Elevation: 829 ft
GPS: 37.515, -89.043 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 3,020 total · 144/month
Shared By: Dave Hug on May 4, 2017
Admins: Dave Hug
Getting weather forecast...
Access Issue: Draper's Is Closed Details


Great Sandstone climbing. Many classic 5 star trad lines. Must do climbs include Ant Killer (5.9), Southern Exposure (5.10a), High Over Camp (5.10a tricky crux) and Bloody Nose (5.6)

Getting There

I 57 South from Marion, IL to Lick Creek Exit. Go left for a few miles (it's on the right)

17 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Draper's Bluff Change
Type:  to 
Sort by:   then:

Classic Climbing Routes at Draper's Bluff

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
More Classic Climbs in Draper's Bluff »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Park at the "Vertical Heartland" parking lot and make sure to register. The approach is about 10 minutes. Camping is available just a little further down Lick Creek Road at Twin Bluffs Bed n' Breakfast. The proprietors Neil and Laurie will let you camp in their field for a nominal donation. They also have a bunkhouse with fireplace for winter climbers. Sep 21, 2008
Courtney Coe
Denver, CO
Courtney Coe   Denver, CO
Directions are a little difficult to follow....it's exit #36 from I-57, and when you head east, you go for about 2.4 miles and the parking area and trailhead are on the left, not the right. There's a sign there that says "Vertical Heartland."

It's an awesome place, but none of the climbs are marked, so try to find a guide book if you can!! Nov 26, 2008
KEN tucky
Pewee Valley
KEN tucky   Pewee Valley
With the new changes in illinois state laws this area has closed. Info @ rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/fo…;page=unread#unread May 19, 2009
Christian M. Lenn
Evansville, IN
Christian M. Lenn   Evansville, IN
Draper's Bluff is now closed to all public use. Apparently a change in the Illinois public or Recreational use statute exposed the owners to unconscionable liability(prohibited non climbers also caused some unexplained risks to the climbers) this is a tragic situation. the Ulners(property owners) actively supported climbing at their crag which I felt was unique for SoIll.(instead of climbing down in a hollow the upper part of the cliff was exposed and offered fabulous panoramic views. I am sorry to report this. May 25, 2009
Corey Morris
Landstuhl, Germany
Corey Morris   Landstuhl, Germany
This truly is a crying shame. Jun 8, 2009
W.T.F. Apr 7, 2010
J Evans  
The Illinois Climbers Association (ICA) needs your help to get Drapers reopened. The Illinois General Assembly has a bill in the house to reestablish protection for private property owners (the Ulners'). Please, whether you live in Illinois or are out of state, visit the ICA's website ilclimbers.org for more information. Also, the Access Fund has an Action Alert the simplifies the process of contacting the Representatives in Illinois, accessfund.org/action. May 6, 2010
I'm trying to find out the names of some climbs here... maybe someone has a history book they can tap into since it looks like the State killed climbing here.

1. 'Unknown Sport #2' 5.6: walk up to base of cliff, walk right, short bolted route in right facing corner.
2. 'Unknown Slabby Sport #1' 5.7: Just before right facing corner mentioned above. Bolted.
3. 'Unknown Easy Dyno' 5.6: walk up to base of cliff, walk left to buggy bolted route with small mantle towards top. Dyno up and right to the mantle for extra fun points.

I climbed here back in 2003. Sad to see it closed. If anyone knows if there are other accepted names for these routes please let me know. Hope to see the area open again, soon. Jun 9, 2012
The southern face is available for climbing through Vertical Heartland. There's a website. I took a Boy Scout troop there last weekend and we all had a great time. Fantastic setting and view from the bluff. Oct 31, 2012