Fun, free outdoor rock climbing limestone bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River just an hour from St. Louis in a beautiful Illinois State Park.
- Over 65 routes for beginner to intermediate climbers. Most setup for sport climbing (bolted routes). A few trad and bouldering routes as well.
- Great for beginners (who are accompanied by an experienced climber who experience in sport climbing) with easy 5.6 routes.
- Only an hour from St. Louis
- Very well setup and maintained by the Illinois Climbing Assocation
- Gorgeous Drive to get there along the Great River Road
- Lots of other fun stuff to do in the area at both Pere Marquette State Park and Grafton, Illinois
- You need your own gear and an experienced climber that can sport climb at a 5.7 level.
- The climbing bluffs here aren’t particularly tall so the routes are pretty short
Getting ThereThis is off the Great River Road north of Grafton Illinois. See links section for link to Google Map.
- Mountain Project site with Routes and Photos
- Terrain Magazine Story
- Link to Google Map of Parking Lot
Illinois’ largest state park have many fun and beautiful offerings but one of it’s newest (though there is some history around this) are its new climbing bluffs. A partnership between Illinois Climbing Association, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and Friends of Pere Marquette State Park Foundation brought this to fruition in 2019.
While most of the routes here are bolted, you’ll need to bring all of your own gear. At minimum you will need:
- A Climbing Rope
- 2 Harnesses (one for climber, one for belayer)
- Quickdraws for lead climbing (at least 3)
- Climbing helmet
- Belay device
Optional but nice to have:
- Climbing shoes
- Climbing harness for each person
- Chalk bag