draw a grid on the boards and put one rock hand hole every 10 inches to 12 inches somewhere in the grid.

8. Drill and attach rock hand holes in desired spaces.

Attach rock wall holds to DIY wall

How to space out climbing rock wall holds


As you can see in this picture, we measured across to put the rock wall holds on. We figured these distances would work for two children to climb up at a time if they wanted.

Add a safety bar on top of platform

First, we are not liable for our or your playset design. Please read your local guidelines when creating a DIY playset for your children. We just love to share what we do for educational purposes only. We knew we needed to add some safety measures to make sure our children were safe.


Our rock wall is 5 feet off the ground because that was how high the slide we ordered could go. Now, when I went to the link, our 5-foot slide was not an option, so I have linked it to the 4 ft. version of what we have.

We did make one error when planning our rock wall. We put the slide, rock wall and ladder all on one side. This caused a  little bit of a safety dilemma that we solved by adding a pressure-treated 2 x 4 across the top.

We had safety rails everywhere else and we knew we needed something to keep kids on the top of the platform. The bar is high enough that the kids still can duck under. We may end up adding one more right under after we see how our children use the playset safely.

If we were to design this differently, we would probably have the ladder, rock wall and slide on all different sides, so we could have more full railings with smaller openings.

Child climbing DIY rock wall

Here are some of our related posts about outdoor living spaces:

Screened-in Porch Ideas (You want to see our amazing new space)

DIY Outdoor Dining Table: What to do with leftover composite decking?

DIY Marbled Pots: Which marbling paint technique is best?

Other Kid Climbing Rock Wall Options

If after all of this DIY talk, you are more interested in just purchasing climbing items for your DIY playground or outdoor space, here are a few we considered before building our own DIY climbing rock wall.

Plastic Rock Wall

Climbing Cargo Net

Inflatable Rock Wall/Water slide: I want to get this to play with! Not just for the kids!

I just love our awesome DIY climbing rock wall because we have another awesome DIY outdoor space that makes our house a home!

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Thursday 23rd of April 2020

Looks like such great fun for the kids.


Thursday 23rd of April 2020

Thanks, Clara. Our children absolutely love this DIY climbing rock wall. We are so lucky to have this in our backyard!

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