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Best Devil's Lake Area for Little Tikes
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May 26, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Bastille Crack, top of P1
My climbing friend has a couple kiddos (2.5 yr and 1 yr old). Previous trips to DL we didn't bring the kids. This we will have to. We have a good system, where there's always a couple people not climbing or belaying, in order to watch them. This works great at the RRG, where the base of most crags is kid-friendly (aka relatively flat). But my usual areas at DL have areas at the base that are not flat.

So my question: what areas at DL are most kid-friendly??? I'm thinking of D'Arcy, since the area at the base is relatively safe. The whole West Bluff is probably out. I've never climbed at Sandstone. Would that area be good? Again, just looking for an area where a kid be at its base with supervision with relatively few hazards.
Nathan Sward
Joined Jan 27, 2015
57 points
May 26, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: yukon
Stettner is a great spot to take kids. Nice flat hangout area and extremely easy access. Misery is another great area once you get there but isn't quite as convenient to get to as Stettner. Seth Jones
Joined Feb 17, 2015
39 points
May 26, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: M Robinson headpointing Tfare. Photo: unknown
Nathan Sward wrote:
My climbing friend has a couple kiddos (2.5 yr and 1 yr old). Previous trips to DL we didn't bring the kids. This we will have to. We have a good system, where there's always a couple people not climbing or belaying, in order to watch them. This works great at the RRG, where the base of most crags is kid-friendly (aka relatively flat). But my usual areas at DL have areas at the base that are not flat. So my question: what areas at DL are most kid-friendly??? I'm thinking of D'Arcy, since the area at the base is relatively safe. The whole West Bluff is probably out. I've never climbed at Sandstone. Would that area be good? Again, just looking for an area where a kid be at its base with supervision with relatively few hazards.


Old Sandstone has a great flat base area.
Mike Robinson
From Boulder, CO
Joined Feb 10, 2012
91 points
Administrator
May 26, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: hi
If this weekend, go to old sandstone. There won't be any tourists walking a trail above you for their first and only time at the lake this year. It being a party weekend and all, kids and stupid adults alike tossing rocks and what not off the top of the cliff on to you could happen.

if it does to anyone else reading this, please feel free to instill the wrath of God from above (but from below) into their soul and teach them a fine lesson in Gravity, fear and look them straight in the eyes of you get a chance from a close distance (works best with the kiddos) to shoot lighting bolts deep into their corneas.

Enjoy the lake and see ya there! With or without a helmet.
jon jugenheimer
From Madison
Joined Apr 24, 2006
1,639 points
May 26, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: morning joe
Old sandstone is great. Even a little kiddie cave there to keep them exploring.

Picnic wall if you're up for slinging them on a back pack and scrambling up a boulder field (hangout area there can't be beat)

Steinke Basin if you want a flat approach and solitude. Short climbs.

Haven't been to Cibiola but gotta assume it's similar.

Stettner or Misery if you wanna hang around big groups and squeeze in between them. But then you can probably get on their ropes if you let them use yours....

Elephant rocks is not too bad- but prime place for rock throwers like Jon mentioned.

North Shore bouldering for flat base, super easy access, ability to jog over to bathrooms and ice cream treats.
Sean Peter
From IL
Joined Aug 15, 2013
45 points
May 27, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying 2nd (or was it 3rd? 4th?) on Turk's Head ...
Actually, I would say anything but the EAST bluff. I would not want to bring a lil tike up the CCC trail and boulder field. The West Bluff has a much more mellow approach and somewhere like Stettner's or the Frigate would be very safe and chill. Ted Pinson
From Chicago, IL
Joined Jul 11, 2014
178 points
May 27, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: morning joe
Ted Pinson wrote:
I would not want to bring a lil tike up the CCC trail and boulder field.

I know you've got a very new addition to the family - and YMMV - but you'll probably find quickly that ease of approach gets very over-rated, and that hang-out area is far more important. The CCC trail is pretty solid for little ones- it just takes a while longer. But then EVERYTHING takes a good while longer. That's just part of the deal. I wouldn't really call any part of that trail a boulder field... though it may pass through one. And a 2.5 year old will think that it feels like a mile wide. The 1 yo will just sleep in the backpack on the way up :)

Obviously you want to climb- (and they probably will too some) but it is a balancing act. You've got the kids along with you, it's their day too, and often the approach and descent can be their most involved and engaged part of the day.

The best bet is to have somewhere that you can lay out a 3/4 length closed cell foam thermarest for them to hang out on, read books to them, etc. Keeps things a bit cleaner- gives them a focal area, etc.

