Elevation: 776 ft
GPS: 38.962, -92.321 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Marcus Floyd on Dec 18, 2006 with improvements by Joe Reidhead
Admins: Marcus Floyd, Dave Hug

Description

Missouri offers rock climbers a diversity of geological exposures, ranging from a variety of sedimentary sandstone, conglomerates, and limestone layers to an array of igneous granite and rhyolite outcroppings. While the old, eroded Saint Francois Mountains, located in the southeast part of the state, provide steep inclines for the training mountain climber, crags range from 20 ft sandstone boulders to 200 ft limestone cliffs also enable technical climbers to challenge individual sport specific goals. Throughout the state, the water sculpted landscape reveals rock which can draw the attention of just about any passing rock hound, but it is easy for one to surmise that a majority of the developed climbing is found in the lower half of Missouri, below the I-70 line. This is due to the dramatic environmental conditions of the past that has left us with the wonderful woodlands that we know as the Ozarks today. Due to the St. Francis Mountains piercing the sedimentary layers from below, glaciers pressing down from the north, and uplift of the Ozark plateau, much of our climbing is found along our diverse rivers and lakes. Many of the bluffs face south, making most of them fantastic winter destinations.

Popular Areas Near Columbia

Capen Park

Small crag with about 20 routes and around 55' tall. Most of the routes are top roped due to many of the lines were freed with traditional lead gear or free soloed. There are a few bolts on top of the cliff but expect to build natural anchors off the trees up top. Very easy access for anyone, so beware of non-climbers at the top of the cliffs. Routes vary from 5.5 to 5.12.

The Drive-In is another Capen Park crag that was developed as a sport climbing specific area. A handful of bolted lines face north, offering a shady spot for those warmer days. Routes vary from 5.6 to 5.11.

Providence

Around Town

Providence is a traditional crag consisting of several miles of different limestone exposures. Most sport climbs are 5.9 or harder with just a handful of beginner climbs rated 5.8 or easier. Some climbs can be top-roped with long runners but there are around one hundred bolted lines. The classic Providence Crack and crack climbs needing an assortment small to large cams can provide traditionalists with plenty of fun. The Batress Crack is a great 5.8 that just sucks up pro! Routes vary from 5.4 to 5.13.

Popular Areas Near St. Louis

Robinson Bluff

Developed for climbers of all grades and styles, Robinson Bluff is a Midwestern sport climber’s haven. Here, moderate face climbing prevails with some spicy overhangs and obvious cracks. Within a few yards of the Big River and scenic views of rural rolling hills, Robinson Bluff is a new sport climbing destination in Missouri.
Robinson Bluff gives Midwest sport climbers a new place to climb outdoors. It's close. It's beautiful. And the routes are tall, have great movement and are set for all levels.

Elephant Rocks State Park

Tablecloth

Welcome to Missouri's finest granite bouldering destination! Elephant Rocks offers a plethora of bouldering problems for every level climber. The rock is a large grained granite, which can be quite sharp and abrasive. Very good for friction though. Elephant Rocks is located about an hour and a half from St. Louis.

The park can be really crowded with family tourists, but I have yet to see any other climbers there. Because of the crowds, climbing is only recommended on weekdays. Also, roped climbing is prohibited within the park.

Johnson Shut-Ins State Park

A direct quote from Jim Thurmond & Joe Reidhead's book Rock Climbs of Johnson Shut-Ins State Park:

"During the climbing season, Johnson Shut-Ins is an excellent place for beginner climbers to get off the ground outdoors. It is an equally excellent crag for the expert who wants to shred tips and get a good pump. Often, more then one route can be climbed using the same top rope. The density of the routes allows beginners and experts to climbs side by side."

Johnson Shut-Ins is Missouri's old school traditional crag. The wall cut out by the Black River offers great possibilities for traditional leads. Much like Vedauwoo or Joshua Tree, Johnson Shut-Ins is a great destination for all.

