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Jackson Falls

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Applejack Wall 
Basement, The 
Battle Axe Tower 
Beaver Wall Right, The 
Beaver Wall, The 
Belleville Wall 
Big Star Boulders 
Big Star Wall 
Black Sheep Boulder 
Bouldering in the Canyon Proper 
Dolphin Rock Hallway 
Doors, The 
E.M.J. Wall 
Emperor Wall 
Exam Wall 
Gallery, The 
Gentleman's Grotto, The 
Hidden Peaks 
Higher Ed Zone 
Hobo Cave 
La Haceinda 
Land of Nod, The 
Lovely Tower 
Manky Alcove 
Mr. Jimmy 
Munchkin Boulder, The 
North Falls Main Pool 
Promised Land, The 
Raging Intensity Wall 
Railroad Area 
Rainy Day Roof 
Ranch, The 
Royal Arch Wall 
Snakes Roof 
Spleef Peak 
SS Minnow, The 
Town Square 
Vista Wall 
Wizard Wall 
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

North/South Trail (North End)
A long-distance singletrack trail from the North Welcome Station to Hwy 68. Near Calvert City, Kentucky
Land Between the Lakes Canal Loop
Flowy singletrack with good views of Kentucky & Barkley Lakes Near Calvert City, Kentucky
From MP's sister site:

Jackson Falls Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 37.5066, -88.6816 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 247,940
Administrators: Chris treggE, Dave Hug, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ethan on Aug 30, 2007  with updates from Travis Crane and 1 more


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You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Stewart Korte of the HWDAMF


Jackson falls has the largest number of climbing routes in Illinois. Located in a forest canyon the 30-70 foot walls offer slopers, various sized pockets, roofs, and slabs. Jackson Falls is in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. It can get hot and humid in the summer but there's plenty of shade.

Getting There 

From I24 turn North on highway 45 turn right (East) on Ozark road for about 4.5 miles. Turn left on Trigg Tower Road to the first farmhouse and turn right. The parking is about 2 miles down the dirt road just before crossing the creek.

Please Donate For Rebolting 

Click HERE: to donate towards the Illinois Climber Association's re-bolting cause.


In Illinois there are 3 guide books for the southern portion of the state. The first is Eric Ulner's book Vertical Heartland.

Rock Climbing Photo: Vertical Heartland 3rd Edition
Vertical Heartland 3rd Edition

His guide is a good representation of the legal climbing destinations in the state and primarily focus on sport and traditional climbing.

The second is Matt Bliss's book Sandstone Warrior.

Rock Climbing Photo: Sandstone Warrior
Sandstone Warrior

His guide beautifully lays out the majority of the bouldering found in S.I. and includes quality color photos to aid in your boulder problem deciphering. These two guides provide you with all the necessary tools to navigate our local crags. Pick them up and go enjoy the climbing that Illinois has to offer.

The newest guide:

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.1 miles from here

345 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',47],['3 Stars',182],['2 Stars',96],['1 Star',17],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Jackson Falls

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Jackson Falls:
Yosemite Slab   V0 4     Boulder, 40'   Bouldering in the Canyon Pr...
Big Wall Greg's Chicken Shack   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch   Mr. Jimmy
Luscious Babes   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Sport   Mr. Jimmy
Deetle Dumps   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport   Royal Arch Wall
Stubborn Swede   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 60'   Hidden Peaks
Chimichonga   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport   Mr. Jimmy
Unclaimed   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 50'   Hidden Peaks
Groovy Marcia!   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   The Ranch
Fine Nine   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Lovely Tower
Master Marley   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Spleef Peak
Earthbound Misfit   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   The Gallery
Venom   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   Mr. Jimmy
Cheerio Bowl   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Hidden Peaks
Spiders From Mars   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport   Mr. Jimmy
Who Let the Snakes Out   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport   Snakes Roof
Group Therapy   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Gallery
Wild at Heart   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   Railroad Area
Lovely Arete   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 35'   Lovely Tower
Hidden Treasures   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 40'   Lovely Tower
Detox Mountain   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Hidden Peaks
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Jackson Falls

Featured Route For Jackson Falls
Rock Climbing Photo: Remo on the middle moves of Blue Velvet

Blue Velvet 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  Illinois : Jackson Falls : Railroad Area
It was a fine day when Rich and Rob decided to equip this amazing line. Beautiful pockets up the center of the corridor wall. Right of Where's My Bourbon. Not to be missed....[more]   Browse More Classics in Illinois

