Climbing can be found almost in the heart of Kansas City? Too good to be true? Nope, it's there!
Along an old scenic byway, right off the road, limestone can be found. The area is shady, in more ways than one, but it seems to be improving. The rock tends to be smooth, forcing harder grips and improved foot technique. Perfect for training.
Summer can be hot and buggy and winter can be cold.
From I-70, head north on Paseo. After some stoplights, the road splits. Left goes to I-29 and right becomes Cliff Drive. Follow this around a right curve and head through the gates. Veer left at the split. The cliffs are encountered on the right just before the sharp right curve.
Park across from the cliffs at one of the small pulloffs.
Start on the crimp and pull into the pocket. Note the foot under the roof for the next moves. Continue up and left to the 2nd bolt, then back right and up after the 3rd bolt. Shares anchors with Subtle Caress on the right.You can climb up and right past the first anchors for more 12a climbing. One more bolt over the roof and a second set of anchors....[more]Browse More Classics in MO
Regarding the sketch aspects of cliff drive. Crime: Cliff drive is no more sketchy than any other public place hidden behind a well populated area. By comparison it is equally as sketchy as Swope Park and much less sketchy than Roanoke park in midtown. That being said get out before dark. I've found a bunch of wrappers of sorts in the big crack area, broken wine bottles and a bio hazard baggie here. While people may choose this area to carouse around at night it's pretty nice during the day. There have been rumors of confrontations here but I've never personally been threatened by anything other than clipping the second bolt of Blimp.
The Rock: Stay on the established lines, don't go off route and the rock should be almost as solid as most other places. Exceptions include that route just right of Blimp which nobody usually climbs and that jug at the beginning of "Lefty" The main problem is the dirtiness of the holds, this is most prevalent on routes that are top roped from the trail such as "The Book" and other non overhanging routes directly beneath a trail. Also the rock here is a little polished. Some people don't go to cliff drive specifically because of this but they are whiners.
Bolts: All but two route are bolted using bomber glue in bolts. I've also fallen on the non-glue ins and they happen to work too.
Climb at Cliff drive, its fun and is as safe as any other crag.
The Cliff Drive area is in the nice part of the Northeast neighborhood of KCMO. Usually stays pretty quiet (unlike about eight blocks south). Stay alert, but don't be a worry-wort.
By trisgo From: Omaha, NE (at the moment) Mar 31, 2013
I just got back from a KC trip and figured I'd post. First off, I wish someone would have told me that Cliff Drive is closed to vehicles on the weekend. After reading the comments about crime in the area, I wasn't keen on leaving my vehicle sitting somewhere. The whole time while climbing, I was worried I'd come back to find my windows broken out. I was surprised to find the park filled with friendly people riding their bikes, jogging, walking their dogs. I talked to a few people and they said the park isn't as prone to crime as it once had been. The area is small, but the pro to that is that it's not over crowded (I was there on a weekend). The climbing was nice. Some loose, flaky rock, but tis the midwest. Being from Omaha, I really can't complain about ANY rock. It's a nice little spot (minus all the trash up above) if you're in the area, but I wouldn't drive cross country to get there. Maybe spend the weekend; one day at Ibex, one day at Cliff Drive? I look forward to going back (when the road's open).