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Interstate SP (Taylors Falls)

Minnesota

INTERSTATE STATE PARK AT TAYLORS FALLS, MN

The quaint Minnesota village of Taylors Falls is a short hour (45 miles) away to the northeast of the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. A small town of approximately 1000 residents, this area is jam packed with all-year recreational activities. There are many things to do in the immediate area. Wild Mountain Recreation offers a water park, alpine slide and go karts during summer months, and skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing for wintertime fun. Canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and climbing are favorite warm-weather activities.

Rock climbing is mostly located in the Interstate State Park. This 300-acre area is managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and is one of the four state parks specifically designated for rock climbing activities. Interstate Park sees a lot of traffic; upwards of 370,000 annual visitors come out to check out the geologic wonders at the park. It's not unusual to be applauded by a large crowd when one finishes a climb in the Tourist Area. Climbers are required to obtain a climbing permit free of charge from the Park Ranger station, and must carry it with them while climbing. The permits are valid for the calendar year.

Interstate Park is a traditional climbing and bouldering area; there are no bolted sport routes.

WEATHER AT INTERSTATE STATE PARK

Taylors Falls, MN - Weather forecast

GETTING THERE

From the Twin Cities (and points south)

Head north on I-35E or I-35W (depending on where you are on the cities), continue on I-35 heading north to Duluth. Take US-8 (exit 132) and follow US-8 east towards Taylors Falls approximately 16 miles. At the bottom of a prominent hill is a stop sign. Turn right in to the Interstate Park parking lot. If you get to the bridge over the St. Croix, you've passed the entrance. If you see the welcome to Wisconsin sign... you are on your own.

From Duluth (and points north)

Head south on I-35 towards Minneapolis/St Paul. Take US-8 (exit 132) and follow US-8 east towards Taylors Falls approximately 16 miles. At the bottom of a prominent hill is a stop sign. Turn right in to the Interstate Park parking lot. If you get to the bridge over the St. Croix, you've passed the entrance. If you see the welcome to Wisconsin sign... you are on your own.

From St. Cloud (and points west)

Head east on MN-95, stay on MN-95 until you get to Taylors Falls.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Climber Kristina Suorsa
<br>
Photo by Anthony Johnson
[Hide Photo] Climber Kristina Suorsa Photo by Anthony Johnson
Climber Kristina Suorsa
<br>
Photo by Anthony Johnson
[Hide Photo] Climber Kristina Suorsa Photo by Anthony Johnson
Some decent bouldering areas
[Hide Photo] Some decent bouldering areas
Climber Anthony Johnson
<br>
Photo by Kristina Suorsa
[Hide Photo] Climber Anthony Johnson Photo by Kristina Suorsa
Climber Jo Lee
<br>
Photo by Anthony Johnson
[Hide Photo] Climber Jo Lee Photo by Anthony Johnson
Scott Herrick; Column Direct (5.9), he climbed it clean!
[Hide Photo] Scott Herrick; Column Direct (5.9), he climbed it clean!
Climber Kristina Suorsa
<br>
Photo by Anthony Johnson
[Hide Photo] Climber Kristina Suorsa Photo by Anthony Johnson
Looking over the St. Croix into WI.
[Hide Photo] Looking over the St. Croix into WI.
Near the ferry launch. Looking towards the trail leading to the MN strip
[Hide Photo] Near the ferry launch. Looking towards the trail leading to the MN strip
Geo mark along the trails. Near tourist rocks area, closer to the river
[Hide Photo] Geo mark along the trails. Near tourist rocks area, closer to the river
BH sending a new TR at Taylor Falls, circa 1987.
[Hide Photo] BH sending a new TR at Taylor Falls, circa 1987.
View from the Minnesota Strip
[Hide Photo] View from the Minnesota Strip

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] How come no one besides Ian and Glenn have added anything to this Interstate Park site?
Thank you Glenn and Ian!
I used to be a Taylors Falls Local (circa 1972-82).
I am always intersted in any new development in the area, or fun stories from the past, and this site is lacking both.
I illustrated the guidebook "Close to the Edge, Down by the River"
- a short-lived and out of print guidebook to Taylors Falls circa early eighties.
Back in the seventies, my friends and I toproped all of the lines on That Dam Rock. I don't know if it still goes by that name, but this rock is on the Minnesota side, just below the dam that is upstream from the bridge.
When we first climbed on this rock, we were pulling off loose stuff with every move and it appeared that we were doing new lines.
Nothing had been published on this rock and I moved to Colorado back in 82, where I no longer am privy to the goings on at TF.
Can anyone add any information about That Dam Rock?
Does it still go by that name?
Has it finally cleaned up into some nice lines? Nov 22, 2006
[Hide Comment] I believe I left my .75 Black Diamond camalot near Sentinal. If anybody found it and would like to return the booty, I'd appreciate it! sas@umn.edu Jul 31, 2007
[Hide Comment] Back in the seventies, my friends and I toproped all of the lines on That Dam Rock. I don't know if it still goes by that name, but this rock is on the Minnesota side, just below the dam that is upstream from the bridge.
When we first climbed on this rock, we were pulling off loose stuff with every move and it appeared that we were doing new lines.
Nothing had been published on this rock and I moved to Colorado back in 82, where I no longer am privy to the goings on at TF.
Can anyone add any information about That Dam Rock?
Does it still go by that name?
Has it finally cleaned up into some nice lines? Jan 18, 2008
Matthew Prom
West Saint Paul, MN
[Hide Comment] Hey Tom,

