Rock Climbing in Southern Illinois – Jackson Falls

True Adventures trip to Southern Illinois last weekend.  Eight people’s worth of fun and awesomeness. Miranda led the trip and did a fabulous job as always.  It’s maybe six hours south of Chicago, and totally worth the drive.  Hundreds of sport climbs and trad climbs.  All in a gorgeous canyon, terrific hiking, a pretty waterfall, and free camping.  Which is very cool.  Make sure you bring your own water for camping as there isn’t any there, aside from the little creek if you’d like to filter your own.  They’ve recently put up some more signs to make it much easier to find the camping.  Climbs range from 5.6 to 5.13.  So happy.  Such a great, relaxing, excellent climbing spot and place to experience nature.  Have any questions about where are the best spots to climb?  Feel free to email me.  I can give some pointers on how to get into the canyon and where to go once you’re in.


Joe rocks his first lead, a 5.9 no less. Near Munchkin.


Why'd I skip the first bolt I wonder? Or did it come unclipped...


The westy performs flawlessly, what a machine.



5 Responses to Rock Climbing in Southern Illinois – Jackson Falls

  1. Rob Smith says:

    Hey, I know you. Nice blog. Best wishes.

  2. Eric says:


    I see that you propose to give some hints where to go. We just moved in, and would be very interested by places for outdoor bouldering & climbing, as well as ice fall climbing for winter.

    Thanks, eric

    • Adventurer says:

      Hey Eric – Jackson Falls is great in Southern Illinois, mostly single pitch sport and trad, 6 hrs away. Bouldering there too. Lots go to the Red in KY, I’m sure you know it, 7 hrs. Devil’s Lake is all TR and trad, 3 hrs north, tons of climbs. Some limited climbing near Necedah WI. Bouldering in the city is mainly at Hidden Peak. Climbing is impressive our in Warrenville, 40 mins west of the city, mold of real rock. Governor Dodge St Park has some bits of climbing though I’ve never been. Lincoln Park Athletic Club has some good outside climbing too. Starved Rock for ice climbing in the winter – if it comes in can be 100 ft at Wildcat and many others. And north along the Wisconsin River, and then way north, Munising in UP of Michigan has lots and lots. Check for a group I run through church, lots of adventure ideas there or join us. I’m sure we’ll go ice climbing this winter.

  3. Great blog, quick question. Is there a good set of hiking trails there? I’m looking to add a few more trails to my list.

    • Adventurer says:

      Hey Chris – For sure there’s a great bunch of hiking trails there, you can hike all up and down both sides of the canyon. Couple cool little waterfalls along the way and cliff faces and giant boulders all along. Very cool and beautiful spot. There are also trails along both side of the tops of the canyon as well, which are also beautiful, and you’ll probably need to hike along them to find the trails down into the canyon – which are not readily obvious. You can ask folks and they can point you in the right direction.


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