Elevation: 530 ft
GPS: 37.618, -89.415 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 289,564 total · 3,178/month
Shared By: Joe Sambataro on Apr 29, 2013
Admins: Aaron Mc, Dave Hug

Description

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: 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

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 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

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

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 toaccessfund.org/holyboulders

183 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Holy Boulders

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V1-2 5
 53
Public Enemy
Boulder
V2 5+
 48
Robert Paulson
Boulder
V2-3 5+
 136
The Mollusk
Boulder
V2-3 5+
 82
KFC
Boulder
V3 6A
 58
Sukha
Boulder
V4 6B
 40
Embryo Stasis
Boulder
V4 6B
 59
Atlas
Boulder
V4 6B
 30
Full Grain
Boulder
V4+ 6B+
 64
Enlightenment
Boulder
V5 6C
 78
Shadow of a Man
Boulder
V5 6C
 39
Tyler Durden
Boulder
V5 6C
 33
Open Gates
Boulder
V5-6 6C+
 29
Undercling King
Boulder
V6 7A
 39
The Red Sea
Boulder
V6 7A
 35
Calypso
Boulder
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Public Enemy Public Enemy Boulder
 53
V1-2 5 Boulder
Robert Paulson Tyler Durden Area
 48
V2 5+ Boulder
The Mollusk Mollusk Boulder
 136
V2-3 5+ Boulder
KFC Shadow of a Man Area
 82
V2-3 5+ Boulder
Sukha Brown Cow Area
 58
V3 6A Boulder
Embryo Stasis Vultures Nest Boulders
 40
V4 6B Boulder
Atlas Atlas Boulder
 59
V4 6B Boulder
Full Grain Jump for Jesus Area
 30
V4 6B Boulder
Enlightenment Illuminati Boulders
 64
V4+ 6B+ Boulder
Shadow of a Man Shadow of a Man Area
 78
V5 6C Boulder
Tyler Durden Tyler Durden Area
 39
V5 6C Boulder
Open Gates Open Gates Boulder
 33
V5 6C Boulder
Undercling King Illuminati Boulders
 29
V5-6 6C+ Boulder
The Red Sea Red Sea Boulder
 39
V6 7A Boulder
Calypso Atlas Boulder
 35
V6 7A Boulder
More Classic Climbs in The Holy Boulders »

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