Elevation: 3,244 ft
GPS: 44.086, -103.242 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 13,140 total · 67/month
Shared By: Peter Gram on Jan 2, 2003
Admins: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Mike Madsen, Mark Rafferty
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The Meat Packing Plant area refers to all of the sandstone situated on the "M" hill near the gap in Rapid City. I suppose that the name is out of date after the fire a few years ago at the plant, but this has been what the area has been called traditionally.

There is a limited number of excellent boulder problems in the area, and some possibility for some trad leads with various cracks, and also some topropes on faces up to maybe 40 feet high.

Getting There

The most common approach is to park near the corner of the two streets which intersect at the front gate of the meat packing plant. This is the first major right turn off of Omaha street after getting on Omaha from I-190 (West Blvd). The road is 12th Street, which should cross the creek and take a 90 degree turn to the left.

Walk towards the fence and follow a prominent trail that runs between the fence and the creek around the plant. Once past this, there is a small building with a nice overhanging boulder behind it called the Vegan boulder. The Vegan boulder is the most common destination, but other rocks can be found by following the trail at its base up the hillside towards the "M".

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Classic Climbing Routes at Meat Packing Plant

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V0 4
Center Roof Problem
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Center Roof Problem Vegan Boulder
V0 4 Boulder
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Brent Kertzman
Black Hills, SD
Brent Kertzman   Black Hills, SD
The overhanging boulder refered to as "The Vegan Boulder" is really named "Settler's Rock". This was the first campsite of Rapid Cities founders in the 1800's. John Evans probably did the first ascent of the easiest route thru the roof (5.10a/V0)in the early 1960's. There are numerous routes that were established prior to 1984 when Mark Jacobs and Mike Engle climbed any possible variation that was previously unascended. I suspect I may have worked out a new variation or two myself in the early 1980's.

It was in the early 1980's that Monte Carlson and myself cleaned up and climbed the "Sculpted Traverse" which is the obvious south facing traverse on a boulder to the west and uphill from Settler's Rock.

There are at least 100 problems that were worked out by 1985 on every formation along this escarpment. Likewise there are over 20 routes that have been led or toproped on the main wall. The climbing is not real appealing but will provide a quick wicked pump. This area is best suited the winter. Jan 9, 2003
Just started to explore the area ... the opportunity does not present itself often (since I live in Lead), but since my wife and I are selling bread at the Farmer's Market (Honey Whole Wheat and quick breads), I decided to take my boy across the creek and check out Vegan Boulder.I suggest parking at the Farmer's Market/Prehistoric Fish/Volleyball parking area and wading across the creek. Always head towards the brick building (visible from parking lot) and you cannot miss Vegan. On your way back buy some fresh, non-commercial farm produced veggies/fruit and some of my wife's bread (she's there Tues and Thurs). The market is open 10 AM - 5 PM, MTWRF & Sa.

Jul 20, 2004
Hey everyone. This place is my favorite boulder to climb. It's in town, close to everything, and has many differant variations. You can hike a little bit further up the hill and try some harder stuff as well.
But if you are going to use this boulder. I would appreciate it if you wernt a douche bag, and just made sure not to trash the place. There is some construction going on around, so just respect the area.
Thanks every one, and have fun. I will post some pictures here sooner or later. Feb 27, 2007
Rapid City, SD
Dallas   Rapid City, SD
Lots of wasps in the wall, Lots of cacti on the walk Aug 30, 2009
Mt. Rushmore is looking to revamp their climbing management policy regarding parking along the highway (Emancipation, Monster, Marker), the trails to the climbs themselves, and possibly re-writing the overall management plan in conjunction with the Forest Service to cover all areas of the Rushmore climbing area. Bruce Weisman from MORU is coming to the BHCC meeting this Wed. to discuss the plan with climbers and to get input as they are in the planning stages at this point and are looking for input during a public comment period until the 28th of Feb.

In addition to this, The Rapid City Parks Department is proposing to close the Vegan Boulder/Founder’s Rock to all climbing due to concern about the historic etchings and signatures being eroded and damaged from climbing and other activity. As a result of this, the Parks department is also interested in working with local climbers in a project to install synthetic boulders in a city park space (possibly Founder’s Park). Jerry Cole from
the Parks Department is coming to the Black Hills Climbers Coalition Meeting this Feb. 15th at the School of Mines (meeting room is at Classroom Building 204W).

Come meet with Jerry, Bruce, and other climbers to hear the details of the proposals, provide input, and be a part of the process moving forward. Please spread the word and hope to see you all at the meeting. Feb 11, 2012

Video of my ascent. Mar 28, 2016