A lot of people learn to climb from friends or family. This is a great way to begin, but sometimes it can be difficult to find climbers willing to teach.
Some learn to climb, virtually on their own, through a mixture of talking to people with experience and using online/written resources. This can turn into a difficult way to learn, as it is easier for most people to learn knots and rope systems, from an instructor. Learning from another person tends to instill more confidence and often speeds up the learning curve as well.
Finally, many people learn rock climbing through gyms, non-profits, or guide services. These are all great options, with several key differences.
Climbing in a gym is a great way to train strength, mobility, and technique. However, if your ultimate goal is to climb outside, learning to climb on real rock will be more beneficial in the long run.
“Reading rock” (finding your next hold and figuring out the best way to get to it) is very different outside, then it is on gym holds. If you learn to rock climb outside you will likely be more comfortable and confident in that setting.
Learning to climb with a non-profit is also a great way to get into climbing. However, climbing at a 1-1 or 2-1 ratio with a guide service or school, like Inland Northwest Climbing Outfitters in Spokane, typically provides a more focused learning environment.
While nothing can replace the benefits that come with experience, guide services and climbing schools can generally provide quicker access, to the knowledge and skills, necessary to climb confidently outdoors.