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Devil's Lake Bouldering

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Burma Road Bouldering 
East Bluff Bouldering 
Far East Area 
Sandstone Area 
Skillet Creek Bouldering 
South Bluff Bouldering 
Steinke Basin Bouldering 
West Bluff Bouldering 
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Holy Schist
The name speaks for itself. A long section of difficult trail with little respite until the end. Near Barneveld, Wisconsin
Over Lode Loop (long)
Not for the faint of heart or body, this loop will challenge even the more experienced riders. Near Barneveld, Wisconsin
Over Lode Loop (short)
This ride features Over Lode and the short Mound Loop for a good mix of intermediate singletrack. Near Barneveld, Wisconsin
Mound Loop (short)
The short Mound Loop omits Holy Schist and Home Stretch but adds Basalty Bail. Near Barneveld, Wisconsin
Mound Loop (long)
The long Mound Loop contains some of the most technical singletrack that Wisconsin has to offer. Near Barneveld, Wisconsin
Pleasant View Trail Full Loop
A full loop of Pleasant View Trail System, there and back with the Mulligan Loop and Slice included. Near Middleton, Wisconsin
From MP's sister site:

Devil's Lake Bouldering Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 43.4153, -89.73219 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 255,350
Administrators: Burt Lindquist, Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, Chris treggE, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jay Knower on Aug 11, 2009
This Afternoon

88° | 62°

83° | 68°

89° | 67°

87° | 65°

85° | 63°

81° | 60°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [5 people like this page.]
Gettin on it, Remo in the summer heat.


This page contains all of the bouldering spots spread throughout the park. Split up now under different areas, mostly by which shore or bluff the bouldering follows.

Due to the ongoing explosion of bouldering at the Lake, please keep comments to informative ones under the problems if possible.

Click here for the Climbing Narc's West Bluff guide

Click here for a photocopy of Eric Zscheische's classic "Git on IT!" bouldering guide (reprinted with Eric's kind permission - DH.)


The Wisconsin Bouldering Guidebook, which features bouldering at Devil's Lake and Governor Dodge, published alongside the Minnesota Bouldering Guidebook, is currently available online from Escape and at retail locations throughout the Midwest.

A bouldering guidebook by Ian Cotter-Brown to Devil's Lake is available here: (also at Boulders, Wild Side, and the park admin building)


If you show up in WI without pads, you can buy a pad at Boulders Climbing Gym in Madison or Wildside in Baraboo (call before going to make sure they have one in stock). You can also rent a pad from Focus Boardshop/Wisconsin Climbers Association on the east side of Madison. All three locations currently stock the Wisconsin Bouldering Guidebook.

Fuzzy on "Trust Fund Slab" on the West Bluff, photo: Remo
Rock Climbing Photo: Fuzzy starting Trust Fund.
Fuzzy starting Trust Fund.

Nic Oklobzija on FA of "Death of a Traveling Salesman" V5 X, photo: Steve Schultz
Rock Climbing Photo: Nic on 'Death of a Traveling Salesman'.  Note the ...
Nic on 'Death of a Traveling Salesman'. Note the pads waaaayy below.

Katie on "Little Flatiron" V4 on the CCC trail, photo: Steve Schultz
Rock Climbing Photo: She sent a couple goes later.
She sent a couple goes later.

Remo on "Sex and Chocolate" V7 @ Monolith, photo: ?
Rock Climbing Photo: Hiking my foot for the throw.
Hiking my foot for the throw.

Steve Schultz on FA "Moj" V8 on West Bluff, photo: Runnells
Rock Climbing Photo: Steve sending
Steve sending

An excellent video of the top 20 boulder problems that should be on anyone's tick list.

Getting There 

See the directions under each specific area.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.6 miles from here

996 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',61],['3 Stars',380],['2 Stars',433],['1 Star',98],['Bomb',7]

