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Grand Ledge

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Alice's Corner TR 
Beginner's Climb TR 
Black Buttress TR 
Brachiator TR 
Building Blocks TR 
Century Club TR 
Cold Turkey TR 
Conscientious Objection TR 
Cowabunga TR 
Despondecy Direct TR 
Doug's Roof TR 
Extension TR 
Finesse TR 
Franks Climb TR 
Heart and Soul TR 
Impasse TR 
Inappropriate Behavior TR 
Intergalactic Quaalude Trip TR 
Intimidator TR 
Karen's Direct TR 
Karen's Overhang TR 
Let Me Go Wild TR 
Ludwig's Dude TR 
Mental Blocks TR 
Mossy Gully TR 
No Soap TR 
No-hands Slab, The 
Nose, The TR 
One For the Road AKA One Last Time TR 
Peek-a-boo TR 
Pigeon Shit TR 
Poison Ivy Jam TR 
Potato Chips TR 
Pretzel, The TR 
Ragged Edge TR 
Rated X TR 
Rocket Man TR 
Root Route TR 
Schism TR 
Steppin' Out TR 
Technical Difficulties TR 
Three Mules TR 
Tooth, The 
Trick, The 
Ultimate Bushwack TR 
Unknown H 
Unsorted Routes:
Rest Day:
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Grand Ledge Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 45'
Location: 42.75785, -84.75339 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 21,540
Administrators: Jason Schneider, jon jugenheimer, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Chris Zuelch on Mar 21, 2007
Memorial Day

81° | 56°

80° | 59°

83° | 61°

76° | 54°

73° | 52°

74° | 54°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Sure....there are rules but they are easy to follo...


Sunny sandstone top roping in the lower peninsula of Michigan right off of the Grand River. The cliff is only 40 to 45 feet tall at best, but offers very bouldery, challenging climbs. Classic climbs included:

Chips : 5.7
Doug's Roof : 5.10
Rocket Man : 5:10
Pigeon Shit : 5.9???

The cliff faces south and receives sun most of the day. It exists in a City Park, but currently the city is pro climbing. It is the only known cliff in lower Michigan that you can climb at.

Getting There 

Find Grand Ledge, Michigan (use Map Quest or Google). Then head through downtown along Bridge St. Once you cross the bridge, hang a left on the first street. You will drive though a subdivision street until you dead end at Lilly Park. The approach to the cliff is obvious- simply hike down towards the river via trails that take you down to where the cliff breaks down on both sides.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.8 miles from here

50 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',12],['2 Stars',19],['1 Star',12],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Grand Ledge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Grand Ledge:
Enigma   V6 7A     Boulder, 12'   
Potato Chips   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   
Peek-a-boo   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     TR, 1 pitch, 25'   
Brachiator   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   
Century Club   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     TR, 1 pitch, 35'   
Rocket Man   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   
Doug's Roof   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     TR, 44'   
Intimidator   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     TR, 1 pitch, 35'   
Despondecy Direct   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     TR, 30'   
Let Me Go Wild   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     TR, 35'   
Ragged Edge   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     TR, 30'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Grand Ledge

Featured Route For Grand Ledge
Rock Climbing Photo: Dan on Intimidator, Doug's Roof can be seen behind...

Intimidator 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c  MI : Grand Ledge
Start approx. 10ft right of Doug's roof, on blocky holds. The crux is moving through these holds and into the easier roof section. A fall on this lower section will send a top-roper swinging out into space and has the potential for collision with rocks on the ground, hence the name! Finish on 20ft of ledgy, featured sandstone, angling gently left toward the Doug's Roof anchors....[more]   Browse More Classics in MI

Photos of Grand Ledge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Leah on Mental Blocks, 5.8
Leah on Mental Blocks, 5.8
Rock Climbing Photo: Cory on Steppin’ Out 5.12 3-8-16
Cory on Steppin’ Out 5.12 3-8-16
Rock Climbing Photo: DT on "Mossy Gully"
DT on "Mossy Gully"
Rock Climbing Photo: The cover of the new, free guidebook for Grand Led...
The cover of the new, free guidebook for Grand Led...
Rock Climbing Photo: DT on "Potato chips"(right) and Dave on ...
DT on "Potato chips"(right) and Dave on ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Grand Ledge
Grand Ledge
Rock Climbing Photo: Doug’s Roof 3-8-16
Doug’s Roof 3-8-16
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing the dihedral at Oak Park
Climbing the dihedral at Oak Park
Rock Climbing Photo: Juggler on "Building Blocks"
Juggler on "Building Blocks"
Rock Climbing Photo: Cory bouldering just left of Doug’s Roof. V7 3-8...
Cory bouldering just left of Doug’s Roof. V7 3-8...
Rock Climbing Photo: "Doug's roof"
"Doug's roof"
Rock Climbing Photo: Rocket Man 5.10 3-8-16
Rocket Man 5.10 3-8-16

