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WM: Cliff Drive

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Big and Small Crack Areas 
Book, The 
Cliff Drive's Backside 
Overhang, The 
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Violet Trail
A more difficult, technical trail at Shawnee Mission Park. Near Edwardsville, Kansas
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Orange Trail
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From MP's sister site: MTB Project

WM: Cliff Drive Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.1171, -94.549 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 17,768
Administrators: Dave Hug, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Erik Pohlman on Mar 20, 2008
Forecast:
Tonight

70°
Tuesday

83° | 70°
Wednesday

80° | 62°
Thursday

79° | 59°
Friday

78° | 61°
Saturday

81° | 66°
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Description 

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.

Getting There 

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.

Climbing Season



Weather station 6.1 miles from here

31 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',17],['1 Star',8],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',4],['5.7',6],['5.8',5],['5.9',1],['5.10',4],['5.11',2],['5.12',5],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',1],['V2-3',3],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in WM: Cliff Drive

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for WM: Cliff Drive:
Hawt Pockets   V1 5     Boulder, 16'   Cliff Drive's Backside : Highball Wall
The Big Crack   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Big and Small Crack Areas
Across the Choss   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   Big and Small Crack Areas
Five Times Fast   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, TR, 30'   Big and Small Crack Areas
Lefty   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 35'   Big and Small Crack Areas
Chomping the Bit   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   The Overhang
Tatoo   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b X     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   The Overhang
Malarious   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 40'   The Overhang
Bovine Direct   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   The Overhang
Malaria   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   The Overhang
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in WM: Cliff Drive

Featured Route For WM: Cliff Drive
Rock Climbing Photo: View of a top rope ascent of the Book Right Wall. ...

Book Right Wall 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13  MO : WM: Cliff Drive : The Book
Climb only the right hand wall of the book. Sounds contrived but is actually a good route considering how few routes are available in the area....[more]   Browse More Classics in MO

Photos of WM: Cliff Drive Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jeremy on Bovine
Jeremy on Bovine
Rock Climbing Photo: New retaining wall built by the KCCC in the spring...
New retaining wall built by the KCCC in the spring...

Comments on WM: Cliff Drive Add Comment
Show which comments
By Johnathan Lemons
Sep 24, 2009
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).
By TravisC.Moore
Jan 20, 2014
This place isn't good. The rock is caked in dirt, and is unstable. I blew an entire hold off the wall. I climbed two routes and decided to make my way to Ibex instead, which is only 20 min from this spot.
By Rsurface
May 12, 2014
The quality climbing(least chossy) at Cliff Drive is in the 5.11/5.12- range at the "Overhang" area. It is definitely worthwhile if you live in the area.
By Dakota from North Dakota
Apr 29, 2015
Travis- Don't bother climbing anywhere in Missouri (or on most limestone) if blowing "an entire hold" off is too much for you to handle.
By RjBass
Apr 11, 2016
Having any place in such a metro setting to climb seems pretty cool to me even if the rock is a bit flaky. Nice thing to know though is that ROKC (new climbing gym) is just 10 minutes away on the other side of the river. So if you are in town and this rock doesn't do it for you, just take a very short drive into North Kansas City and get your fix there. If you really need the rocks to climb in Missouri, Climbing Magazine put out a nice article with some of the best spots in the state. Check it out climbing.com/places/missouri-a...
By BryanSchillig
From: Kansas City, MO
Aug 2, 2016
I've been climbing at Cliff Drive for several years, and having this place so close to a city metro is an absolute gem. I've gotten great workouts at this crag and have even leveraged it for big wall practice. The crag has a well developed and maintained retaining wall and trails built by several members of the climbing community. This crag is located in a beautiful park with mountain biking, frisbee golf, running, road biking, etc...

As far as the rock quality goes, Yes, it's somewhat chossy limestone. That said, I've holds blow on me everywhere I've climbed. I've even had a plastic hold blow on me at a climbing gym, as well as holds spin at every gym I've climbed at. EVEN at my own HOME!! The Point is - Climb Smart. Pull down not out. Wear your brain bucket. Double check your stuff.

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