Photos of Jackson Falls Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jackson Falls
Jackson Falls
Rock Climbing Photo: bsd on Detox Mountain 5.12a
bsd on Detox Mountain 5.12a
Rock Climbing Photo: Yosemite Slab V2, Jackson Falls, So Ill
Yosemite Slab V2, Jackson Falls, So Ill
Rock Climbing Photo: Here is a accurate and to-scale map of Jackson Fal...
BETA PHOTO: Here is a accurate and to-scale map of Jackson Fal...
Rock Climbing Photo: Beautiful falls.
Beautiful falls.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Yosemite Slab.
The Yosemite Slab.
Rock Climbing Photo: Here's a map based loosely off the map in the Ulne...
BETA PHOTO: Here's a map based loosely off the map in the Ulne...
Rock Climbing Photo: spiderman Photo by Jace Johnson
spiderman Photo by Jace Johnson
Rock Climbing Photo: Approach view from the N/E of Pricker Peak (South ...
BETA PHOTO: Approach view from the N/E of Pricker Peak (South ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Juicy Fruit (V3) -- Just south of Dog Walk Access,...
BETA PHOTO: Juicy Fruit (V3) -- Just south of Dog Walk Access,...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jackson Falls in winter.  Feb. '09.
Jackson Falls in winter. Feb. '09.
Rock Climbing Photo: send train on yosemite slab Photo by Branden Miche...
send train on yosemite slab Photo by Branden Miche...
Rock Climbing Photo: yosemite slab Photo by Branden Michelkamp
yosemite slab Photo by Branden Michelkamp
Rock Climbing Photo: slab
Rock Climbing Photo: Yosemite Slab
Yosemite Slab
Rock Climbing Photo: Jackson Falls
Jackson Falls
Rock Climbing Photo: Frozen falls near the Dog Walk area.  Feb. '09.
Frozen falls near the Dog Walk area. Feb. '09.
Rock Climbing Photo: The falls from the top.  Feb. '09.
The falls from the top. Feb. '09.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing at Jackson Falls.
Climbing at Jackson Falls.
Rock Climbing Photo: SteveZ and I at Jackson Falls, February 09, a gift...
SteveZ and I at Jackson Falls, February 09, a gift...
Rock Climbing Photo: Matte Kirk on Juicey Fruit
Matte Kirk on Juicey Fruit
Rock Climbing Photo: jackson falls
jackson falls
Rock Climbing Photo: This is 'Sketchy Tree'. It is located right next t...
This is 'Sketchy Tree'. It is located right next t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jackson Falls, not sure what route...
Jackson Falls, not sure what route...

Show All 24 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Jackson Falls Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 13, 2017
By Ladd
Nov 28, 2007
Dr. Topo guidebook
By Christian M. Lenn
From: Evansville, IN
Jun 4, 2008
Vertical Heartland,Eric Ulner The comprehensive guidebook for southern illinois
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Feb 22, 2009
The Dr. Topo guide says turn right on Glenn Falls Road, which apparently has been renamed Street Road. The rest is accurate.

12/2015: sadly the Dr. Topo guide is no longer available, PM me if you would like a copy
By Dave Pool
Mar 10, 2009
I don't know how to add the lat/long stuff to this post but these are the coordinates according to Google Earth: 37°29'40"N 88°39'55"W
By Bob Kryzer
From: Minnesota
Apr 29, 2009
The most beautiful climbing area I have ever been to. Large amounts of rock and amazing routes!
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Dec 11, 2010
A lot of the routes posted for Jackson Falls contain sparse info.

If you post something better or more descriptive, or have any FA info, etc, post a comment under the route and I'll fix it. Thanks.
By JBroom
From: anchorage, alaska
Jan 12, 2011
Beautiful area! No matter how many destinations I go to Jackson will always be a favorite of mine. Amazing sandstone sport climbing, free camping and you can have the place pretty much to yourself during the week!
By Chicagio
Jun 6, 2011
Sorry to double post but this didn't seem appropriate for a condition report.
After an intense day of climbing this campground was about 25 minutes away and had hot showers for $3 a person. They also sell ice and firewood.
By Juggler
Oct 25, 2011
Looking to see if anyone want to fly(in a plane) down with me for the wknd. to Jackson Falls leaving Friday(10/28) AM and returning Sun. Aft?

