Mountain Project Logo

Areas in Devil's Lake Bouldering

Burma Road Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 39 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 39
East Bluff Bouldering 5 / 0 / 0 / 424 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 425
Far East Area 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Sandstone Area 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Skillet Creek Bouldering 1 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
South Bluff Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 123 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 123
Steinke Basin Bouldering 9 / 0 / 14 / 24 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 38
West Bluff Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 381 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 381
Elevation: 961 ft
GPS: 43.415, -89.732 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 280,944 total, 2,766/month
Shared By: Jay Knower on Aug 11, 2009
Admins: Burt Lindquist, Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, Chris treggE

Description

This page contains all of the bouldering spots spread throughout the park. Split up now under different areas, mostly by which shore or bluff the bouldering follows.

Due to the ongoing explosion of bouldering at the Lake, please keep comments to informative ones under the problems if possible.


Click here for the Climbing Narc's West Bluff guide

Click here for a photocopy of Eric Zscheische's classic "Git on IT!" bouldering guide (reprinted with Eric's kind permission - DH.)

Guidebooks:

The Wisconsin Bouldering Guidebook, which features bouldering at Devil's Lake and Governor Dodge, published alongside the Minnesota Bouldering Guidebook, is currently available online from Escape and at retail locations throughout the Midwest. escapeclimbing.com/extra/mn…

A bouldering guidebook by Ian Cotter-Brown to Devil's Lake is available here: (also at Boulders, Wild Side, and the park admin building) kdanielspublishing.com/cart…


Equipment:

If you show up in WI without pads, you can buy a pad at Boulders Climbing Gym in Madison or Wildside in Baraboo (call before going to make sure they have one in stock). You can also rent a pad from Focus Boardshop/Wisconsin Climbers Association on the east side of Madison. All three locations currently stock the Wisconsin Bouldering Guidebook.









Fuzzy on "Trust Fund Slab" on the West Bluff, photo: Remo


Nic Oklobzija on FA of "Death of a Traveling Salesman" V5 X, photo: Steve Schultz


Katie on "Little Flatiron" V4 on the CCC trail, photo: Steve Schultz


Remo on "Sex and Chocolate" V7 @ Monolith, photo: ?


Steve Schultz on FA "Moj" V8 on West Bluff, photo: Runnells


An excellent video of the top 20 boulder problems that should be on anyone's tick list.

Getting There

See the directions under each specific area.

1,015 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Devil's Lake Bouldering Change
Type:  to 
Quality: Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at Devil's Lake Bouldering

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V-easy 3
Trust Fund Slab
Boulder
V0 4
Super Slab
Boulder
V1 5
Imp Act
Boulder
V1 5
Classic Warm Up
Boulder
V2 5+
Big Bud Arete
Boulder
V3 6A
Flying Mancuso
Boulder
V3 6A
Slope of Dadaism
Boulder
V4 6B
The Flatiron
Boulder
V4 6B
Sunny & 60's
Boulder
V4 6B
P.Stachio
Boulder
V4 6B
Baby Crane
Boulder
V6 7A
Amazing Pillar
Boulder
V6 7A
Starfish
Boulder
V6 7A
Jenga
Boulder
V7-8 7B
What Up Weasel
Boulder
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Trust Fund Slab W Bluff Bouldering > W Bluff South > Hogleg/Anchorpoint boulders V-easy 3 Boulder
Super Slab W Bluff Bouldering > W Bluff Central > Super Slab Area V0 4 Boulder
Imp Act E Bluff Bouldering > … > Greatest Show > Greatest Bluff V1 5 Boulder
Classic Warm Up Burma Rd Bouldering V1 5 Boulder
Big Bud Arete E Bluff Bouldering > E Bluff North > N Shore V2 5+ Boulder
Flying Mancuso S Bluff Bouldering > Reserve > Reserve V3 6A Boulder
Slope of Dadaism E Bluff Bouldering > … > Monolith Area > E of Trail Boulders V3 6A Boulder
The Flatiron E Bluff Bouldering > … > E Rampart Bouldering > Monster/Flatiron V4 6B Boulder
Sunny & 60's E Bluff Bouldering > E Bluff North > E Bluff N Talus Field V4 6B Boulder
P.Stachio W Bluff Bouldering > … > 500 ft. Boulder F… > Stache Boulder AKA Dog Walk Boulder V4 6B Boulder
Baby Crane Burma Rd Bouldering V4 6B Boulder
Amazing Pillar S Bluff Bouldering > Reserve > Amazing Pillar V6 7A Boulder
Starfish S Bluff Bouldering > Reserve > Reserve V6 7A Boulder
Jenga W Bluff Bouldering > W Bluff Central > Super Slab Area V6 7A Boulder
What Up Weasel W Bluff Bouldering > W Bluff North > Smooth Operator Area V7-8 7B Boulder
More Classic Climbs in Devil's Lake Bouldering »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
David, the Wisconsin half is mostly Devil's Lake. I'll find out exactly how many problems are in there from Peter (want to say around 600?), and some of what is not included are eliminates of the lines that are in there -- if your denominator is the # of problems on MP.

