The Chimney Rocks are treasured, distinctive landmarks perched in ecologically sensitive habitats, on steeply wooded bluffs above a looping bend of the Upper Iowa River. Though frequently viewed from canoes, kayaks and tubes as people float down a river that verges on crowded during warm summer days, they are seldom visited and rarely climbed.
The quality of rock varies in character from delicately dolomitic to friable and frightening. If you can't climb without doing damage, stick to imaginary climbing and reserve the best spots for the raptors.
Paddling down the Upper Iowa River from Kendalville would be the most esthetic approach. Or more simply drive to Bluffton, IA and head north about 2 miles on County Hwy W20, aka Bluffton Rd to the intersection with Pine Creek Rd and park. Walk west 100 yards or thereabouts to the bluffs.
You can also preview the Chimney Rocks location by driving back south less than a mile to take the Chimney Rocks Road to the west. After the bridge over the river look up along the bluffs. Return here later for a scenic stroll and cooling dip in the river.