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Palisades State Park

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A Taste Of Fontainebleau 
Adelaide Flow 
Balancing Rock 
Beer Tower 
Bridge Boulder 
Bridge Routes 
Campground Boulder Wall 
Chockstone Tower 
Cliffs of Eraised 
Galaxy Tower 
Golden Buttress 
Great North Wall 
Harkor Tower 
Hobgoblin's Hideout 
January Climb 
katrina boulders, The 
King Chase Rock 
King Rock 
Lone Ranger 
MWC ( Minne-Wakan Cove), The 
Never Say Never 
North of your wounded noggin 
Pig Boulders, The 
Playground Boulder 
Queen Rock 
Railroad Panorama 
River Boulder 
Sesame Street Rocks 
Shady Acres 
Sink Hole Boulder 
South Wall 
Split creek cracks 
Swingset Cove 
Tower of the Gods 
Upriver Boulder 
Wounded Noggin 

Palisades State Park Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 43.6901, -96.5147 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 47,205
Administrators: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Andy Busse, Mike Madsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jon Cannon on Oct 16, 2006

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BETA PHOTO: Overview


The Split Rock Creek splits a band of Sioux Quartz just outside the town of Garretson, South Dakota, making for lots of climbing right off the water. Loads of picnickers will be strolling through the area during the summer. A good place for locals not really a "destination" climbing crag as the rock isn't all that tall or exciting. Expect humid summers with lots of bugs and mosquitoes at times because of its proximity to the river. The rock is currently the only rock climbing crag in Eastern South Dakota.

The rock is not very good for friction almost has a glassy feel but gets a wonderful pump due to the crimps and slopers. This place is good for experienced trad climbers as well as TRing. There are never ending crack systems through out the park. Great face climbs are Slandeross (5.12) , Debuant Farmers (5.12), King Olof (5.10) , Glimmer (5.10+) , Never Say Never (5.10) ,and Henry Aaron (5.7). The area saw bouldering development in 2009 and still holds potential for new problems. Great Boulder problems to check out are Contrivance (V5) , Necessary Contrivance (V4) , I Seam Stumped (V3) , Lithium CT (V2), and Head Hunters (V2). The area was developed from the likes of Greg Fossum, gary Johnson, Jim Slichter, Vern Olsen.

Getting There 

10 miles north of Interstate 90, off the Brandon exit (Exit 406). 25495 485th Avenue, Garretson, SD 57030-6117

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.5 miles from here

212 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',59],['2 Stars',80],['1 Star',38],['Bomb',2]

Classic Climbing Routes in Palisades State Park

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Palisades State Park:
Regular Route   V2- 5+     Boulder   River Boulder
Grenada   V2 5+     Boulder   Bridge Boulder
Hung Like A Horse   V3 6A     Boulder, 15'   A Taste Of Fontainebleau
Garden Path   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, TR, 50'   South Wall
Henry Aaron   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     TR, 65'   Chockstone Tower
Racecar Ya Ya's   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Split creek cracks
Stepping Out   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR   RattleSnake
The Bitch   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 65'   Chockstone Tower
The Son Of A Bitch   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, TR, 65'   Chockstone Tower
King Olaf   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     TR   King Rock
Cemetery Gates   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, TR   Harkor Tower
Glimmer   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     TR   Harkor Tower
Debutant Farmers   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, TR   Positron
Aloha   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     TR, 65'   Chockstone Tower
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Palisades State Park

Featured Route For Palisades State Park
Rock Climbing Photo: Aloha 5.12 route beta

Aloha 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b  South Dakota : East Side SD : ... : Chockstone Tower
Do overhanging face to the left of " The Bitch" towards the top gets really crazy with little overhangs and pointy rock formations....[more]   Browse More Classics in South Dakota

Photos of Palisades State Park Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking at King Rock mid-August 2014
Looking at King Rock mid-August 2014

Comments on Palisades State Park Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 15, 2017
By Conor Raney
From: Pinedale, WY
Nov 12, 2010
Happy to see people start to explore this area more for bouldering. Want to get back and try some of the new stuff. Mike M? has been putting up a hard problems to attract a little more interest. I see him out there more than any other climber. Seems very knowledgeable and very friendly. I don't personally know him. He has been adding really good routes wish more did as well, I know it's hard but shoot, it'd be nice to have more hard problems in the vicinity.
By Amy Weed
Feb 8, 2011
Are there any sport routes in this area?
By Tane Owens
From: Denver, CO
May 26, 2012
It seems like there have been a lot of climbing additions to the park in the past few years. Is there any chance someone with current knowledge of the area can make additions or updates to the beta/park overview photo? This would definitely help me around the park, and I'm sure others would benefit from it as well.
By trisgo
From: Omaha, NE (at the moment)
Sep 27, 2012
I don't know, I guess it comes down to personal preference. I'd take Palisades over Blue Mounds anyday. There isn't as much climbing, but hearing the running water and being in the serene (I'm horrible at spelling)setting rather then a field at Blue Mounds is well worth the trade off for me. I usually go up there for the weekend and do Palisades on Saturday and Blue Mounds on Sunday.
By trisgo
From: Omaha, NE (at the moment)
Aug 21, 2015
Tried to make a better map based on descriptions, but I could be way off. Don't quote me. If you have corrections, shout 'em out.

Rock Climbing Photo: PS description
PS description
By Zach Edler
Mar 7, 2017
Are there specific cams/nuts needed to top rope the 5.8-5.10 routes? I have never been to Palisades before and can't afford a full rack. Thanks in advance!
By jdereks
From: Minnesota
Mar 7, 2017
Hey, Zach. The routes here can be set up with a set of nuts and some webbing, with the exception of the freestanding towers, which need to be led.
By Zach Edler
Mar 13, 2017
Thank you much! I'm looking forward to visiting this weekend.
By Jordon
From: Rochester
May 18, 2017
I was in Sioux Falls a week ago and saw that there was a guide book out. Anyone seen it available online? A google search came up empty handed.
By Jeff J.
From: Sioux Falls, SD
May 18, 2017
The guide can be found locally at the Great Outdoor Store, Last Stop CD Shop, and from a guy who drives an aging silver Subaru w/ stickers on it. Or email
By Cody Jeffers
Aug 15, 2017
There seems to be a small handful of Boulder routes listed on here, but there has to be more that are not documented yet. Does anyone have suggestions on where to look for more boulders?
I would love to Trad Climb, but I have not learned how to yet... its on my long list of skills I need to learn!

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