Midwest Rock Climbing

The midwest is not all flat, and rock and ice climbing opportunities are tucked away and plenty if you are willing to drive to them. Rock climbing blends athleticism, balance and problem solving as climbers ascend rock faces using the intricate features of the rock. You can find a variety of sandstone, limestone, basalt and quartzite rock exposures to get your outdoor climbing fix. Browse our extensive, but not exhaustive guides to some of the classic rock climbing areas, routes and gear needed for rock climbing in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, and beyond.

If you are not an experienced climber, consider hiring a guide service or finding an experienced mentor to evaluate your safety. Climbing is dangerous with no room for error and cannot be learned simply by reading online and watching video tutorials. Learning the ropes with an experienced climber allows for a second look at your safety systems and is paramount to a safe climbing experience

Illinois Rock Climbing

Illinois has a few rock and ice climbing opportunities interspersed throughout the state. Areas include traditional climbing and sport climbing opportunities.

Northern Illinois

Mississippi Palisades

Central Illinois Climbing

Starved Rock Ice Climbing

Kankakee River State Park (Closed)

St. Louis Area Climbing

Pere Marquette State Park Rock Climbing

Robinson Bluff Rock Climbing

Southern Illinois Rock Climbing

Jackson Falls

Holy Boulders

Giant City State Park

Wisconsin Rock Climbing

Wisconsin has plenty to offer for rock and ice climbing, particularly in the Driftless Area of the state.

Southwestern Wisconsin

Devil’s Lake Rock Climbing

Necedah Rock Climbing

Wyalusing Ice Climbing

Governor Dodge Ice Climbing

Western Wisconsin

Willow River State Park

Iowa Rock Climbing

Iowa still holds pockets of cliff accessible for climbing in it’s Driftless areas.

Eastern Iowa

Picture Rocks, Iowa Rock Climbing

Central Iowa

Backbone State Park