Classic Climbing Routes in Devil's Lake Bouldering

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Devil's Lake Bouldering:
Trust Fund Slab   V-easy 3     Boulder, 10'   West Bluff South : Hogleg/Anchorpoint boulders
Super Slab   V0 4     Boulder   West Bluff Central : Super Slab Area
Classic Warm Up   V1 5     Boulder, 16'   Burma Road Bouldering
Imp Act   V1 5     Boulder, 20'   Greatest Show : Greatest Bluff
Big Bud Arete   V2 5+     Boulder   East Bluff North : North Shore
Gay Gigolo   V2 5+     Boulder   Greatest Show : Greatest Bluff
Slope of Dadaism   V3 6A     Boulder   Monolith Area : East of Trail Boulders
Flying Mancuso   V3 6A     Boulder   The Reserve : The Reserve
Intercourse Arete   V3 6A     Boulder, 10'   West Bluff South : Hogleg/Anchorpoint boulders
P.Stachio   V4 6B     Boulder, 12'   500 ft. Boulder Field : The Stache Boulder AKA Dog ...
Sunny & 60's   V4 6B     Boulder   East Bluff North : East Bluff North Talus Fiel...
Baby Crane   V4 6B     Boulder, 12'   Burma Road Bouldering
Recreational Vehicle   V4 6B     Boulder, 20'   West Bluff South : Hogleg/Anchorpoint boulders
The Flatiron   V4 6B     Boulder, Chipped, 10'   East Rampart Bouldering : Monster/Flatiron
Pillar of Contemporary Movement   V4 6B     Boulder   Monolith Area : East of Trail Boulders
Jenga   V6 7A     Boulder   West Bluff Central : Super Slab Area
Starfish   V6 7A     Boulder   The Reserve : The Reserve
Rail Gun   V6 7A     Boulder   East Rampart Bouldering : East of CCC trail
Tunder Tighs    V7 7A+     Boulder, 15'   West Bluff North : Massive Vertigo Area
What Up Weasel   V7-8 7B     Boulder   West Bluff North : Smooth Operator Area
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Devil's Lake Bouldering

Featured Route For Devil's Lake Bouldering
Rock Climbing Photo: Black Rhino, photo Erin Ayla

Black Rhino V8 7B PG13  Wisconsin : Devil's Lake : ... : Balanced Rock Bouldering
A true stunner! From the obvious jug climb straight up the tall overhanging wall. Sustained and committing, though it does get easier at the top....[more]   Browse More Classics in Wisconsin

Photos of Devil's Lake Bouldering Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Full moon rising in the east as the sun sets in th...
Full moon rising in the east as the sun sets in th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Kinda worth getting up early.  Kinda.
Kinda worth getting up early. Kinda.
Rock Climbing Photo: Overview of mostly the East and West Bluff boulder...
BETA PHOTO: Overview of mostly the East and West Bluff boulder...
Rock Climbing Photo: Best time of year
Best time of year
Rock Climbing Photo: Page 105.
BETA PHOTO: Page 105.
Rock Climbing Photo: Page 104.
BETA PHOTO: Page 104.
Rock Climbing Photo: Page 103.
BETA PHOTO: Page 103.
Rock Climbing Photo: Page 102.
BETA PHOTO: Page 102.
Rock Climbing Photo: Page 101. Rock and Ice article issue #99 April 200...
BETA PHOTO: Page 101. Rock and Ice article issue #99 April 200...
Rock Climbing Photo: This boulder is in the "Slant" boulder f...
BETA PHOTO: This boulder is in the "Slant" boulder f...
Rock Climbing Photo: Downhill and a bit south of the arrow boulder.
Downhill and a bit south of the arrow boulder.
Rock Climbing Photo: This is just below the Arrow Boulder
This is just below the Arrow Boulder
Rock Climbing Photo: This is in the Misery Gully between Misery Wall an...
BETA PHOTO: This is in the Misery Gully between Misery Wall an...
Rock Climbing Photo: Severe overhang of the "Arrow Boulder".
BETA PHOTO: Severe overhang of the "Arrow Boulder".
Rock Climbing Photo: Rock and Ice article issue #99 April 2000. Permiss...
BETA PHOTO: Rock and Ice article issue #99 April 2000. Permiss...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lou Reed Boulder Scene of many bouldering epics. R...
BETA PHOTO: Lou Reed Boulder Scene of many bouldering epics. R...

Comments on Devil's Lake Bouldering Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 5, 2017
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Sep 25, 2009
I moved stuff around based on conversations with Brian, Steve, and Remo. Suggestions are always welcome. Also check out wisconsinbouldering.blogspot.c... for more beta.

Thanks Steve for making the outline, I think this will hopefully be a little easier to navigate geographically.
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Nov 4, 2009
In addition to the link in my post above for Steve's blog, you can find a West Bluff miniguide prepared by The Climbing Narc (click on the link in the second paragraph) here.

