Elevation: 717 ft
GPS: 37.598, -89.188 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Drew McWilson on Nov 27, 2009
Admins: Dave Hug
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Description

Southern Illinois boasts several climbing areas, but none have more history then Giant City State Park. For Illinois, this is the birthplace for hard, progressive climbing.

Within the park there are two main areas, Shelter 1 Bluff and the Devil's Standtable Area. The Makanda Bluff, "aka Shelter 1" is primarily a sport and traditional climbing area with the routes ranging 5.6 - 5.12. This area is great for short training sessions in preparation for other big areas. One route that deserve mentioning is City Limits. At the time it was established, it was one of the hardest routes in the country, and the world. Another climb worth mentioning is the Return to Forever boulder traverse that runs along the base of the bluff line. Beginning from Jills and running to the Camel's Hump, this challenging boulder problem will have you searching for rests while fighting to not get pumped. For those looking for more of a challenge, there is a low variation, and a super long variation that begins at the Chimney in the woods and stretches to the Camel's Hump.

Royal Robbins climbing George's sometime after his Yosemite adventures

The Devils Standtable area is primarily a bouldering area but does contain a few top rope and traditional lines. Fun intermediate boulder problems worth mentioning are The Standard, Buzz Arete, and the Center Line. Great advanced boulder problems that visitors are recommended to attempt are Devil on a Leash, Jah Arete, and Higher Education. All in all the area is great for quick bouldering sessions.

A visiting climber attempting Leashless Angel

For the sake of organizing areas on Mountain Project, another bouldering area nearby that is not exactly within the confines of Giant City, but is close enough, is The Orchards. This small, yet secluded area offers several challenging problems and contains one very hard project that supposedly is yet to be sent. The recommended problem here is Duraflame, and is a fun/challenging test of anyones roof climbing abilities.

As a last note, a huge thanks should be given to Giant City's early pioneers for their vision and dedication to Illinois first climbing destination. Thank you: Craig Barnes, Jim Foster, Cris Franks, Joe Dittamore, Joe Heally, Adam Grosowsky, Gene Charleton, Greg Bailey, Alan Carrier, and many others for all of your work.

Resources

[[Illinois Climbers Association]]ilclimbers.org
Founded in 2002. The Illinois Climbers Association is a charitable organization representing the climbers of Illinois. We are dedicated to preserving climbing and bouldering access in Illinois through education, conservation, and cooperation.

Mission

The Illinois Climbers Association is a 501(c)3 charitable organization created to:

  1. Promote and support conservation and preservation of both rock climbing and bouldering areas, and their respective natural resources in Illinois
  2. Encourage optimal recreational use of Illinois outdoor climbing resources through land stewardship education and by facilitating cooperation between climbers, private land owners, and public land managers
  3. Encourage and promote the development of policies and practices that will preserve climbing and bouldering areas in Illinois

HELP THE ICA RETRO-BOLT GIANT CITY! 
**PLEASE DONATE**
Click HERE to donate towards the Illinois Climber Association's retro-bolting cause. The ICA has been instrumental in conserving access to the climbing at GIANT CITY. If you have any questions, comments or concerns feel free to contact them.

Getting There

From Carbondale take Highway 13 East. Turn right (near the intersection of McDonalds and Walmart) and head South on Giant City Rd. Continue for about 15 minutes and the road leads directly to the park. From the entrance follow the signs to the appropriate destination.

Map of Giant City State Park

Guidebook

Vertical Heartland 3rd Edition

Vertical Heartland is the best guide to roped climbing in G.C.S.P. Covering both Shelter 1 and the Devils Standtable areas, this guide is a must for navigating the crag.

Sandstone Warrior

Sandstone Warrior briefly touches on the bouldering in the park. The climbs displayed in the book are absolute G.C. classics.

100 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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Classic Climbing Routes at Giant City State Park

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V3-4 6A+
 17
Standard
Boulder
V6 7A
 3
Duraflame
Boulder
V7 7A+
 8
Devil on a Leash
Boulder
V9-10 7C+
 6
Leashless Angel
Boulder
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
 8
Makanda Layback
Sport
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
 5
Poison Ivy Center
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 5
Tiny Dancer
Sport
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 5
Open Book Direct
Sport
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 3
Hip Pocket
Sport
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 6
Shake And Bake Direct
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 11
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 3
The Idiot
Sport
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13
 4
Dim View
Sport
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b PG13
 3
Crackpot
Sport
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
 3
City Limits
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Standard C: Park Bouldering > A: Devils Stand… > A: Gill Roof
 17
V3-4 6A+ Boulder
Duraflame C: Park Bouldering > C. The Orchards
 3
V6 7A Boulder
Devil on a Leash C: Park Bouldering > A: Devils Stand… > A: Gill Roof
 8
V7 7A+ Boulder
Leashless Angel C: Park Bouldering > A: Devils Stand… > A: Gill Roof
 6
V9-10 7C+ Boulder
Makanda Layback A. Shelter 1 Bluff
 8
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Sport
Poison Ivy Center A. Shelter 1 Bluff
 5
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13 Trad
Tiny Dancer A. Shelter 1 Bluff
 5
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Open Book Direct A. Shelter 1 Bluff
 5
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
Hip Pocket A. Shelter 1 Bluff
 3
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
Shake And Bake Direct A. Shelter 1 Bluff
 6
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test A. Shelter 1 Bluff
 11
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
The Idiot A. Shelter 1 Bluff
 3
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Dim View A. Shelter 1 Bluff
 4
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13 Sport
Crackpot A. Shelter 1 Bluff
 3
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b PG13 Sport
City Limits A. Shelter 1 Bluff
 3
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Giant City State Park »

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Photos

We took a side trip from jackson falls to Giant city shelter one climbing area. There are some fine lines there. Why has no-one posted these? Are you locals keeping them secret? Come-on share them with us!!! Oct 15, 2012