Elevation: 890 ft
GPS: 43.821, -89.886 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Remo on Aug 8, 2008
Admins: Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, chris tregge
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Access Issue: Quincy and at least parts of rattlesnake are state natural areas and thus closes to climbing. Please respect the ban. Details


The Central Sandstone areas are bluffs littered with boulders that rise out of the central plains of Adams County. Located between Adams-Friendship and Wisconsin Dells, are Rattlesnake Mound and Quincy Bluff Reserve. Both really cool, state owned areas, with easy access and great sandstone.

(**Quincy Bluff is actually jointly owned by the Nature Conservancy and the state, and no climbing is allowed at Quincy at this time** -Eggert)

Rattlesnake has more rock and established problems, but both areas are worth a trip. About 5 years ago, a couple tornadoes touched down right on top of Rattlesnake and threw trees all over the area. Locals along with the state cleared a lot of the windthrow. Some boulders are still covered but its not bad.

Admin note: "Parts of Rattlesnake and all of Quincy are included in the dnr's State Natural Area program so please respect that and do not climb in areas that are signed as State Natural Areas."

Getting There

A Wisconsin Atlas helps for this one:

Rattlesnake is just off of HWY 13 north of Wis Dells. If driving north, turn left onto Edgewood Dr. and continue west for a couple miles. Turn right (north) on 14th Ct, and the bluffs are just to your right. Park where you see the rock at the saddle, and hike to boulders. Boulders are scattered near both sides of each bluff. Distances are close so makes the hiking easy.

Quincy Bluff is located just south west of Rattlesnake. If heading north on Hwy 13 turn left onto County HWY H. Take H west to Evergreen Ave. Turn right and follow Evergreen to 16th Dr. Turn right here and head north. Quincy is a few miles up on your right hand side. There is a small grass parking lot with a state reserve sign ,with maps, etc. Walk the trail always staying left around to the bluff. The Main Boulder is at the far end of the rim. Boulders are scattered here.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Central Sandstone

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V4 6B
Beached Whale
V4 6B
Jump for Joy
V4 6B
Down South Raven
V5 6C
Can't hang
V6-7 7A+
Direct Line
V7 7A+
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Trad, TR
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Solo Crack
Trad, TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Trad, TR
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Good Afternoon George Bailey
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Beached Whale Rattlesnake Mound > House Boulder Area
V4 6B Boulder
Jump for Joy Rattlesnake Mound > Main Cliff East
V4 6B Boulder
Down South Raven Rattlesnake Mound > House Boulder Area
V4 6B Boulder
Can't hang Rattlesnake Mound > Main Cliff East
V5 6C Boulder
Direct Line Quincy Bluff & Wetlan…
V6-7 7A+ Boulder
Chaos Rattlesnake Mound > Main Cliff East
V7 7A+ Boulder
Pigmy Rattlesnake Mound > Main Cliff West
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a Trad, TR
Solo Crack Rattlesnake Mound > Main Cliff West
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad, TR
Cottonmouth Rattlesnake Mound > Main Cliff East
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
Good Afternoon George Bailey Owens Rock > Main Face
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b TR
More Classic Climbs in Central Sandstone »

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John W. Knoernschild   Wisconsin
Thx for posting this Remo. You told me about it when I met you, but I forgot where it was :) Aug 8, 2008
The new directions to Quincy work great. However, it is posted that climbing is not allowed there. Anyone else notice that? Should this area really be listed on MP?? Nov 5, 2008
See this website for Quincy rules:

nature.org/wherewework/nort… Nov 5, 2008
Broomfield, CO
sweatpants   Broomfield, CO
that kinda blows! is there any thing we can do on our end to remedy that situation do u think? Nov 5, 2008
Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams   Minneapolis
I deleted my comment. Despite the desire to go and finish that one great problem, I fully respect that this is a nature preserve and they do not want any number of a list of activities in the preserve, including climbing.

There's more than enough at G Dodge, and the one boulder isn't much to fight over.

Jonathan Williams Nov 5, 2008
Madison, WI
Remo   Madison, WI
I agree with Jonathan. Quincy is a fun little spot, but not worth getting into trouble with the state, it should be left alone if climbing is not allowed. I hope that my posting of this area doesn't cause for more problems and access issues. Thanks guys for digging up the literature on preserves, it will help others understand the issue. Nov 11, 2008
Jim H
Pasadena, CA
Jim H   Pasadena, CA
Within thier rights or not, the nature conservancy's shutting down of an area still blows. Just speaking my mind. Sep 8, 2009
chris tregge
chris tregge   Beersconsin  
Yes Jim I agree. To be clear, climbing is not allowed only at Quincy Bluff and Preserve-- it's ok to climb at the other areas listed for Central Sandstone on this page. Jim have you called the Nature Conservancy to ask why or if there is anything that can be done? I would be willing to do that (fully expecting to get shut down). The main boulder at Quincy looks so good that it would be worth at least a call if not a petition. Of course it's still within their rights to say No Way.

It's my opinion that the area should be left on here for historical sake however. Thanks Remo for posting. Sep 8, 2009
Westerly, RI
RhodeIslandJeff   Westerly, RI
We have an area here in RI that is joint owned by the DEM (ri's version of the dnr), audubon, and the Nature Conser. A deal with the state has allowed climbing on dem property with exception of one spot (not there). That said the place in question with tri ownersip has some of the best granite climbing in the state and was developed some 40 plus years ago. TNC does not allow climbing here and has posted as such. Worse yet they use tax payers money enforcing their rules with a full time DEM ranger who patrols the property on a regular basis. I'm amazed the TNC has allowed hunting on some of their properties in WI because around here hunting on TNC property is strictly forbiden. Perhaps this angle might somehow allow some room for climbing if handled properly. Good luck with that. On a side note the TNC are no angels. Read on if your interested in TNC corruption.
prfamerica.org/indices/Land… Jan 22, 2011
Awesome "chill" area to climb spent the whole day there and only seen one couple. Easy routes for beginners!!! (me) I'm talking about Rattlesnake Mound not Quincy btw Mar 27, 2012