Comments on Grand Ledge Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 9, 2016
By James M Schroeder
From: Sauk County, WI
Apr 18, 2007
It would be great if anyone with beta could start posting route descriptions. I'd be very interested to see what this place is all about.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Apr 18, 2007
What G.L. is all about? Soft rock, regulations, short routes and crowds.
I was told all about it in the early 90's once by someone who enthusiastically encouraged me to try it out. In the end, I went with my girlfriend and both of us decided that the guy who so encouraged us to go there with his praise-laiden descriptions should actually check the place out for himself some time...
By James M Schroeder
From: Sauk County, WI
Apr 18, 2007

Awesome job on that uncharacteristically pissed off rant! I've heard rumors that agree with your statements above.

By James Beissel
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 19, 2007
Grand Ledge isn't much, I sure wouldn't call it a destination, but it is virtually the only climbing available to Michigan climbers. Because of this, it is crucial that local rules are respected in order to prevent excessive erosion and to maintain good relations with the city.

No lead climbing
No rappelling
Use carpet to pad the edge under your ropes
Do not top out
Tread lightly when setting up TRs and around vegetation on routes

There are a limited number of routes at the Ledges and sharing ropes is the norm. It's a good idea to peek around at the top before you hike down and make sure you are comfortable with getting on someone else's setup. If you see something dangerous, tell the owner of the rope. There are lots of beginners here and I have seen some incredibly bad setups, but a little friendly advice has almost always been well received.
By Jason Haas
Apr 20, 2007
edit:the old website is down but the guide has been updated and redone and can be downloaded for free at Fixed Pin Publishing's website
By Mike Mu.
From: hagerstown
Jul 31, 2007
i 2nd the sketchy setups. i went there once with my then girlfriend and was amazed at what people would entrust their bones to. sketchy! no lead climbing? is that because of rock quality or just some BS put up by the locals?
By GeoffElson
Jun 3, 2008
World class, absolutely not, I would never go out of my way, but if you are near by it really is worth checking out. There is a lot of shit but a few gems mostly of mid-tougher grades. There should be at least one knowledgeable good climber around at any one time who would be happy to give a tour of the best stuff be sure to ask about The Trick (v2), Enigma (v6), Despondency (5.11), Resistance (5.13), Inappropriate Behavior (5.12-), and Raged Edge (5.12). It's easy to be negative about Grand Ledge, but put your ego aside and have a bit of fun.
By jay.kalamazoo
From: kalamazoo, mi
Sep 13, 2009
Grand ledge is really a special place. It is a good spot to see the impact climbers can have- both positive and negative.

many michigan climbers have stopped going to the ledges because of the negative impact- but there are a few short quality routes there.

- please please pad your anchors to reduce erosion and impact on the sandstone.
By CaseyK
From: Tucson, Az
Mar 14, 2010
Here are a few guide books I was able to find online.

Hope this helps!
By Jason Haas
Aug 9, 2010
Fixed Pin Publishing just revamped the old guide originally done by me and now offers a comprehensive, color guide with photo overlays for free to people to download off of their website

Hope you guys enjoy it and let us know what you think of it.

Rock Climbing Photo: Grand Ledge, MI cover
Grand Ledge, MI cover
By Juggler
May 31, 2011
Update on the above directions: Note the park is called "Oak Park", not Lily Park

Directions from I96 East Bound: Going east from
Grand Rapids take the Grand Ledge exit Wright Rd
(Route 100). Take this south for about 4 miles,
merge turn right onto N Bridge St. Take a right on
W. Front Street just before the bridge(at the Lickity Split). Go all the way until it dead ends at Oak Park

Great place. First time was this past Mem. Day weekend. Met nice folks who are very open to rope sharing. Sweet climbs and only had time to do about 1/10th of them! Will look to come back soon.

