Elevation: 1,068 ft
GPS: 46.127, -92.87 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 103,511 total · 1,784/month
Shared By: ferrells on Jul 20, 2014
Admins: Kris Gorny, chris tregge


The town of Sandstone has a surprising amount of climbing spread between 3 areas: Robinson Park, Eldon, and Banning State Park.

Robinson Park has sport climbing, farmed ice climbing, dry tooling, and a handful of boulders. The movement from frowned-upon top-roping in the 80s to legitimate, town-sponsored climbing took many years, and was the work of many, but most notably Jeff Engel. This area now has some awesome sport climbing (the best stuff is 5.12, though there is good moderate climbing as well), and people every winter flock to the area for the best and probably the most accessible ice climbing in MN.

Across the river from Robinson lies Eldon. This land holds the best bouldering between Colorado and New England, though, admittedly, the boulders there are few. The sale of this land by Sandy and Eldon Johnson, and purchase by the MCA was manna from the heavens for Minnesota climbing. The Johnsons have been comfortable with a handful of people occasionally going to this area to boulder. The few climbers who knew about it (1995?-2014) were reticent to share it, for fear that it would be overburdened and abused by too many climbers, and access closed. That said, the Johnsons were always welcoming, and the sale of their land to climbers is a lasting legacy of their generosity to the climbing community.

North of Eldon lies Banning State Park. This area has been shrouded in even more mystery than the Johnson property. See the specific page, when it is up, for more detail. Again, Jeff Engel, and others, worked very hard to get this area open. As of July 20, 2014, there are still restrictions on where, and what type, of climbing can be done here. Make sure to get a permit when you arrive, and stick to the areas they allow climbing in.

All of these areas are recently opened, and many motivated people have worked for years to gently nudge them in this direction, with diplomacy, generosity, and hard work. The first goal with these areas, as with any area you visit as a climber, should be to act in a way that is conducive with maintaining access.

Please be good to this land, to the state parks and their staff that have granted us access, and to the kind people of Sandstone for welcoming us into their community.

Getting There

Sandstone, MN is a small town just off of I 35, north of the Twin Cities about 1 hour 20 min, and south of Duluth about 1 hour. Please refer to the individual pages for directions to the individual areas.

108 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Sandstone Change
Type:  to 
Sort by:   then:

Classic Climbing Routes at Sandstone

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V5 6C
Best Boulder in Minnesota
V8 7B
Invisible Touch
V11-12 8A+
The Raven
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
0.1) Do You Think I'm Saxy?
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
3) Morphine
Sport, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Wild Things
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
1) A Little Spicy!!!
Sport, TR
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b PG13
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Sport, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
6) No such THANG as Too Much Sax
Sport, TR
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
5) Multiple SAX Partners
Sport, TR
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R
Tool Boy
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
Sport, TR
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Best Boulder in Minnesota Sandstone Bould… > Eldon
V5 6C Boulder
Invisible Touch Sandstone Bould… > Eldon
V8 7B Boulder
The Raven Sandstone Bould… > Eldon
V11-12 8A+ Boulder
0.1) Do You Think I'm Saxy? Robinson Park > Sax Wall
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
3) Morphine Robinson Park > Sax Wall
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport, TR
Wild Things Robinson Park > Sigma Wall
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
1) A Little Spicy!!! Robinson Park > Sax Wall
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport, TR
Dimples Robinson Park > Main Flow Area
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b PG13 Sport
Compromises Robinson Park > Relationship Wall
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport, TR
6) No such THANG as Too Muc… Robinson Park > Sax Wall
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13 Sport, TR
5) Multiple SAX Partners Robinson Park > Sax Wall
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13 Sport, TR
Tool Boy Robinson Park > Sigma Wall
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R Trad
Adoption Robinson Park > Relationship Wall
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a Sport, TR
Sigma Robinson Park > Sigma Wall
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport
Nexus Robinson Park > Sigma Wall
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Sandstone »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season



Does anyone know what the routes are next to Harvest Moon on the relationship wall? It seems like there are four routes in the area that are not listed on MP...


Roberto Apr 26, 2015
Colonel Sandbag
Boston, MA
Colonel Sandbag   Boston, MA
I have the same question as Roberto. Specifically, what is immediately to the right of Harvest Moon? Aug 1, 2015
dear people that were at relationship wall on 5-14-17 at around 8:00, i think one of you left your shoes there. I have them, message me and we can meet up some where. May 14, 2017
Nathan Kamm
Duluth, MN
Nathan Kamm   Duluth, MN
Hey, does anyone know the current conditions in sandstone? I'm hoping to hit it this weekend and was wondering if anyone has been there since the snow. Apr 17, 2018
Robin Westman
Minneapolis, MN
Robin Westman   Minneapolis, MN
is there any camping in or around this area? Jun 20, 2018
Hey Bob - I don't know of any camping there, but when I was climbing in this area quite a bit, I was coming up from the cities, and not camping. I bet you could find something close if you look around. -SF Jul 3, 2018
Petah Lenz
Petah Lenz   minneapolis/st.paul
@Robin Westman et al.

Yes to camping!

As you enter The Park at the main paved parking lot, instead of turning left to head towards the climbs, take a right. Follow a lower-maintained road and find the three city-designated campsites to the right. Choose your favorite.

Please stop by the Victory Gas station, immediately adjacent to the Sandstone exit of of I35, and pay for your stay.

There is no free-range camping allowed by the city in their park outside of these three designated sites. Unless a special event permit is secured from city hall for such event as The Sandstone Climbers Festival or The Sandstone Ice Festival.

Also, be aware that if you are hanging in camp, you will likely see a few cars go by, as locals like to do, whatever, a bit further down this road. No worries. We've also had the Pine County sheriff, stop, not say a word to us, and then spend the next ten minutes peering into our parked vehicles.

When in Sandstone, please visit local businesses. Buy stuff in town and be cool to people. Feb 21, 2019