I'd say you should buy it but I'm a bit biased. Maybe go take a peek at the gym copy at Boulders in Madison and decide for yourself.

If you are content with mountainproject for now and truly only want Devil's Lake, I am told the all-inclusive DL-only bouldering guidebook is done or very close. This is Ian Cotter-Brown's book published by K. Daniels Publishing and should be very good as well. Mar 5, 2017
Has anyone purchased the guidebook from the Escape Climbing website? If you have, do you think it is worth purchasing if I am only interested in bouldering at Devil's Lake? The book has 500+ pages but encompasses so many different areas. I worry that they don't have most of the problems from DL in the book. I don't see how they would be able to cover at least 500-600 of the 900 problems in approximately 1/3 of the book. If anyone has the book, you mind taking a picture of the list of problems at DL (the index for the problems), so I can get an idea of how many problems they have? I would much appreciate it. Also does anyone know who the second guidebook that solely focuses on DL is made by? Mar 4, 2017
Remo
Madison, WI
Remo   Madison, WI
That's the way I usually do it Terry. I think everyone likes the left start because it's a little more straight forward and has good holds. May 19, 2015
Great video! No surprise Big Bud was #1. Classic! The video shows the start on the left arete. The traditional start is on the right arete smearing the feet high and throwing for the break. I think it adds a be bit more fun to the problem. May 19, 2015
Jesus AK, way to stick with it on Starfish, you looked like a brick shit house climbing that thing ;) May 11, 2015
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
I added a link to Steve's top 20 boulder problems video above.

vimeo.com/127076812 May 7, 2015
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
Maybe a lot of people have already seen this but Steve put together a nice video of some highlights of the Devil's Lake bouldering 2013 season.

vimeo.com/79016423 Nov 25, 2013
Paul Campbell
Waukesha, WI
Paul Campbell   Waukesha, WI
Wow 50! Cool to hear there is so much more out there! Oct 8, 2013
Remo
Madison, WI
Remo   Madison, WI
Ian has a list of about 50 projects that he and Peter came up with. Nic, I still think someone needs to do the Smooth Roof Proj, aka The Cheddarmilker- 8B? And yes, you should go check out B and B! Oct 8, 2013
Paul Campbell
Waukesha, WI
Paul Campbell   Waukesha, WI
Found a few more good looking ones.

