|GPS:||37.618, -89.415 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||Joe Sambataro on Apr 29, 2013|
DescriptionTHE 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 HISTORY: 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 2004, 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 www.accessfund.org/holyboulders
THE RULES: 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.
Stay tuned for updates and users are welcome to add boulders and boulder problems to this database. ICA still needs your support to raise the remaining acquisition costs: donate today at www.ilclimbers.org
Getting ThereThe 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.
Classic Climbing Routes at The Holy Boulders
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season