Pere Marquette State Park

Molly Gabel deciphering the crux on the Hespen Arete

The Illinois Climbers Association is proud to present Illinois' newest rock climbing destination, Pere Marquette State Park. Located an hour from St. Louis just outside the lively town of Grafton, Pere Marquette offers highly featured limestone formations great for climbing. Since early 2015 the ICA has been working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to gain their blessing for this project, which includes new trails, landscaping with natural rock steps, and both sport routes and top-anchors for traditional leads. This new climbing area will ultimately have over 60 climbing routes.

Popular Areas Near Kansas City

Cliff Drive

Climbing can be found almost in the heart of Kansas City? Too good to be true? Nope, it's there!

Along an old scenic byway, right off the road, limestone can be found. The area is shady, in more ways than one, but it seems to be improving. The rock tends to be smooth, forcing harder grips and improved foot technique. Perfect for training.

Summer can be hot and buggy and winter can be cold.

Warsaw

Resurrection

South-facing, decent quality limestone, lakeside bluffs. Sun all day, but usually windy. On good weekends, you may see 2 or 3 other parties.

Mostly vertical to slightly overhanging sport routes, though there are a few exceptions (trad, steep). Most require a 50 meter rope, but a 60 is necessary for the super sweet Tigerbill. Since access is from the top, toproping is also an option on most climbs.

Raven Rocks

Standalone sandstone towers. “Deep” water soloing. Year round climbing. Free Camping. Fixed steel lower-offs. And tons of easy to moderate sport climbs!

Popular Area Near Springfield

Peters Branch

Jabba the Hut

Peter's Branch is a locally popular sandstone bouldering crag near Sparta, MO. Sitting within the Mark Twain National Forest with no official parking, it is not the most accessible crag. However, this crag does feature climbing from V0 to V10 on a some unique features in a remote setting. It is definitely worth the trouble.

Getting There

Click on individual areas to obtain specific directions.

1,046 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Missouri

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V4 6B
 15
Smoke
Boulder
V4 6B
 22
Jabba the Hut
Boulder
V5 6C
 8
Airbags and Crashpads
Boulder
V6 7A
 7
Last Picnic
Boulder
V7 7A+
 7
Natural D's
Boulder
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 30
Birds of a Feather
Sport, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 32
Ain't No Thing But A Chicken Wing
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 27
Beehive
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 46
Red Dihedral
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 22
Karp Tool
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 30
Sweet Crack
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 17
Planet of Sound
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 19
Titos Arete
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 15
Little Trad
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 11
Streaker
Sport, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Smoke EM: Elephant Ro… > D: The Porch
 15
V4 6B Boulder
Jabba the Hut SW: Peter's Branch > Sunny Side
 22
V4 6B Boulder
Airbags and Crashpads EM: Dutzow - Ut… > Dutzow Boulder
 8
V5 6C Boulder
Last Picnic EM: Elephant Ro… > A: Picnic Area
 7
V6 7A Boulder
Natural D's SW: Peter's Branch > Future Cave
 7
V7 7A+ Boulder
Birds of a Feather WM: Raven Rocks > Lighthouse (middle rock)
 30
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport, TR
Ain't No Thing But A Chicke… EM: Robinson Bluff > 2: North, Climb… > D: Picasso Wall
 32
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Beehive EM: Robinson Bluff > 1: South, Climb… > A: Lily Wall
 27
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Red Dihedral EM: Robinson Bluff > 2: North, Climb… > C: Red Dihedral Wall
 46
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Karp Tool CM: Providence > N Area > Battress Area
 22
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Sweet Crack EM: Robinson Bluff > 2: North, Climb… > C: Red Dihedral Wall
 30
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Planet of Sound WM: Monegaw Spr… > Burns Side
 17
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Titos Arete EM: Robinson Bluff > 2: North, Climb… > D: Picasso Wall
 19
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Little Trad EM: St Francois SP > A: Main Bluff > B: Tre France Wall
 15
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Streaker CM: Wilton > Sport Wall
 11
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport, TR
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