Drapers Bluff, Illinois (IL)


Drapers Bluff, Illinois
United States
37° 30' 53.28" N, 89° 2' 37.32" W
Just south of Marion, Illinois and echoing the sounds of the Shawnee National Forest, lies a beautiful landscape of sandstone and limestone called Draper’s Bluff.  Once open to the public, this private bluff can now be accessed by paying a fee and opting for a guided climb.  Climbers ranging from beginners to superstars all say that this bluff is worth the fee.  The bluff is full of mixed-pro routes for beginning climbers to routes that will test just how comfortable you really are with being 100 feet up in the air hanging from a rock.
The owners of Drapers Bluff offer a variety of options for folks wanting to climb.  Their programs are in two general formats:  Technical Instruction via open-enrollment pre-scheduled classes and Guided Top Rope Climbing for individuals and groups by reservation only.

Climbing Medium:  
Climbing takes place outdoors at our private cliff, Draper's Bluff.  Climbing routes range from 15-110 feet in height.  They have enough variation of difficulty levels to accommodate all levels of fitness. 
Ages of Clientele:  We are willing to accommodate any age.  Attention span is a large variable in young children.  For children under 13 years of age, we prefer that a parent is present, unless the child is completely comfortable with the adult chaperon that you provide.
Guided Top Rope Climbing Times:  A guided climbing day runs from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. with a midday lunch break for 30-45 minutes.  Half-days either run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., or 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Reservations:  Although they prefer as much lead-time as possible in reserving your dates, they will make every attempt to take care of short notice reservation requests.  

Climbing Routes

  • Bloody Nose- 5.6 (traditional)
  • "C" variation- 5.8 (traditional)
  • Dust Doctor- 5.8 (sport/traditional) 
  • Ant Killer- 5.9 (traditional)
  • Book Shelf Blue- 5.9 (traditional)
  • High Over Camp- 5.9+ (traditional)
  • Blue Roof- 5.10 (traditional)
  • Southern Exposure- 5.10 (traditional)
  • Back to School- 5.10+ (sport/traditional)
  • Never Pass a Chance to Get Pumped- 5.10+  (sport/traditional)
  • Trial and Error-  5.11  (traditional)
  • Cornbread- 5.11a  (sport)
  • Kittens 1st pitch- 5.12b (sport)
  • Kittens 2nd pitch- 5.11b  (sport) 
  • The Outline- 5.12a (sport)
  • Samantha- 5.13a (sport/traditional)
  • Smell the Coffee- 5.13a/b (sport)
  • Son of a Preacherman- 5.13a/b (sport) 
There is absolutely no camping at Drapers Bluff as it is private property.
Bed & Breakfasts (about 7 minutes away)
Twin Bluffs B & B
4425 Lick Creek Road, Buncombe, Illinois
Phone: (618) 658-5600
Valley View Cabins B & B
7025 Lick Creek Road, Buncombe, Illinois
Phone: (618) 833-6356
2.5 miles east of I-57, Exit 36, on Lick Creek Road.


Latitude: 37.5148
Longitude: -89.0437


Whoo Hoo! So they changed the law back to protect property owners! Yay!!!!!

Drapers is not 500 ft tall, it is actually only 110 ft tall at its tallest point. Where are you getting your info from? Local climber.

Thanks for the correction!