|GPS:||38.962, -92.321 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||Erik Pohlman on Dec 18, 2006|
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DescriptionMissouri 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
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 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
Elephant Rocks State Park
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.
St. Francois State Park
Limestone is many areas around St. Louis can be of extremely poor quality, but at the park that is not the case. Upon arrival, hike up the steep trail and you will meet a bolted wall of extremely high quality rock. This is the first area. From here, head left, down the bluff line and there are there is one separate area with bolted routes you will find. The farthest area has three bolted routes with bullet-hard rock and one great looking trad climb up a dihedral.
Popular Areas Near Kansas City
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.
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.
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
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.
Classic Climbing Routes at Missouri
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season