Also there is an older miniguide that does not include the West Bluff on this site. It looks like it used to include Tumbled Rocks (West Bluff) but the link has been lost.
By Tony Brengosz
Nov 10, 2009
anybody recognize the problem he's climbing in this photo?
By Tony Brengosz
Nov 10, 2009
I would also recommend just looking at his photos. Lots of stuff to get you psyched on bouldering at the lake. One especially cool picture of a sweet looking boulder on the south bluff somewhere.
By SteveSchultz
Nov 10, 2009
Tony, I think the line you're looking at is the Ejaculator. Pretty sure at least.
By Paul Campbell
From: Waukesha, WI
Nov 10, 2009
Yeah Steve is right, thats the Ejaculator, I just compared a bunch of photos because I was wondering the same thing myself :)
By TravisMelin
From: Portland, OR, Roanoke, VA L
Nov 6, 2010
Good or Bad day of bouldering today?

Hit the ending 'jug' but did NOT send: Moj, Perfect Medium, and Sex and Chocolate....nearly did the same on venus rising, but stuck it the last go of the day....
Lake bouldering is so hard!
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Nov 6, 2010
You were out crankin in the woods on a nice fall day, with two of the sweetest boulder pads your feet will ever land on. GOOD day.

So, Doc Melin, Venus Rising? What, like V4/5?
By TravisMelin
From: Portland, OR, Roanoke, VA L
Nov 6, 2010
So true! I sure did a lot of falling, and not a single bad landing all day.
As far as venus rising goes....V5 sounds about right, or does it maybe have a super low sit start that I didnt see?
By greg bahr
Sep 24, 2011
I have someone's stick brush they left and or stashed by ironically enough the stache boulder ha! My apologies for taking it but i dont take kindly to "stashed" stuff. I only removed it for the sake that the bouldering areas at the lake are getting trashed quickly and i refuse to see access dwindle down to nothing because of people leaving stuff behind. Im at the lake every weekend gimme a message and you can have it back! If you live in route to the lake from burbs of chicago i will even go out of my way to drop it off personally if you cant make it to the lake. Once again my apologies but please leave no trace.

Also info is needed on a petzl bag stashed near the massive vertigo area with a bunch of crow bars and etc. Who owns this bag? Why is that even out there? Do you really "clean" routes with that stuff? I can understand if it was in a random bag but its a petzl bag which is a dead give away its a climber. Anybody who works at devils lake will know a climber left it behind giving us a bad rep cause surely know one would understand why we need that kind of stuff out there anyways. Please let me know whats going on with that because i will hike it out and remove it in 2 weeks from now. You can have it back any weekend since im always there and if you live in route from the chicago burbs to the lake i can drop it off at your house.

Like i said my apologies for being the jerk to remove stuff even though its not my place to but it wasnt really your place to leave stuff anyways...Feel free to contact me with any concerns my main objective with this post was to inform people i removed stashed stuff to improve the quality relationship us boulders have with the park staff. You can everything back and ill even go out of my way to make sure you get it back!

By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Sep 24, 2011
Greg, leave the bag there. I will notify the owner of your concern. The improved landing on Tunder Tighs/Full Moon Rising is a result of hard work and the contents of that bag. I doubt the park rangers care if the landing has been "Jenga'ed". If anything, it will lead to less broken bones and climber injuries, something we can all agree is a good thing.
By greg bahr
Sep 24, 2011
Chris, Awesome thanks for the quick respons. I really had no clue why it was there amd frankly it wasnt a concern what the contents did but more or less just bummed the bag was out there in general! But kudos fo hauling all that shit out there to whomever that landing is pretty nice! PM me your digits so we can meet up! Also i have a feeling i know who the bags is...if im right ill be in his area soon for a comp and if he wants to save a trip i can bring it up for him? Let me know in a PM! Like i said earlier wasnt trying to be a jerk just want a clean crag!
By greg bahr
Sep 26, 2011
just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who is searching for the new projects, putting up all these sweet new lines, and in general being some bad ass pad peoples! The new work being done at the lake is hand downs nothing short of inspiring! Nothing makes a week of shitty school better then having a whole slew of things to climb on the weekends! cue pat on the back for! Thanks guys!
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Nov 12, 2011
Another Rock Warrior Film coming soon!

