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Blue Mounds State Park (Luverne)

Minnesota

BLUE MOUNDS STATE PARK AT LUVERNE, MN

Blue Mounds State Park is located in the southwest corner of Minnesota. Located approximately 4 miles from the town of Luverne, BMSP offers rock climbing on quartzite similar to the rocks at Devils Lake, WI. The quartzite cliffs rise approximately 100 feet from the prairie and offer 50-60 foot climbs of various difficulty from 5.4 to 5.12. The area is primarily a traditional climbing crag, but top roping is possible with the proper gear. There are also number of bouldering problems. There are no bolted routes.

Getting There

Park Entrance
From the town of Luverne, go north 4 miles on Minnesota Hwy. 75. Turn east on County Road 20 (aka 161st st.) and go 1 mile to park entrance.

Climbing parking
The most commonly used climbing parking lot is off Rock County 8 (aka 141st street.) From Luverne take 75 north about 1 mile out of town (or from the state park ranger office at the camp ground take 75 south) and turn east on Rock County 8. Continue on Rock County 8 for 1.2 miles. As the road forks to the right there is a small parking lot on the left- park here. The majority of the approach trails are off the paved bike/pedestrian path. This bike/pedestrian path can also be reached from the camp grounds and you can approach the cliff from the north rather than the south (as long as you don't mind a bit of a walk.) Some climbs (particularly those in the forest) may be reached via Burr Oak Trail in the quarry.

As of 2018 climbers are no longer asked to visit the state park ranger office for registration prior to climbing. Instead, please have all members of your party register at the self-registration box in the parking lot described above.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Prairie Walls area with climbers on Cussin' Crack and Balcony Center
[Hide Photo] Prairie Walls area with climbers on Cussin' Crack and Balcony Center
The cactus of Blue Mounds - sometimes you will admire it while others you will curse it.  July, 2010.
[Hide Photo] The cactus of Blue Mounds - sometimes you will admire it while others you will curse it. July, 2010.
Blue Mounds in April 2004.
[Hide Photo] Blue Mounds in April 2004.
Prairie Walls
[Hide Photo] Prairie Walls
The snow behind the prairie wall buttress can hang around till late April some years.
[Hide Photo] The snow behind the prairie wall buttress can hang around till late April some years.
Great color in the rocks here at Blue Mounds
[Hide Photo] Great color in the rocks here at Blue Mounds
Setting up Anchors for Climbing
[Hide Photo] Setting up Anchors for Climbing
This is the place!
[Hide Photo] This is the place!
First Blue Mounds route guide - page 2, circa 1975
[Hide Photo] First Blue Mounds route guide - page 2, circa 1975

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] do any of the harder less well protected lines see leads here? Dec 18, 2006
Doug Lintz
Kearney, NE
[Hide Comment] BM is a good place for headpointing. I suggest Cactus Capers, No Go Crack, The Layback, Death Scream, and Purgatory for some "leadable" hard climbs. Dec 20, 2006
Paul Getzke
Bloomington, mn
[Hide Comment] I spent most of the last week bouldering in western Minnesota. Since there is no detailed mention of bouldering at Blue Mounds, I just wanted to report that there is bouldering and it's not too bad either. It starts in the woods below the interpretive center and goes all the way to the old quarry. There are a number of blocks, some big and some not so big. Two big ones are below the interpretive center in the woods. Take the Burr Oak Trail below the center and you will find them down the hill. There are several more smaller blocks along the trail heading towards the old quarry. Once you get to the quarry, check out the big boulder there. It is the future home of some very hard potential projects. One more boulder is downhill from there. Have fun! Sep 24, 2009
Doug Lintz
Kearney, NE
[Hide Comment] I think it's great that people are adding bouldering problems to the Blue Mounds database. There's some quality stuff to be found in the park.
That said if you're going to take the time to add them please give good directions and a description to these problems (ex. Na-Cho Ordinary Nachos). Let see some pics of these problems too!

