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Elephant Rocks State Park

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Front Range, The 
Gill Boulder 
Herd and The Den, The 
Mid Picnic Area (The Cove) 
North Mountain 
Picnic area 
Porch, The 
Upper Picnic 

Elephant Rocks State Park 

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Location: 37.655, -90.6877 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 14,109
Administrator: Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Damon Vaughan on Dec 29, 2008
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Sterno. My all time favorite problem that tops out...


Elephant Rocks is a pretty good bouldering area in Southeast Missouri, about an hour and a half from St. Louis. The rock is a large grained granite, which can be quite sharp and abrasive. Very good for friction though.

The park can be really crowded with family tourists, but I have yet to see any other climbers there. Because of the crowds, climbing is only recommended on weekdays. Also, roped climbing is prohibited within the park.

Getting There 

From St. Louis, take 21 (Tesson Ferry) south, and follow it for about an hour and a half. There are a few turns, so make sure you follow the signs that say Hwy 21. After the town of Bellevue, the park i well signed and on the left.

21 Total Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Elephant Rocks State Park:
The Tennishoe Crack   V0 4     Boulder   Picnic area
The Scary One   V2 5+     Boulder   Picnic area
Sterno   V4 6B     Boulder, 7'   Picnic area
Browse More Classics in Elephant Rocks State Park

Featured Route For Elephant Rocks State Park
Crux mantle

Sterno V4 6B  MO : Elephant Rocks State Park : Picnic area
Start in a big jug under a roof and traverse right. Finish with a really cool mantel on a unique hold. Fun, unique moves and good rock make this a great problem....[more]   Browse More Classics in MO

Photos of Elephant Rocks State Park Slideshow Add Photo
Nice tall crack in the Front Range area.
Nice tall crack in the Front Range area.
Umbro on top of the dome.
Umbro on top of the dome.
The rock here can be a little sharp!
The rock here can be a little sharp!
Climbing in the maze of boulders on the backside.
Climbing in the maze of boulders on the backside.
Shadow. The opposite arete from Tablecloth. Great climb, but no one ever seems to try it.
Shadow. The opposite arete from Tablecloth. Great ...
Tablecloth, a Missouri classic.
Tablecloth, a Missouri classic.
overview of the park. all credits to Matt Bliss and Alex Gerrits
BETA PHOTO: overview of the park. all credits to Matt Bliss an...
Smoke. Devious starting sequence to a great topout.
Smoke. Devious starting sequence to a great topout...
Josh grabbing some nubbins on the top out
Josh grabbing some nubbins on the top out
Comments on Elephant Rocks State Park Add Comment
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By Joe Kreidel
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 19, 2009

This is a great bouldering area and I was always surprised it didn't get more use from St. Louis/Missouri climbers.

I also think there is a faster way to get there. It is a little less direct but faster because I always found it tough to pass slow trucks on Hwy 21. From STL take I-55 S -> 67 South -> Hwy 32 West -> 21 South right to the park.

By Joe Huggins
From: Grand Junction
Jul 28, 2009

Although it has been a few decades since Elephant Rocks was my main area, I have to agree with Joes' assertion as to the fastest route. It's nice to reminisce about the 70's when we would drive down from St.Louis before dawn, drop some 'cid and boulder at dawn...Good Times!

By Chris Prewitt
Oct 29, 2009

Looking back, I realize that climbers all over the country travel 1.5hrs to get to where they want to climb, TIA or STL. Only now I have to hike for at least 30 minutes. At E-rocks you trip over the curb and hit your head on a boulder problem.

By Eero46
Aug 15, 2011

Why isn't this place more well known?!

This place has the most potential out of anywhere in the Midwest. The biggest boulders are comparable to J tree.

By ryanh0504
Oct 9, 2011

If there were more than 21 problems listed I would consider going here.

By James Wieman
From: Southern Utah
Apr 4, 2012

Elephant rocks is the awesome and has hundreds of problems with potential for many more. A great guidebook for it is Sandstone Warrior, mainly covering bouldering in So. Illinois but includes many problems in Elephant Rocks

By Paul Getzke
From: Bloomington, mn
May 22, 2014

Just the fact that John Gill put up problems at Elephant Rocks is reason enough to visit. I bouldered there about 30 years ago and still remember it as an outstanding place to climb.