By Remo
From: Madison, WI
Dec 1, 2011
Nic, I think the best hard projects out there are: Tipping Point-full line(lower start with higher finish), Crack of Doom(has shot down many strong climbers), Block Party(just hard), Toe Hook(one to two really hard moves, ask Peter) and the steep roof behind Smooth Operator(I think you've seen this one). There are many more and I'm sure other people have projects out there too, but these IMHO are some of the best. Come down and send them!
By Josh Olson
From: Durango, CO
Feb 17, 2012
Chris, I hate to add work to your list, but would it be possible to put these links in the area description? You could add the link to the topo I commented on recently too. I stole these links from your 2009 comments, might be helpful for somebody.

Also, does anybody know who did the second link (East Bluff) topos? I've redone them (mostly) and renamed routes like face v0 with their mountain project equivalents, at least as far as I can tell. I don't feel right re-posting them without their approval.

Narc's West Bluff Miniguide

East Bluff Topos
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Feb 17, 2012
No problem, will do. The links are just a few posts up from yours here on this page (Nov 4th, 2009) but I can add them to the description too.

I thought Eric Z created those topos but I guess I was wrong, I have no idea who did, and since it's been on the web for so long I don't think anyone will care if you update and post them. Thanks!
By Josh Olson
From: Durango, CO
Feb 17, 2012
Yeah, I saw that they were in there, figured big blue text in the area description would be easier to see. I'll try and get those posted in the next couple days here.
By SteveSchultz
Feb 17, 2012
I'm not sure who did them but if it's any consolation they are direct copies(albeit less artistic and more basic) of EZ's guide. Down to the descriptions and overview map.
By Josh Olson
From: Durango, CO
Feb 17, 2012
Thanks Chris and Steve, I'll get to it then. Unless the weather tomorrow is as good as it was today, that is.
By Garyasdf
Apr 25, 2012
I have Eric Z's Rock and Ice guide. I can post to photos for historical interest if legal. It's basically the original for the topos linked here, which, in turn, is the R&I version of Git on It.

It fills out some of the missing info on the "copy" topos (info which is available on MP) such as climbs 52 - 56 on the Monolith map. Also clears up the question about a Tumbled Rocks guide (no).

A blast from the past!
By Doug Hemken
From: Madison, WI
Apr 26, 2012
I've asked Eric Z to let me know how he feels about all this.

The R&I guide is under their copyright, I presume? Posting one page is probably "fair use" (as long as you include a note about the original source), but posting the whole thing would be a pretty clear infringement ... you could ask them for permission ....
By Doug Hemken
From: Madison, WI
Apr 27, 2012
Zschiesche writes:

"Thanks for the query,... in regard to the information and drawings from " Git on it ", feel free to use them. In regards to the R&I article,... I am not sure who has the copyright "rights" to that material. Thanks again, and,... any more questions, fire away.

cheers, Eric"

So if you post copies, please get them from "Git On It!", and make sure to include an attribution.
By Nathan Wells
From: Madison, Wisconsin
Apr 30, 2012
West Bluff Bouldering Area

Found a great area that has no chalk anywhere! Was confused since there seem to be many great potential routes. Some landings may be dicey but if a big enough group with lots of mats climbs there it would be really nice. The location is about 75 meters north of Moj, and SuperSlab and about 20-30 meters uphill. My friend and I walked straight downhill from the area and popped out north of the 500ft boulder field near a bench named after a woman...forgot the name :(

If anyone is interested in checking it out I would be happy to show you.
By Nathan Wells
From: Madison, Wisconsin
Apr 30, 2012
In regard to Brians Runnells West Bluff Topo Map.

Don't believe the John F McArthur bench exists anymore. Wasn't able to find the yellow spray painted dot in the 150ft boulder field either.
By Doug Hemken
From: Madison, WI
Apr 30, 2012
I think we got rid of the yellow dot on one of our graffiti clean ups, last Fall.
By jaysquared
From: Madison, WI
Apr 30, 2012
I can confirm for certain that the yellow dot was removed in the graffiti cleanup. If you look closely you might be able to see a patch of dead lichen on the rock where it once was. It made me think about how often graffiti is referenced as a landmark when navigating to climbing areas at the Lake..and then about how it's kind of useful...and then about how ugly it is..and then how we should remove it...and then how people are going to get lost. Apparently I was right.
By Adam Bazydlo
Jul 3, 2013
Going camping there this weekend for the first time for 3 days of bouldering. So CAMPING wise...Since I have a registered spot with my truck in the park, do they crack down/give you a hard time/ to people camping out in the woods at climbing spots?? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
By Burt Lindquist
From: Madison, WI
Jul 3, 2013
Adam. The park service will never know as long as your vehicle is parked in your paid for State Park campsite. Just don't do anything at any bivy site your at to attract any attention... you may wanna pass on the use of fireworks, big spot lights, or any loud shriek'n. If your quiet and out of site of the roads the park service will never know. Leave your auto parked in your paid for camp site.
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Jul 3, 2013
Also, I don't know that I would advertise your intent on here, even if the chance of the DNR reading these comments might be low. It would be really cool to bring a sleeping bag and hammock to string between 2 trees near Super Slab/Jenga or somewhere up there, or near Sunny and 60's. Waking to the sunrise from the Jenga area would be amazing. Waking up at the Reserve would be cool too.