I don't know if anyone has sent you a message regarding your comment at all. I thought I had heard something about it before, but don't recall where. Some of the other guys/gals from MN who climb out there more frequently might know something about it. I will ask around,and the next time I am out there I will take a stroll to the Dam. -MP Apr 4, 2008
Blake K
Carrboro, NC
[Hide Comment] Tom,

Just started climbing at Taylors Falls last summer, so crazy stuff to report on yet. If you're ever back in the neighborhood and want to scout out That Dam Rock send me a message or post - you bring the beta and I'll supply the beer!

-Blake May 11, 2009
Blake K
Carrboro, NC
[Hide Comment] Anyone heading to TF this Saturday (4/24)? Looking to do some top roping for a few hours... Apr 19, 2010
[Hide Comment] Hi ya'll. I was wondering if anyone knows if there are any rocks at TP that have anchor systems at the top for top rope climbing permanently setup. Thanks. May 1, 2010
Jonathan Williams
Minneapolis
[Hide Comment] Nope. Permanent anchors are not allowed in the State Park. A few old bolts are present over less popular climbs, which the park is particularly displeased about. There is extensive adequate trees and cracks for setting up topropes over all climbs. Top-rope setup skills required. May 1, 2010
Matt Krieger
Minneapolis, MN
[Hide Comment] Someone recently added a beefy chain around one of the big boulders at the top of the Keyhole Direct route so you don't have to sling it anymore. Not sure who/when but it's definitely shiny and new (as of when I saw it 04/10/2010). As with all TR anchors I find out in the wild, I still set some other anchors around it. I would recommend you do the same. May 3, 2010
randy baum
Minneapolis, MN
[Hide Comment] no water. as of 4/29, both sides of the park were above water. Apr 30, 2011
Peter L Scott
Pequot Lakes, MN
[Hide Comment] Tom Hanson you old cartoonist, how are you?

For those of you who don't know, Tom drew the cartoons for "Close to the Edge, Down by the River a Climbers Guide to Interstate Park" i.e. Taylors Falls.

In 1988 Peter VonGrossmann and I authored and published this fine book. We revised it a few years later.

Times were certainly different then. This was before the rise in popularity of climbing. Smoking cigarettes (and other things), drinking (we usually had a beer in our chalk bag). We had a lot of fun but alas we had to grow up.

Hope you all are having fun climbing. Sep 20, 2011
[Hide Comment] Hi Pete Scott,

Good to hear from you.
I am still around and still climbing, though not as often as I would like.
When I can get out I still prefer to seek out virgin stone for the FA, since, for me, it is more creative and adventuresome.
I have become an inbred local in Douglas County, Colorado.
I can see Castlewood Canyon from my front window and Devils Head from my back window.
These two areas consume most of my time, though I do get out of my box from time to time.
I talk to Peter VonGrossman from time to time.
I do miss the old days and the Minnesota crew.
Do you still get out and climb? Oct 7, 2011
[Hide Comment] Hi!

After some amazingly fun family bouldering trips to the falls, we've decided to set a goal of toproping by the end of summer 2013.

We've gathered enough gear for the four of us, but our experience with TR outside of the gym is nill.

I was hoping to reach out to someone with experience setting TR in the falls, and maybe learn a thing or two.

Any suggestions are welcomed. Jan 17, 2013
[Hide Comment] The MN Bouldering guide has an extensive section on Taylors Falls bouldering. The author Richard Cargill spend over a year making sure every problem at Taylors Falls was climbed and documented accurately. You can order online at escapeclimbing.com/extra/mn…
Nov 5, 2013
James C.
Carbondale, CO
[Hide Comment] Questions:
1. Do you need a Wisconsin or Minnesota Vehicle Access Pass, or will either work?
2. Camping... preferably the cheapest and most primitive option... because I'm a dirtbag climber.
3. Anyone know of a spot in the vicinity that one might leave a vehicle for three nights where it might not be towed or ticketed?
4. Anyone want to climb this weekend? :D May 26, 2016
Kara Hakanson
Minnesota
[Hide Comment] Finally made it out to TF for the first time for some top roping. The book warned us we'd be climbing with wasps and holy $#!+ were they right. Scared many wasps out of holds, people climbed with some on their back or hands...thankfully, the wasps were pretty lethargic so too sleepy to get testy enough to sting. Tired everyone out by ending on Double Cracks. Minnesota Strip was packed when we arrived late-ish morning, so we stuck to the Keyhole area where we were lucky to have it all to ourselves all day. We all walked away sting-free, a little sunburned, sore, and totally psyched. Headed to The Drive In for well-deserved burgers and shakes. Highly recommend this place post-climb if you haven't been! May 1, 2018