LMK and I will send you the cost sharing details. Flying makes a 6 hr drive a 2 hour flight. LMK right away- Thanks
By Ted Peterson
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 8, 2012
MP is great for new routes and getting the lay of the land, but if you are going to be spending some time at the Falls, might as well buy the guidebook and support the local climbing community. Vertical Heartland, 3rd edition. Order online, from Eric, or pick it up at Shawnee Trails in Carbondale. FYI, there are many new sport routes not in the guidebook, so perhaps MP is great as an addendum.
By wyattj8
Jan 5, 2013
Hey guys, I am new to the area and am looking for some partners to climb with on the weekends mostly. I am starting a new job at Land Between the Lake in KY on Jan 7th. I have been climbing for about 8 years now and am a capable climber and belayer, no sketchy shit here! So if you wouldn't mind meeting someone new to climb with either email me at or call me at 615-438-8927.

By Collin Carlier
From: Champaign, Illinois
May 25, 2014
I'm going to be camping around this area the weekend of 5/31/14 and am looking for someone willing to loan a rope. I would gladly pay a rental fee. Just message me here in the comments. Thanks!
By Grey Satterfield
From: Broomfield
Jun 4, 2014
How does the rock hold up after the rain? Will moist holds break off? I want to climb here this weekend but the weather looks threatening.
By Dreez
Jun 12, 2014
We tried to climb when it was moist and not possible. All the holds have buckets of water and moss and fungus in them. You have to let it dry out for a couple days.

We camped at:

Cedar Lake Campground for 2 nights $15/night. Wifi, electricity, showers, super friendly people. Showers need to be cleaned and redone but usable.
But this is about 5 miles from JF.
By Matt Hodges
From: Berea, Ky
Jun 16, 2015
Jackson Falls just became our local crag and I'm looking for more partners! My wife and I currently go out about once a week. We mostly climb moderates and I'm starting to get back on harder stuff. If you are around let's climb!

PS: Anyone know where to pick up a guide book? The topo is super outdated.
By Travis Crane
Jun 18, 2015
Matt Hodges, my friend Yusuf actually just created a brand new guidebook for Jacskon Falls. It's completely updated with great route support. Here's the link:

Also, I have a friend and his wife who want to start climbing at JF but have never climbed outdoors before. They're planning on going this weekend. If you're willing to help them get up and going I'm sure they'd love the company. PM me if you'd like their info.
By Max Cody
From: The road
Jul 23, 2015
Does anyone know the story on the large blocks that look to have been pushed into the stream at the top of the waterfall next to the dog walk? Some reason behind it? Or just assholes being assholes? That spot was always so nice. Now between that and the big tree that fell, it looks fucked up.
By Justin Meyer
From: Madison, WI
Sep 8, 2015
The bolt hangers at the top of the route next to the north waterfall were wrapped in tape (so people could rap in on them) so I added quick links 9/7/15. Hope this is ok.

I didn't have a wrench and won't be back to the area any time soon so if someone else could crank them down I would appreciate it.

Anyone know the name of that route?
By J.Kruse
From: Las Cruces, NM
Sep 8, 2015
Justin Meyer, name of the route is Lovin Lizards
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Sep 8, 2015
Comments from user Justin Meyer:

See maps at and for parking, camping, and access points to the canyon.

There is free primitive camping available at the main parking lot as well as on the side of the dirt road after crossing the creek.

There are poison ivy and ground bees throughout the forest including near camping areas, next to trails and next to climbing routes. Be able to identify poison ivy and avoid it.

A great place to cool off after climbing in hot weather is in Bell Smith Springs just a few miles away. The water is tinted but relatively clean and cool. If cliff jumping be careful as the water is not consistently deep and may hide rocks or logs. Follow an experienced local.
By Elias P
Mar 18, 2016
Went here for the first time last weekend. I would recommend driving an suv on the road there. I would also recommend just doing the primitive camping at Jackson Falls. Definitely a sweet place!
By Tyler Metheney
From: St Louis
Jan 1, 2017
Anybody around the Stl area want to make a trip here? Shoot me a message. Cheers!
By mike varlotta
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Jan 13, 2017
I have the month of July to climb around the midwest. Our goal is to climb in as many states as possible. We will be climbing from OH & MI down through IN, IL and all the rest to OK and possibly TX and AR. I know that it's not a great month to be climbing in those parts, but it's when i have the time off so I'm going to have to make due. I've heard Jackson Falls is probably the best of IL climbing. If we are strategic in how we chase shade, can I hope to get a decent sampling of the place? Just as important, are there any other destinations in IL (or any of the neighboring states) that are go to places when the temps and humidity are high? Any other beta about destinations in the region not to be missed would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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