Big Money Project: mountainproject.com/v/big-m…

Jack Backwards still needs a ropeless ascent in the same area as Big Money: mountainproject.com/v/jack-…

On South Shore, Bald Arete Project: mountainproject.com/v/bald-…

To be honest I can't find much else that really stands out. Soooooo many of the old projects have been climbed over the last couple years. Oct 7, 2013
Paul Campbell
Waukesha, WI
Paul Campbell   Waukesha, WI
Crack of Doom Proj - mountainproject.com/v/crack… (No longer project, climbed by Pete B 10/6/13)

Big Boy Proj - mountainproject.com/v/big-b…

El Parasol Proj - mountainproject.com/v/el-pa…

Smooth Roof Proj - mountainproject.com/v/smoot…

Impossiproject - mountainproject.com/v/impos…

Rebel Pride Project - mountainproject.com/v/rebel… (ICB sent this, called Rebel Pride V10-) Oct 2, 2013
What are the best undone problems at the lake? I'm getting sick of hiking around looking for them. Oct 2, 2013
CALLING ALL DEVILS LAKE BOULDERERS!

My name is Joshua Uhl and I am working on making a film about the bouldering scene in the midwest specifically at Devils Lake.

I want any and all People who are Bouldering hard at the lake this fall season to help and collaborate to make a rad film and put the Midwest Pebble Wrestling on the map outside of the midwest.

If anyone is interested in climbing in the film or helping out in any way, please let me know asap.

I would specifically love to tell a story about putting up and sending the hardest problems at the lake.

Get psyched for your projects and help make a rad climbing film Sep 11, 2013
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
Also, I don't know that I would advertise your intent on here, even if the chance of the DNR reading these comments might be low. It would be really cool to bring a sleeping bag and hammock to string between 2 trees near Super Slab/Jenga or somewhere up there, or near Sunny and 60's. Waking to the sunrise from the Jenga area would be amazing. Waking up at the Reserve would be cool too.

Jul 3, 2013
Burt Lindquist
Madison, WI
Burt Lindquist   Madison, WI  
Adam. The park service will never know as long as your vehicle is parked in your paid for State Park campsite. Just don't do anything at any bivy site your at to attract any attention... you may wanna pass on the use of fireworks, big spot lights, or any loud shriek'n. If your quiet and out of site of the roads the park service will never know. Leave your auto parked in your paid for camp site. Jul 3, 2013
Going camping there this weekend for the first time for 3 days of bouldering. So CAMPING wise...Since I have a registered spot with my truck in the park, do they crack down/give you a hard time/ to people camping out in the woods at climbing spots?? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks Jul 3, 2013
jaysquared
Madison, WI
jaysquared   Madison, WI
I can confirm for certain that the yellow dot was removed in the graffiti cleanup. If you look closely you might be able to see a patch of dead lichen on the rock where it once was. It made me think about how often graffiti is referenced as a landmark when navigating to climbing areas at the Lake..and then about how it's kind of useful...and then about how ugly it is..and then how we should remove it...and then how people are going to get lost. Apparently I was right. Apr 30, 2012
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
I think we got rid of the yellow dot on one of our graffiti clean ups, last Fall. Apr 30, 2012
Nathan Wells
Madison, Wisconsin
Nathan Wells   Madison, Wisconsin
In regard to Brians Runnells West Bluff Topo Map.

Don't believe the John F McArthur bench exists anymore. Wasn't able to find the yellow spray painted dot in the 150ft boulder field either. Apr 30, 2012
Nathan Wells
Madison, Wisconsin
Nathan Wells   Madison, Wisconsin
West Bluff Bouldering Area

Found a great area that has no chalk anywhere! Was confused since there seem to be many great potential routes. Some landings may be dicey but if a big enough group with lots of mats climbs there it would be really nice. The location is about 75 meters north of Moj, and SuperSlab and about 20-30 meters uphill. My friend and I walked straight downhill from the area and popped out north of the 500ft boulder field near a bench named after a woman...forgot the name :(

If anyone is interested in checking it out I would be happy to show you. Apr 30, 2012
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
Zschiesche writes:

"Thanks for the query,... in regard to the information and drawings from " Git on it ", feel free to use them. In regards to the R&I article,... I am not sure who has the copyright "rights" to that material. Thanks again, and,... any more questions, fire away.

cheers, Eric"

So if you post copies, please get them from "Git On It!", and make sure to include an attribution. Apr 27, 2012
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
I've asked Eric Z to let me know how he feels about all this.

