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Areas in Giant City State Park

A. Shelter 1 Bluff 19 / 15 / 14 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 41
B. Devils Standtable Area 7 / 0 / 7 / 25 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 32
C. The Orchards 0 / 0 / 0 / 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Elevation: 718 ft
GPS: 37.598, -89.188 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 32,113 total · 324/month
Shared By: Drew McWilson on Nov 27, 2009
Admins: Dave Hug
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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 top rope and traditional climbing area with the majority of routes ranging 5.8 - 5.11. 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.

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 and due to its proximity to Carbondale its hard to beat.

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.
Shelter 1 Bluff Re-opened Details

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.


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

81 Total Climbs

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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.
V0 4
The Streak
V2 5+
Medicine Man
V3-4 6A+
V6 7A
Pinch Me
V6 7A
V7- 7A+
Devil on a Leash
V9-10 7C+
Leashless Angel
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Drunkard's Crack
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
The Gully
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Camel's Hump
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Makanda Layback
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Tempura Tour
Trad 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Chris's Climb
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
1,2,3 (aka The Rasp)
Trad, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Streak B. Devils Standta… > F: Gill Wall V0 4 Boulder
Medicine Man B. Devils Standta… > E: Waterfall Roof V2 5+ Boulder
Standard B. Devils Standta… > A: Gill Roof V3-4 6A+ Boulder
Pinch Me B. Devils Standta… > A: Gill Roof V6 7A Boulder
Duraflame C. The Orchards V6 7A Boulder
Devil on a Leash B. Devils Standta… > A: Gill Roof V7- 7A+ Boulder
Leashless Angel B. Devils Standta… > A: Gill Roof V9-10 7C+ Boulder
Drunkard's Crack A. Shelter 1 Bluff 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a Trad
Chimney A. Shelter 1 Bluff 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad
The Gully A. Shelter 1 Bluff 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Sport
Camel's Hump A. Shelter 1 Bluff 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
Makanda Layback A. Shelter 1 Bluff 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Sport
Tempura Tour A. Shelter 1 Bluff 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 6 pitches
Chris's Climb B. Devils Standta… > D: Devils Stand Table 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R Trad, TR
1,2,3 (aka The Rasp) B. Devils Standta… > A: Gill Roof 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
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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

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