Elevation: 808 ft
GPS: 47.445, -91.068 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 6,855 total · 51/month
Shared By: Shawn P. Tracy on Jan 2, 2008
Admins: Kris Gorny, chris tregge
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Access Issue: Manitou River Ice climbs closed Details


Manitou River has been closed to climbing indefinitely by the land owner. This page is retained for historical record only.

Ice and mixed climbing in this wild river setting provide a very accessible wilderness-like climbing environment. Up to 8 or so routes form somewhat unreliably, and variably, from year to year depending on what you call "in." Routes range about 65 feet in length (+/-).

The grades provided herein are a best-estimate and will only occasionally come close to the conditions you may find on any given day. Furthermore, the route Lady in Waiting (route #5) has not been climbed by myself and I needed to submit my best estimate of the most frequent conditions (mixed) and based its grade relative to mixed and dry-tool routes found in Sandstone, Casket Quarry and Orient Bay

Getting There

North of Little Marais on Highway 61. Look for the River's signage on the bridge. Either take the river north (when passable) or follow the north lip of the canyon while avoiding tresspassing on private property. If following lip, stick to the woods on the north rim until you can hear the Falls. Drop down to edge and walk a bit down river to look for slings on trees on the tops of routes 7 and 8.

8 Total Climbs

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Location: Manitou River ICE (North Shore) Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Manitou River ICE (North Shore)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Route 3
Trad, TR, Ice
Route 7
Trad, TR, Ice
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Route 3
WI4- Trad, TR, Ice
Route 7
WI3 Trad, TR, Ice
More Classic Climbs in Manitou River ICE (North Shore) »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Shane Steele
Grand Marais, MN
Shane Steele   Grand Marais, MN
Access at the Manitou is currently contested- be aware that the landowners do not tolerate climbers at this time. Local climbing advocates are currently working on the issue, so climb elsewhere for now! Dec 3, 2018
Burton Lindquist
Madison, WI
Burton Lindquist   Madison, WI  
So access is even an issue if you walk in from river bottom and lead climb to anchors? I can totally understand if this is the case as well but am just wondering. Dec 5, 2018
Shane Steele
Grand Marais, MN
Shane Steele   Grand Marais, MN
Here's the most recent escalation at the Manitou: Midway through last season a new and more obvious 'no trespassing' sign replaced the subtle old 'private property' sign that had been there. Last week I stopped to check out ice conditions and noticed some new developments. A gate now blocks the top access trail and from the gate there are a few wooden posts about 3 feet high connected with barbed wire. Behind the gate a path wide enough to get a truck through has been cleared. The landowner is obviously taking more of an interest in what happens on their property. The trail down to the river has been stuffed up with brush and cleared trees. These obstacles are easy to get around, but the message is clear- stay out. If people get caught crossing the property to climb, it will most likely hurt the chances of reopening access. Dec 5, 2018
Damn. '17-18 season my climbing partner was asked to vacate at gunpoint while up top. I was on the river during their conversation. Presumably by the landowner, but we didn't question their credentials. Dec 13, 2018