Keep it at guys, there's definitely some gems out there. May 6, 2010
[Hide Comment] In June 2006, my buddy Sam and I were heading on back from climbing in the Black Hills. Halfway home (at the time IA), we pulled into Luverne to stave off the driving crazies. We were not looking to do much climbing in the Quarries, but we did have a crash pad. To our surprise, there were some fun boulder problems available. We spent a half day exploring the area and climbing. When we came home, we checked the guidebook and rockclimbing.com. To our surprise, there was hardly anything about the boulders in this area. So, we posted some pictures and some fun names (e.g., Jackalope and Urban Sasquatch... named for the intoxicated run of a naked climber out of their tent). We did not want to post rating, but they were all manageable and under V6. It's great to see that mountain project is posting these climbs!!! If you are on your way west on 94, it's worth a stop for a quick burn. Be careful of the cactus for 2 reasons: (a) they are local and you are not (b) they hurt like hell when you are throwing for what you think is the top... and get a fist full of fire. May 19, 2010
Sam Daley
Minneapolis, Minnesota
[Hide Comment] I want to thank everyone who has been putting boulder problems online, it inspires me to continue returning to Blue Mounds! My friend Jak and I just had a great visit. We are going to be adding a few problems that we did not find online. If you have done these before and have any information on names/grades/FAs dont hesitate to contact either of us. Also if these problems are already up somewhere else let us know so we can mitigate confusion. Aug 22, 2010
[Hide Comment] What size pro should I bring if I'm going to be toproping, is there any natural protection? Jan 26, 2011
Doug Lintz
Kearney, NE
[Hide Comment] For a day of top-roping at BM I usually bring two or three pieces of 30 to 50 foot webbing, single set of stoppers, set of cams, and medium to large hexes. Some people like using tri-cams at BM but I think they're more hassle than it's worth (I have bootied a few though).
Many of the popular areas don't have much for natural pro. There's a few trees and boulders you can sling but they often sit far back from the cliff edge thus the need for long webbing.
Some of the routes require thought-provoking gear placements for top-rope setups. Often there's regulars there that can tell you exactly what to use for specific routes. Don't be afraid to ask. Jan 27, 2011
[Hide Comment] I agree with Doug about the long webbing! It is very useful for building anchors at Blue Mounds since you'll often have to go far back from the cliff edge for placements. Bring plenty if you want to make things easier on yourself or create multiple anchors. Feb 19, 2011
[Hide Comment] We're locals and love going out to the park; family has fun climbing the rocks that go into the campground area; looking for someone with more experience to show us what we need and teach us the right way to do things; once a year Blue Mound has started to have a clinic, but wish they would do more! Mar 6, 2011
Jon Marek
Spearfish, SD
[Hide Comment] Great bouldering guide for the area can be found here.

A Field Guide to Minnesota Bouldering Apr 8, 2012
trisgo
Omaha, NE (at the moment)
[Hide Comment] Can anyone tell me where to get a map that lables where the different buttresses are? There's a nice one for Palisades, but I can't find anything for Blue Mounds. Sep 17, 2012
Doug Lintz
Kearney, NE
[Hide Comment] trisgo,
Do you mean the buttresses of Prairie Walls? If so check out the pic below, otherwise the Minnesota/Wisconsin Falcon guide by Mike Farris is the best for locating all of the specific areas of BM. He does have a new edition coming out "soon".

Sep 17, 2012
chris tregge
Beersconsin
[Hide Comment] The new guide has been out for several months. It's on Mike's website or on Amazon.

mfarris.net/

amazon.com/Rock-Climbing-Mi… Sep 18, 2012
Jon Marek
Spearfish, SD
[Hide Comment] Only after moving away and climbing at numerous quartzite crags did I realize just how AMAZING the rock is in Blue Mounds. The entire length of cliff-line in BMSP is without question the most consistently high quality quartzite I have ever climbed! Enjoy this place, it is very special. Jun 11, 2013
BlakeaDeppe
Sioux Falls, SD
[Hide Comment] Just moved to Sioux Falls and looking for some people to climb/boulder with. I am thinking about heading to the mounds tomorrow and possibly also on Thursday. I would love to have some company! Oct 28, 2014
James C.
Carbondale, CO
[Hide Comment] Moved to Wahpeton, ND from Colorado. Looking for some people to climb with in this great flat land. Will provide beer and/or childish humor.

Also, I don't know if Settlers of Catan is part of the climbing culture up here just yet... but it should be. Sep 10, 2016
Benedict Rasmussen
Omaha, NE
[Hide Comment] Be sure to hide belongings when parking to climb. I had a window shattered and my wife's purse stolen from the parking area in Aug '18. The parking area doesn't have a lot of traffic, so it may be smart to take valuables with you to the wall. Aug 21, 2018
[Hide Comment] Wondering if it is dry enough yet? It has been pretty wet lately. May 2, 2019