Blue Mounds State Park is located in the southwest corner of Minnesota. Located approximately 4 miles from the town of Luverne, BMSP offers rock climbing on quartzite similar to the rocks at Devils Lake, WI. The quartzite cliffs rise approximately 100 feet from the prairie and offer 50-60 foot climbs of various difficulty from 5.4 to 5.12. The area is primarily a traditional climbing crag, but top roping is possible with the proper gear. There are also number of bouldering problems. There are no bolted routes.
From the town of Luverne, go north 4 miles on Minnesota Hwy. 75. Turn east on County Road 20 and go 1 mile to park entrance.
The most commonly used climbing parking lot is off Rock County 8. From Luverne take 75 north about 1 mile out of town (or from the state park ranger office take 75 south) and take a right on Rock County 8 . Continue on Rock County 8 for about a mile maybe less. As the road forks to the right there is a small parking lot on the left, park here. The majority of the approach trails are off the paved bike/pedestrian path. This bike/pedestrian path can also be reach from the camp grounds and you can approach the cliff from the north rather than the south.
A must do at Blue Mounds. As the name implies start up the crack and edges below the middle of the "balcony", muscle up on big flat edges. Finish up the tricky center of the balcony roof (crux). ...[more]Browse More Classics in MN
To anyone planning to climb at Blue Mounds in the near future, the park is officially closed through July 13 due to flood damage. A park ranger we spoke with said this includes climbing, not just camping.
I spent most of the last week bouldering in western Minnesota. Since there is no detailed mention of bouldering at Blue Mounds, I just wanted to report that there is bouldering and it's not too bad either. It starts in the woods below the interpretive center and goes all the way to the old quarry. There are a number of blocks, some big and some not so big. Two big ones are below the interpretive center in the woods. Take the Burr Oak Trail below the center and you will find them down the hill. There are several more smaller blocks along the trail heading towards the old quarry. Once you get to the quarry, check out the big boulder there. It is the future home of some very hard potential projects. One more boulder is downhill from there. Have fun!
I think it's great that people are adding bouldering problems to the Blue Mounds database. There's some quality stuff to be found in the park. That said if you're going to take the time to add them please give good directions and a description to these problems (ex. Na-Cho Ordinary Nachos). Let see some pics of these problems too!
Keep it at guys, there's definitely some gems out there.
In June 2006, my buddy Sam and I were heading on back from climbing in the Black Hills. Halfway home (at the time IA), we pulled into Luverne to stave off the driving crazies. We were not looking to do much climbing in the Quarries, but we did have a crash pad. To our surprise, there were some fun boulder problems available. We spent a half day exploring the area and climbing. When we came home, we checked the guidebook and rockclimbing.com. To our surprise, there was hardly anything about the boulders in this area. So, we posted some pictures and some fun names (e.g., Jackalope and Urban Sasquatch... named for the intoxicated run of a naked climber out of their tent). We did not want to post rating, but they were all manageable and under V6. It's great to see that mountain project is posting these climbs!!! If you are on your way west on 94, it's worth a stop for a quick burn. Be careful of the cactus for 2 reasons: (a) they are local and you are not (b) they hurt like hell when you are throwing for what you think is the top... and get a fist full of fire.
By Sam Daley From: Minneapolis, Minnesota Aug 22, 2010
I want to thank everyone who has been putting boulder problems online, it inspires me to continue returning to Blue Mounds! My friend Jak and I just had a great visit. We are going to be adding a few problems that we did not find online. If you have done these before and have any information on names/grades/FAs dont hesitate to contact either of us. Also if these problems are already up somewhere else let us know so we can mitigate confusion.
For a day of top-roping at BM I usually bring two or three pieces of 30 to 50 foot webbing, single set of stoppers, set of cams, and medium to large hexes. Some people like using tri-cams at BM but I think they're more hassle than it's worth (I have bootied a few though). Many of the popular areas don't have much for natural pro. There's a few trees and boulders you can sling but they often sit far back from the cliff edge thus the need for long webbing. Some of the routes require thought-provoking gear placements for top-rope setups. Often there's regulars there that can tell you exactly what to use for specific routes. Don't be afraid to ask.
I agree with Doug about the long webbing! It is very useful for building anchors at Blue Mounds since you'll often have to go far back from the cliff edge for placements. Bring plenty if you want to make things easier on yourself or create multiple anchors.
We're locals and love going out to the park; family has fun climbing the rocks that go into the campground area; looking for someone with more experience to show us what we need and teach us the right way to do things; once a year Blue Mound has started to have a clinic, but wish they would do more!
trisgo, Do you mean the buttresses of Prairie Walls? If so check out the pic below, otherwise the Minnesota/Wisconsin Falcon guide by Mike Farris is the best for locating all of the specific areas of BM. He does have a new edition coming out "soon".
Only after moving away and climbing at numerous quartzite crags did I realize just how AMAZING the rock is in Blue Mounds. The entire length of cliff-line in BMSP is without question the most consistently high quality quartzite I have ever climbed! Enjoy this place, it is very special.