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Central Sandstone

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Central Sandstone Rock Climbing 

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Location: 43.82064, -89.88587 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 20,698
Administrators: Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, Chris treggE, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Remo on Aug 8, 2008
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Rattlesnake Mound from the parking spot.

Quincy and at least parts of rattlesnake are state natural areas and thus closes to climbing. Please respect the ban.


The Central Sandstone areas are bluffs littered with boulders that rise out of the central plains of Adams County. Located between Adams-Friendship and Wisconsin Dells, are Rattlesnake Mound and Quincy Bluff Reserve. Both really cool, state owned areas, with easy access and great sandstone.

(**Quincy Bluff is actually jointly owned by the Nature Conservancy and the state, and no climbing is allowed at Quincy at this time** -Eggert)

Rattlesnake has more rock and established problems, but both areas are worth a trip. About 5 years ago, a couple tornadoes touched down right on top of Rattlesnake and threw trees all over the area. Locals along with the state cleared a lot of the windthrow. Some boulders are still covered but its not bad.

Admin note: "Parts of Rattlesnake and all of Quincy are included in the dnr's State Natural Area program so please respect that and do not climb in areas that are signed as State Natural Areas."

Getting There 

A Wisconsin Atlas helps for this one:

Rattlesnake is just off of HWY 13 north of Wis Dells. If driving north, turn left onto Edgewood Dr. and continue west for a couple miles. Turn right (north) on 14th Ct, and the bluffs are just to your right. Park where you see the rock at the saddle, and hike to boulders. Boulders are scattered near both sides of each bluff. Distances are close so makes the hiking easy.

Quincy Bluff is located just south west of Rattlesnake. If heading north on Hwy 13 turn left onto County HWY H. Take H west to Evergreen Ave. Turn right and follow Evergreen to 16th Dr. Turn right here and head north. Quincy is a few miles up on your right hand side. There is a small grass parking lot with a state reserve sign ,with maps, etc. Walk the trail always staying left around to the bluff. The Main Boulder is at the far end of the rim. Boulders are scattered here.

Climbing Season

Weather station 11.1 miles from here

81 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',38],['2 Stars',28],['1 Star',10],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Central Sandstone

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Central Sandstone:
Jump for Joy   V4 6B     Boulder, 12'   Rattlesnake Mound : Main Cliff East
Beached Whale   V4 6B     Boulder   Rattlesnake Mound : House Boulder Area
Down South Raven   V4 6B     Boulder, 15'   Rattlesnake Mound : House Boulder Area
Can't hang   V5 6C     Boulder   Rattlesnake Mound : Main Cliff East
Direct Line   V6-7 7A+     Boulder, 12'   Quincy Bluff and Wetland Re...
Chaos   V7 7A+     Boulder, 12'   Rattlesnake Mound : Main Cliff East
Pigmy   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 22'   Rattlesnake Mound : Main Cliff West
Solo Crack   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, TR, 35'   Rattlesnake Mound : Main Cliff West
Cottonmouth   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 35'   Rattlesnake Mound : Main Cliff East
Good Afternoon George Bailey   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     TR, 40'   Owens Rock : Main Face
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Central Sandstone

Featured Route For Central Sandstone
Rock Climbing Photo: Looks easy......puts your skills to the test to fi...

Cottonmouth 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  Wisconsin : Central Sandstone : ... : Main Cliff East
First striking crack as you enter the climb up the east hill behind the main cliff; opposite side from Venom and Timber Rattler climbs. Great crack to start the climb and then face and thin finger crack to finish the top section....[more]   Browse More Classics in Wisconsin

Photos of Central Sandstone Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Main Boulder at Quincy.
Main Boulder at Quincy.
Rock Climbing Photo: House boulder at Rattlesnake Mound.
House boulder at Rattlesnake Mound.

Comments on Central Sandstone Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 20, 2015
By John W. Knoernschild
From: Wisconsin
Aug 8, 2008
Thx for posting this Remo. You told me about it when I met you, but I forgot where it was :)
By Brian Runnells
Nov 5, 2008
The new directions to Quincy work great. However, it is posted that climbing is not allowed there. Anyone else notice that? Should this area really be listed on MP??
By Brian Runnells
Nov 5, 2008
See this website for Quincy rules:
By sweatpants
From: Broomfield, CO
Nov 5, 2008
that kinda blows! is there any thing we can do on our end to remedy that situation do u think?
By Jonathan Williams
From: Minneapolis
Nov 5, 2008
I deleted my comment. Despite the desire to go and finish that one great problem, I fully respect that this is a nature preserve and they do not want any number of a list of activities in the preserve, including climbing.

There's more than enough at G Dodge, and the one boulder isn't much to fight over.

Jonathan Williams
By Remo
From: Madison, WI
Nov 11, 2008
I agree with Jonathan. Quincy is a fun little spot, but not worth getting into trouble with the state, it should be left alone if climbing is not allowed. I hope that my posting of this area doesn't cause for more problems and access issues. Thanks guys for digging up the literature on preserves, it will help others understand the issue.
By Jim H
From: Pasadena, CA
Sep 8, 2009
Within thier rights or not, the nature conservancy's shutting down of an area still blows. Just speaking my mind.
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Sep 8, 2009
Yes Jim I agree. To be clear, climbing is not allowed only at Quincy Bluff and Preserve-- it's ok to climb at the other areas listed for Central Sandstone on this page. Jim have you called the Nature Conservancy to ask why or if there is anything that can be done? I would be willing to do that (fully expecting to get shut down). The main boulder at Quincy looks so good that it would be worth at least a call if not a petition. Of course it's still within their rights to say No Way.

It's my opinion that the area should be left on here for historical sake however. Thanks Remo for posting.
By RhodeIslandJeff
From: Westerly, RI
Jan 22, 2011
We have an area here in RI that is joint owned by the DEM (ri's version of the dnr), audubon, and the Nature Conser. A deal with the state has allowed climbing on dem property with exception of one spot (not there). That said the place in question with tri ownersip has some of the best granite climbing in the state and was developed some 40 plus years ago. TNC does not allow climbing here and has posted as such. Worse yet they use tax payers money enforcing their rules with a full time DEM ranger who patrols the property on a regular basis. I'm amazed the TNC has allowed hunting on some of their properties in WI because around here hunting on TNC property is strictly forbiden. Perhaps this angle might somehow allow some room for climbing if handled properly. Good luck with that. On a side note the TNC are no angels. Read on if your interested in TNC corruption.
By Eero46
Feb 22, 2012
is there any guide books?
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Feb 22, 2012
Yes! It's on mountainproject!
By Eero46
Mar 1, 2012
If you know the area of Rattlesnake well could you draw me a map of the main boulders?
By Tradiban
Mar 2, 2012
PM me when you go I will give you a tour. Print out the MP stuff or take a phone with web and you're good to go. Really easy layout.
By CFaul
Mar 27, 2012
Awesome "chill" area to climb spent the whole day there and only seen one couple. Easy routes for beginners!!! (me) I'm talking about Rattlesnake Mound not Quincy btw
By Erik Love
May 20, 2015
If anybody found a set of keys at the parking spot for Rattlesnake, please PM me - they're my work keys!!

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