Jason- Like your guidebook ALOT!
By Juggler
May 31, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: Juggler on "chips"
Juggler on "chips"

Great early season climbing
By Juggler
May 31, 2011
To All Chicago Area Climbers:

I am looking for partners to go to GL and other locations(Jackson Falls, DL, The Red, etc) with.

I have an Airplane and can fly us there. There is an airport right in GL they will take us to the climb for a day trip. It is just a little over an hour flight to GL. Please send me a PM if you want more details and the cost of sharing the flight expenses. Hope to meet a few of you soon. I can fit up to 4 climbers with me in the Cherokee 6(with room for gear). :)
By Woodchuck ATC
May 31, 2011
After reading the location info and earlier comments from several years back, I do remember why I've never made the drive out to see this place. Agree it is NOT a destination climbing location. Too short of routes is one reason.
By Juggler
Jun 1, 2011
Woodchuck: Depends on your goals. It is a great place for the start of the season, it is REAL rock, great sandstone, not crowded, right on the river(great for kayaking too), camping close by, met some very nice climbers, and more.

Some of you folks are just a bit too ELITE and should not knock this sweet climbing area unless you HAVE come out to see it. The climbs are challenging though not tall- Kinda sounds like a local climbing gym that YOU and I frequent. I challenge you to try "Doug's roof" sometime!

It is nice for a day or 2 of climbing. I was pumped after 2 days, early season.
By Colonel Mustard
From: Sacramento, CA
Jul 8, 2011
As a visiting climber, I find it funny to see some criticize Grand Ledge for what it clearly isn't. It's a picturesque, Huck Finn locale with some short overhanging climbs you can cop a wicked forearm pump on. Doug's Roof would easily be a world class climb anywhere... well, if it were 70 feet longer and bolted, but still, if I find myself in Michigan in the summertime again, I'll definitely include some more sessions here on the sandbagged sandstone. So, to you Central Michiganders whose lot in life leaves you stranded in the largely flat lands trapped between the options of cornfields, an epic climbing commute, and the toprope haven that is the Grand Ledge, I salute you.
By Rich zz
From: california
Nov 26, 2012
hey guys. i might be relocating to saginaw. checking out what's around. are there any trad places in central MI?
By Boots Ylectric
From: Roselle IL
Jul 28, 2013
I'm really jealous of the town of Grand Ledge having such a cool little crag in it's backyard. World class? No. But if it was all you had, it would be absolutely amazing. My closest climbing is 3 hours away, so to see this crag sitting literally in Grand Ledge's backyard made me pine for my own neighborhood crag. There are some fun pumpy climbs and the backdrop is really nice. The locals all seemed cool, and willing to share climbs and be neighborly. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we were rained off. Hopefully I'll get to come back some time.
By mehlissa
Apr 30, 2015
I'll be in town visiting family this weekend and would like to make it out to climb at Grand Ledge one day, since I'm only an hour away and have never been. Anyone up for some climbing April 2nd or 3rd?
By kilolima
Aug 2, 2015
Didn't see this info anywhere, but how do top rope anchors work at GL? Trees, bolts, ??
By Parker Wrozek
Aug 13, 2015
It is mostly trees with a few bolts hee and there. Just be sure to follow the rules posted up earlier.

Typically 2 30' runs of webbing or cord will make you a good anchor.
By Connor Ellis
Feb 22, 2016
I see a ton of really bad reviews of Grand Ledge, but it really is special. After reading the reviews, I put off going until last weekend. That was a huge mistake. Since I live in Michigan, the only rocks there are are at Grand Ledge. The climbers are genial, the extra anchers and ropes are plentiful,and there are some sick classic routes. I adored Doug's Roof (worth going just for that one route), and Rocketman was just sweet. Deffinitely go if you are in the area, it is beautiful, covered in sun, and while the rock quality isn't Yosemite-granite, it is much less chossy than most reviews make it out to be. I 100% recommend it!
By Franco Cattani
May 9, 2016
Hey guys not from the area but I have an internship in the Detroit area so this look to be my only reasonable outdoor climbing destination for the summer. A couple quick questions for those that have been here, one is camping allowed anywhere around here, could make for a fun weekend trip? Also, this may have already been mentioned but i'm using the mobile phone app and I might have missed it. Anyways, how do the TR anchors work, are there bolts, bolts+chains, trees, etc.?

Thanks Guys

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