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Draper's Bluff

Select Route:
Kittens S 
Ant Killer T 
Bloody Nose T 
Blue Roof T 
C-Crack T 
C-Crack Direct T 
D & D's Pecker Wrecker S 
Fancy Lads T,S 
Genuine Risk T 
Geppetto S 
High Over Camp T 
matrix, The 
Outline, The S 
Sidewinder S 
Southern Exposure T 
storm and rain 
Trial and Error T 

Draper's Bluff Rock Climbing 

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Location: 37.5346, -89.0595 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 11,141
Administrators: Dave Hug, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jon Richard on Jan 23, 2007
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Draper closed MORE INFO >>>


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)

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 10.4 miles from here

17 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',10],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Draper's Bluff

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Draper's Bluff:
Bloody Nose   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 100'   
Sidewinder   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 40'   
Ant Killer   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 100'   
Southern Exposure   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 110'   
Blue Roof   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b C1     Trad, Aid, 2 pitches   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Draper's Bluff

Featured Route For Draper's Bluff
Rock Climbing Photo: Rob on the beginning of the cool moves.

C-Crack 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  Illinois : Draper's Bluff
Go up the easy crack system until you hit a roof. Either continue up the roof for the direct variation, or as I recomend, head right on the horizontal, near footless, hand crack traverse. Finish on the antkiller belay ledge. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Illinois

Photos of Draper's Bluff Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Ant Killer Crux
Ant Killer Crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing Steep 1st Pitch of Southern Exposure.
Climbing Steep 1st Pitch of Southern Exposure.
Rock Climbing Photo: On the Bloody Nose P1
On the Bloody Nose P1

Comments on Draper's Bluff Add Comment
Show which comments
By Ben Bruestle
From: Pueblo, CO
Sep 21, 2008
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.
By Courtney Coe
From: Denver, CO
Nov 26, 2008
Directions are a little difficult to'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!!
By KENtucky Spurling
From: Louisville, Ky
May 19, 2009
With the new changes in illinois state laws this area has closed. Info @
By Christian M. Lenn
From: Evansville, IN
May 25, 2009
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.
By Corey Morris
From: Fort Sam Houston, TX
Jun 8, 2009
This truly is a crying shame.
By Glbj
Apr 7, 2010
By J Evans
May 6, 2010
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 for more information. Also, the Access Fund has an Action Alert the simplifies the process of contacting the Representatives in Illinois,
By Brian Aitken
Jun 9, 2012
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.
By Chris Smudde
Oct 31, 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.

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