The town of Sandstone has a surprising amount of climbing spread between 3 areas: Robinson Park, Eldon, and Banning State Park.
Robinson Park has sport climbing, farmed ice climbing, dry tooling, and a handful of boulders. The movement from frowned-upon top-roping in the 80s to legitimate, town-sponsored climbing took many years, and was the work of many, but most notably Jeff Engel. This area now has some awesome sport climbing (the best stuff is 5.12, though there is good moderate climbing as well), and people every winter flock to the area for the best and probably the most accessible ice climbing in MN.
Across the river from Robinson lies Eldon. This land holds the best bouldering between Colorado and New England, though, admittedly, the boulders there are few. The sale of this land by Sandy and Eldon Johnson, and purchase by the MCA was manna from the heavens for Minnesota climbing. The Johnsons have been comfortable with a handful of people occasionally going to this area to boulder. The few climbers who knew about it (1995?-2014) were reticent to share it, for fear that it would be overburdened and abused by too many climbers, and access closed. That said, the Johnsons were always welcoming, and the sale of their land to climbers is a lasting legacy of their generosity to the climbing community.
North of Eldon lies Banning State Park. This area has been shrouded in even more mystery than the Johnson property. See the specific page, when it is up, for more detail. Again, Jeff Engel, and others, worked very hard to get this area open. As of July 20, 2014, there are still restrictions on where, and what type, of climbing can be done here. Make sure to get a permit when you arrive, and stick to the areas they allow climbing in.
All of these areas are recently opened, and many motivated people have worked for years to gently nudge them in this direction, with diplomacy, generosity, and hard work. The first goal with these areas, as with any area you visit as a climber, should be to act in a way that is conducive with maintaining access.
Please be good to this land, to the state parks and their staff that have granted us access, and to the kind people of Sandstone for welcoming us into their community.
Sandstone, MN is a small town just off of I 35, north of the Twin Cities about 1 hour 20 min, and south of Duluth about 1 hour. Please refer to the individual pages for directions to the individual areas.
Weather station 6.6 miles from here
38 Total Routes
['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',13],['2 Stars',20],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Sandstone:
Featured Route For Sandstone
Nakoma (formerly The Niche) 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c MN
: ... : Sigma Wall
30 feet right of Wild Things. Stick clip first two bolts, as the first 10-12 moves compose a hard boulder poem that leaves no room for clipping nor tea. TECHNERFUL (Technical AND Powerful)A unique and thrilling traverse section, tricky clip and dihedral prayer will show you to an enjoyable and victorious second-half of rock climbing. Previously, this line of rock was known as The Niche, a 12b top rope that started on Wild Things and traversed 30ish feet into a 5.12 face/arete/dihedral. ...[more] Browse More Classics in MN
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