The R&I guide is under their copyright, I presume? Posting one page is probably "fair use" (as long as you include a note about the original source), but posting the whole thing would be a pretty clear infringement ... you could ask them for permission .... Apr 26, 2012
I have Eric Z's Rock and Ice guide. I can post to photos for historical interest if legal. It's basically the original for the topos linked here, which, in turn, is the R&I version of Git on It.

It fills out some of the missing info on the "copy" topos (info which is available on MP) such as climbs 52 - 56 on the Monolith map. Also clears up the question about a Tumbled Rocks guide (no).

A blast from the past! Apr 25, 2012
Josh Olson
Durango, CO
Josh Olson   Durango, CO
Thanks Chris and Steve, I'll get to it then. Unless the weather tomorrow is as good as it was today, that is. Feb 17, 2012
I'm not sure who did them but if it's any consolation they are direct copies(albeit less artistic and more basic) of EZ's guide. Down to the descriptions and overview map. Feb 17, 2012
Josh Olson
Durango, CO
Josh Olson   Durango, CO
Yeah, I saw that they were in there, figured big blue text in the area description would be easier to see. I'll try and get those posted in the next couple days here. Feb 17, 2012
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
No problem, will do. The links are just a few posts up from yours here on this page (Nov 4th, 2009) but I can add them to the description too.

I thought Eric Z created those topos but I guess I was wrong, I have no idea who did, and since it's been on the web for so long I don't think anyone will care if you update and post them. Thanks! Feb 17, 2012
Josh Olson
Durango, CO
Josh Olson   Durango, CO
Chris, I hate to add work to your list, but would it be possible to put these links in the area description? You could add the link to the topo I commented on recently too. I stole these links from your 2009 comments, might be helpful for somebody.

Also, does anybody know who did the second link (East Bluff) topos? I've redone them (mostly) and renamed routes like face v0 with their mountain project equivalents, at least as far as I can tell. I don't feel right re-posting them without their approval.

Narc's West Bluff Miniguide

East Bluff Topos Feb 17, 2012
Remo
Madison, WI
Remo   Madison, WI
Nic, I think the best hard projects out there are: Tipping Point-full line(lower start with higher finish), Crack of Doom(has shot down many strong climbers), Block Party(just hard), Toe Hook(one to two really hard moves, ask Peter) and the steep roof behind Smooth Operator(I think you've seen this one). There are many more and I'm sure other people have projects out there too, but these IMHO are some of the best. Come down and send them! Dec 1, 2011
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
Another Rock Warrior Film coming soon!

vimeo.com/31980364 Nov 12, 2011
just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who is searching for the new projects, putting up all these sweet new lines, and in general being some bad ass pad peoples! The new work being done at the lake is hand downs nothing short of inspiring! Nothing makes a week of shitty school better then having a whole slew of things to climb on the weekends! cue pat on the back for all...now! Thanks guys! Sep 26, 2011
Chris, Awesome thanks for the quick respons. I really had no clue why it was there amd frankly it wasnt a concern what the contents did but more or less just bummed the bag was out there in general! But kudos fo hauling all that shit out there to whomever that landing is pretty nice! PM me your digits so we can meet up! Also i have a feeling i know who the bags is...if im right ill be in his area soon for a comp and if he wants to save a trip i can bring it up for him? Let me know in a PM! Like i said earlier wasnt trying to be a jerk just want a clean crag! Sep 24, 2011
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
Greg, leave the bag there. I will notify the owner of your concern. The improved landing on Tunder Tighs/Full Moon Rising is a result of hard work and the contents of that bag. I doubt the park rangers care if the landing has been "Jenga'ed". If anything, it will lead to less broken bones and climber injuries, something we can all agree is a good thing. Sep 24, 2011
I have someone's stick brush they left and or stashed by ironically enough the stache boulder ha! My apologies for taking it but i dont take kindly to "stashed" stuff. I only removed it for the sake that the bouldering areas at the lake are getting trashed quickly and i refuse to see access dwindle down to nothing because of people leaving stuff behind. Im at the lake every weekend gimme a message and you can have it back! If you live in route to the lake from burbs of chicago i will even go out of my way to drop it off personally if you cant make it to the lake. Once again my apologies but please leave no trace.