Rock Climbing Photo: Sunrise over the East Bluff.  September 2010.
Sunrise over the East Bluff. September 2010.
By Joshua Uhl
Sep 11, 2013

My name is Joshua Uhl and I am working on making a film about the bouldering scene in the midwest specifically at Devils Lake.

I want any and all People who are Bouldering hard at the lake this fall season to help and collaborate to make a rad film and put the Midwest Pebble Wrestling on the map outside of the midwest.

If anyone is interested in climbing in the film or helping out in any way, please let me know asap.

I would specifically love to tell a story about putting up and sending the hardest problems at the lake.

Get psyched for your projects and help make a rad climbing film
By madisonchoss
Oct 2, 2013
What are the best undone problems at the lake? I'm getting sick of hiking around looking for them.
By Paul Campbell
From: Waukesha, WI
Oct 2, 2013
Crack of Doom Proj - (No longer project, climbed by Pete B 10/6/13)

Big Boy Proj -

El Parasol Proj -

Smooth Roof Proj -


Rebel Pride Project - (ICB sent this, called Rebel Pride V10-)
By Paul Campbell
From: Waukesha, WI
Oct 7, 2013
Found a few more good looking ones.

Big Money Project:

Jack Backwards still needs a ropeless ascent in the same area as Big Money:

On South Shore, Bald Arete Project:

To be honest I can't find much else that really stands out. Soooooo many of the old projects have been climbed over the last couple years.
By Remo
From: Madison, WI
Oct 8, 2013
Ian has a list of about 50 projects that he and Peter came up with. Nic, I still think someone needs to do the Smooth Roof Proj, aka The Cheddarmilker- 8B? And yes, you should go check out B and B!
By Paul Campbell
From: Waukesha, WI
Oct 8, 2013
Wow 50! Cool to hear there is so much more out there!
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Nov 25, 2013
Maybe a lot of people have already seen this but Steve put together a nice video of some highlights of the Devil's Lake bouldering 2013 season.

By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
May 7, 2015
I added a link to Steve's top 20 boulder problems video above.

By Tradiban
May 11, 2015
Jesus AK, way to stick with it on Starfish, you looked like a brick shit house climbing that thing ;)
By Terry Kieck
May 19, 2015
Great video! No surprise Big Bud was #1. Classic! The video shows the start on the left arete. The traditional start is on the right arete smearing the feet high and throwing for the break. I think it adds a be bit more fun to the problem.
By Remo
From: Madison, WI
May 19, 2015
That's the way I usually do it Terry. I think everyone likes the left start because it's a little more straight forward and has good holds.
By David Duy Nguyen
Mar 4, 2017
Has anyone purchased the guidebook from the Escape Climbing website? If you have, do you think it is worth purchasing if I am only interested in bouldering at Devil's Lake? The book has 500+ pages but encompasses so many different areas. I worry that they don't have most of the problems from DL in the book. I don't see how they would be able to cover at least 500-600 of the 900 problems in approximately 1/3 of the book. If anyone has the book, you mind taking a picture of the list of problems at DL (the index for the problems), so I can get an idea of how many problems they have? I would much appreciate it. Also does anyone know who the second guidebook that solely focuses on DL is made by?
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Mar 5, 2017
David, the Wisconsin half is mostly Devil's Lake. I'll find out exactly how many problems are in there from Peter (want to say around 600?), and some of what is not included are eliminates of the lines that are in there -- if your denominator is the # of problems on MP.

I'd say you should buy it but I'm a bit biased. Maybe go take a peek at the gym copy at Boulders in Madison and decide for yourself.

If you are content with mountainproject for now and truly only want Devil's Lake, I am told the all-inclusive DL-only bouldering guidebook is done or very close. This is Ian Cotter-Brown's book published by K. Daniels Publishing and should be very good as well.

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