Also- for Memorial Day rock throwing.... the one place at the lake that you can be absolutely sure no one can throw rocks on you from above- and has a brilliant hang out space at the bottom- would be the Leaning Tower. Obviously the climbs are limited - but there's bouldering there too.

(Even though super short - the approach to Stettner has a fair amount of steep slick spots that pass through a bunch of thorny plants at 2 year old face level that you have to keep an eye out for)
Sean Peter
From IL
Joined Aug 15, 2013
45 points
May 27, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: yukon
The hike to Stettner, steep and slick? Thorns in the face? I think you are taking the wrong way (maybe coming up to it from directly below?) or you are thinking of Misery. My 3 year old hikes up to Stettner without help. I agree that taking kids up the CCC isn't a big deal either. Again, my kid makes it without much help and until this year, I hauled him up there in the backpack. It's basically a staircase all the way up. Seth Jones
Joined Feb 17, 2015
39 points
May 27, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying 2nd (or was it 3rd? 4th?) on Turk's Head ...
A steep staircase on slick rock. I've always felt it's a matter of when, not if, I twist an ankle on the way down from the East Rampart. I guess I could be wrong if you guys have done it with kids, but it seems like a bad idea from my experience. The base of the East Rampart is also not terribly kid friendly...consider the scramble from Darcy's to Brinton's, crowds, etc. Ted Pinson
From Chicago, IL
Joined Jul 11, 2014
178 points
May 27, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Bastille Crack, top of P1
Thanks guys. Great input! We'll probably try out the Sandstone area. I've been meaning to check out that area for awhile now. We might try out Picnic Wall as well. Nathan Sward
Joined Jan 27, 2015
57 points
May 27, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: morning joe
Seth Jones wrote:
(maybe coming up to it from directly below?)


Yeah, we usually just park at one of those spots right below it on the cabin road and hike directly up. You can basically hear if it's crowded before you even start up...
Sean Peter
From IL
Joined Aug 15, 2013
45 points
May 28, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying 2nd (or was it 3rd? 4th?) on Turk's Head ...
Well, no wonder. :p There's an access path directly off the West Bluff trail...very mellow approach. It sounds like you took your kids up Turk's Head Ridge, lol. Ted Pinson
From Chicago, IL
Joined Jul 11, 2014
178 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Bastille Crack, top of P1
We spent all Saturday and Monday morning at Old Sandstone. Great location for the kids: both short approach and nice base area. Great place to practice crack climbing and do some trad as well. Sunday we spent at Sun Top Tower and Great Tower. We did find the trail and were going to continue to Picnic Wall, but the scrambling became a little more strenuous the last 200 ft. The two towers had some good routes that kept us busy.

The kids had a great time, and we got to explore areas new to us. Thanks again!
Nathan Sward
Joined Jan 27, 2015
57 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: yukon
Glad you guys had a good time! How were the crowds? We talked about coming up but decided to hold off a week or two in fear that the whole lake would be a shit show with it being the holiday. Seth Jones
Joined Feb 17, 2015
39 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Bastille Crack, top of P1
Old Sandstone was utterly empty Saturday and Monday. We had the place completely to ourselves. On Sunday, Picnic and Suntop were empty. Great Tower had a group for awhile. We stayed away from the East Bluff. I think most people were scared away by the forecast of rain and thunderstorms. Their loss--the weather was mostly fantastic, apart from a couple short showers. Nathan Sward
Joined Jan 27, 2015
57 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: yukon
Now I wish we had gone haha. Oh well, I got some work done on my woody, played with the kiddo, grilled and drank some beer so I guess I can't complain :) Seth Jones
Joined Feb 17, 2015
39 points
Administrator
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: hi
It did rain sat am at the lake. Please don't climb at old sandstone post rain. The Rock is soft until it drys out which takes longer than the quartzite does. That might have been a reason why no one was there. jon jugenheimer
From Madison
Joined Apr 24, 2006
1,639 points
May 31, 2016
Be careful at Old Sandstone around the 5.4 chimney. I see it set for kids because of the grade, but just beware that there's a lot of loose rock in there and up top. Keep kids away from the base, and helmet up to belay. Craig T
From Chicago, IL
Joined Apr 19, 2010
8 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Bastille Crack, top of P1
Jon, I wasn't aware of this rule at Sandstone. I'll stay clear in the future. Climbing on wet rock isn't much fun anyway. That said, the rock was pretty dry by the time we started at 10:30 or so. By noon, there was sun shining on the face.

Is this sandstone different than the Red or Jackson Falls? I'm not aware of similar rules there, where people regularly climb after the rain.
Nathan Sward
Joined Jan 27, 2015
57 points


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