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Elevation: 530 ft
GPS: 37.61792, -89.41493
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 476,510 total · 3,572/month
Shared By: Joe Sambataro on Apr 29, 2013
Admins: Aaron Brouwer, Aaron Mc, Dave Hug, Kevin Sierzega

Description Suggest change

THE BOULDERS: The Holy Boulders is the largest concentration of boulders in Southern Illinois. There are over 200 developed boulder problems from V0 to V13 and has the potential for hundreds more. The sandstone boulders and cliff line are known for their Fontainebleau-like perfect friction and aesthetic lines.

THE SEASON: Its highly recommended to visit the Holy Boulders October to early April and avoid a trip May through September when the humidity is high and the poison ivy, ticks, and chiggers are out. A good network of trails have been improved since 2012, helping navigate the different zones.

THE RULES: The Holy Boulders is climber-owned and managed by the Illinois Climbers Association. Please remember to practice leave no trace ethics, pack it in-pack it out, and stay on existing trails where possible. Respect adjacent private property to the south and do not drive up or approach from Tripp's Lane. Overnight use, ORV/vehicular access, and hunting are not permitted on the property. Please contact ICA or Access Fund immediately if there are any concerns.

Users are welcome to add boulder problems to this database. Please keep in mind these considerations when adding new problems: Link-ups are great, but is this link-up logical, or does it have to traverse down to get to where you need to go? Is a lay-down grovel start really necessary? Is the climbing community gaining anything from your proposed eliminate? To each their own, but for the sake of keeping this database "clean," some problems that fall under these criteria may be removed.

ICA still needs your help to support the ongoing maintenance and development: donate today at www.ilclimbers.org

Resources

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[[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 PROTECT WHAT'S HOLY!
**PLEASE DONATE**
Click HERE to donate towards the Illinois Climber Association's fundraising cause. The ICA has been instrumental in conserving access to the climbing at the Holy Boulders. If you have any questions, comments or concerns feel free to contact them.

Getting There

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The Holy Boulders are in Jackson County, Southern Illinois. It is 30 minutes southwest of Carbondale; 2.5 from St. Louis; 2.5 from Evansville; 3.5 from Nashville; and 5.5 hours from Chicago. It is nestled on the western slopes of Shawnee National Forest on both public and private land.

There are two parking areas off Macedonia Road to the west of the property. From the northern end directly across from FS Road 2078, spot a hiking trail just before a road cut to the powerline easement. Follow this path in the trees along a small stream before crossing the powerline cut. After 15 minutes (2/3 mile), you cross into ICA property and come to a small kiosk at the Mollusk boulder. Please remember that parking and the initial approach are on Shawnee National Forest - please leave no trace and do not improve the trail. Not all local roads are clearly marked in the area and cell service can be spotty, so upload the driving directions beforehand.

Click Here for Driving Directions

The main access point may change in the future. Check in for updates.

2012 Mini Guide

The History

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The Holy Boulders are open thanks to efforts by local climbers, Illinois Climbers Association, and Access Fund to acquire the property when the Tripp Family put it up for sale in May 2012, putting the boulders at risk of indefinite closure. The Tripp Family owned the property for 47 years and gave climbers permission to climb when it was discovered in 2001, but public information was limited due to its unprotected status. After subdivision and resale of the farm lots, four years of fundraising and trail improvements, and extensive collaboration with local climbers, BETA Fund, and ICA, Access Fund transferred the 46-acre bouldering area to ICA for long-term ownership and management in 2016. Access Fund holds a permanent conservation and recreation easement to back up ICA’s long-term commitment, ensuring continued conservation and climbing access at the Holy Boulders into perpetuity. BETA Fund manages the medical kit and serves as the conservation easement land steward. For more information and history, go online to accessfund.org/holyboulders

360 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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Classic Climbing Routes at Holy Boulders

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V2-3 5+
 231
The Mollusk
Boulder
V4 6B
 78
Embryo Stasis
Boulder
V4 6B
 124
Atlas
Boulder
V4 6B
 85
Full Grain
Boulder
V4+ 6B+
 105
Enlightenment
Boulder
V5 6C
 147
Shadow of a Man
Boulder
V5 6C
 76
Tyler Durden
Boulder
V5 6C
 81
Open Gates
Boulder
V5 6C
 72
Tabernacle
Boulder
V6- 7A
 44
Undercling King
Boulder
V6 7A
 89
The Red Sea
Boulder
V6 7A
 68
Calypso
Boulder
V7 7A+
 44
Moses
Boulder
V8 7B
 58
Jungle Book
Boulder
V8 7B
 37
Cain and Ankle
Boulder
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Mollusk M: Mollusk Boulder
 231
V2-3 5+ Boulder
Embryo Stasis B: Vultures Nest Boul…
 78
V4 6B Boulder
Atlas T: Atlas Boulder & Su…
 124
V4 6B Boulder
Full Grain D: Stand Up Boulder &…
 85
V4 6B Boulder
Enlightenment F: Illuminati Boulders
 105
V4+ 6B+ Boulder
Shadow of a Man R: Shadow of a Man Area
 147
V5 6C Boulder
Tyler Durden K: Tyler Durden Area
 76
V5 6C Boulder
Open Gates A: Open Gates Boulder
 81
V5 6C Boulder
Tabernacle D: Stand Up Boulder &…
 72
V5 6C Boulder
Undercling King F: Illuminati Boulders
 44
V6- 7A Boulder
The Red Sea U: Red Sea Boulder
 89
V6 7A Boulder
Calypso T: Atlas Boulder & Su…
 68
V6 7A Boulder
Moses U: Red Sea Boulder
 44
V7 7A+ Boulder
Jungle Book F: Illuminati Boulders
 58
V8 7B Boulder
Cain and Ankle U: Red Sea Boulder
 37
V8 7B Boulder
More Classic Climbs in Holy Boulders »

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