Also info is needed on a petzl bag stashed near the massive vertigo area with a bunch of crow bars and etc. Who owns this bag? Why is that even out there? Do you really "clean" routes with that stuff? I can understand if it was in a random bag but its a petzl bag which is a dead give away its a climber. Anybody who works at devils lake will know a climber left it behind giving us a bad rep cause surely know one would understand why we need that kind of stuff out there anyways. Please let me know whats going on with that because i will hike it out and remove it in 2 weeks from now. You can have it back any weekend since im always there and if you live in route from the chicago burbs to the lake i can drop it off at your house.

Like i said my apologies for being the jerk to remove stuff even though its not my place to but it wasnt really your place to leave stuff anyways...Feel free to contact me with any concerns my main objective with this post was to inform people i removed stashed stuff to improve the quality relationship us boulders have with the park staff. You can everything back and ill even go out of my way to make sure you get it back!

PLEASE PEOPLE LEAVE NO TRACE! Sep 24, 2011
TravisMelin
Portland, OR, Roanoke, VA L
TravisMelin   Portland, OR, Roanoke, VA L
So true! I sure did a lot of falling, and not a single bad landing all day.
As far as venus rising goes....V5 sounds about right, or does it maybe have a super low sit start that I didnt see? Nov 6, 2010
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
You were out crankin in the woods on a nice fall day, with two of the sweetest boulder pads your feet will ever land on. GOOD day.

So, Doc Melin, Venus Rising? What, like V4/5? Nov 6, 2010
TravisMelin
Portland, OR, Roanoke, VA L
TravisMelin   Portland, OR, Roanoke, VA L
Good or Bad day of bouldering today?

Hit the ending 'jug' but did NOT send: Moj, Perfect Medium, and Sex and Chocolate....nearly did the same on venus rising, but stuck it the last go of the day....
Lake bouldering is so hard! Nov 6, 2010
Paul Campbell
Waukesha, WI
Paul Campbell   Waukesha, WI
Yeah Steve is right, thats the Ejaculator, I just compared a bunch of photos because I was wondering the same thing myself :) Nov 10, 2009
Tony, I think the line you're looking at is the Ejaculator. Pretty sure at least. Nov 10, 2009
I would also recommend just looking at his photos. Lots of stuff to get you psyched on bouldering at the lake. One especially cool picture of a sweet looking boulder on the south bluff somewhere.
rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/ph… Nov 10, 2009
anybody recognize the problem he's climbing in this photo? rockclimbing.com/photos/Bou… Nov 10, 2009
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
In addition to the link in my post above for Steve's blog, you can find a West Bluff miniguide prepared by The Climbing Narc (click on the link in the second paragraph) here.

Also there is an older miniguide that does not include the West Bluff on this site. It looks like it used to include Tumbled Rocks (West Bluff) but the link has been lost. Nov 4, 2009
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
I moved stuff around based on conversations with Brian, Steve, and Remo. Suggestions are always welcome. Also check out wisconsinbouldering.blogspo… for more beta.

Thanks Steve for making the outline, I think this will hopefully be a little easier to navigate geographically. Sep 25, 2009

More About Devil's Lake Bouldering

Printer-Friendly Guide
What's New

All Photos Within Devil's Lake Bouldering (2,871)

Most Popular · Newest