Giant City, Illinois (IL)


Giant City, Illinois
United States
37° 36' 18" N, 89° 11' 18.24" W

Formed over 12,000 years ago and attracting 1.2 million visitors yearly, Giant City State park boasts some of the most exciting and scenic rock climbing in the Midwest. Here you can get some advice from the ghost of a confederate soldier who used these grounds as a haven or have a powwow next to the remains of one of the oldest Native American stone walls.   These sandstone bluffs provide adventure to the climbers of today, but provided shelter to ancestors over 10,000 years ago.  Climbing and rappelling are permitted at the park in two locations. The areas of Devil's Standtable cliff and Shelter #1 bluff at the Makanda entrance are accessible to climbers, and ropes are permitted on these cliffs. No permanent anchors allowed. Watch out for the copperhead snakes that like to sunbathe on the ledges!

Climbing Routes 

Devil’s Standtable- 5.2-5.8 V0-V8 This is Giant City’s most prominent set of mixers.  This area has quite a bit of bouldering and some climbing.  Over 25 routes are noted.
  • The Streak- V0 A great warm up rock with an awesome top out.
  • Teater Totter- V4 his boulder is said to have some of the best slopes in Giant City.
  • Superball- V4  A great problem waiting to be solved just around the corner from the bouldering cave.
  • Roof Traverse- V3 It seems easy till it is time to top out!
  • Pinch Me- V6 You can find a lot of long reaches and confusing footwork on this problem.
  • Medicine Man- V1 A short but smooth problem, right next to the waterfall.
  • Leashless Angel- V10 You might need wings for this one.  Long moves and small holds make for a difficult traverse.
  • Higher Education- V6 Noted to be fun and scary at the same time.
  • Giraffe’s Hat- V3 This top out on this one will have you feeling like you are as tall as the name.
  • Gill Warm Up- V1 This is a fun problem…if you can figure out the first move.
  • Even When Wet- V5 This crack feature is the highlight of this rock.
  • Devil’s Traverse- V4 Lots of fast moves and quick feet will get you going here.
  • Devil on a Leash- V6 This is an extremely hard V6.  This problem will take a few tries!
  • Center Line- V3 A breezy top out with a fun highball.
  • Buzzsaw Arete- V4 Climbers say that everyone has a different beta on this rock.
  • Broken English- V8 Mono’s and nubbins make this problem difficult in spots.
  • Apache Slap- V0 Can you do this one in three moves?
  • Jah Arete- V8 You will get abs of steel conquering this problem. This is one of the best boulders at Giant City.
  • Standard- V3 Lots of fun with big jugs easy to sink into.
  • Jack’s Crack- 5.7 While it looks harder than it is, it is a great climb for beginners. (Traditional)
  • Stand Table Route- 5.8 Once you figure out the top anchor set up, this is a really fun route. (Traditional)
  • 1-2-3- 5.8 Huge holds with a fun top out. (Traditional)
  • Scout- 5.2 Here is another easy, fun climb for beginners. (Traditional)
  • The Gulley- 5.3 This route is quick and simple, great for learning how to use your feet. (Traditional)
Indian Summer Boulders- V0-V7
  • Aaron’s Problem- V7 A little bit of a tricky problem with an even trickier top out!
  • Indian Summer- V4 Looks easy but may take a few tries.
  • J-Lo- V5 A great left sloper makes this problem worth the effort.
  • Roof Traverse- V0   This is a great warm up and lots of fun.
Razor Blade Rock- V5-V7 You cannot miss this overhanging boulder.
  • Indian Burn- V5 Start in the cave and watch out for sharp edges, this long climb is interesting and a great work out.
  • Copperhead- V7 Known as the most unique boulder at Giant City, lots of sharp crimps make it quite difficult.
Shelter 1 Bluff- 5.4-5.8  
  • Camel’s Hump- 5.4 An easy, fun warm up.(Traditional)
  • Makanda Lieback- 5.8 This is a hard and strenuous route with tricky footing.  Be sure to top and smell the lemongrass…   (Traditional)
  • Monkey Move- 5.9 Here there is lots of smooth sailing after the crux, if you get that far.
  • Open Book Direct- 5.8 Interesting variations makes this route a good option for a solo.
In Giant City State park there are 85 campsites in the Class A Campground which provide water, electricity, showers and sanitary facilities for tent and trailer camping.  A Class C camping area with 14 walk-in sites at the south end of the family campground is available for those who prefer a more primitive setting. 
235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958
Phone- 618-457-4836
Giant City Lodge
460 Giant City Lodge Road
Makanda, Illinois 62958
Phone- 618-457-4921 
Rates- Rates: $69.00 Sunday - Thursday, $79.00 Friday - Saturday for 1–2 guests.
Makanda Inn 
855 Old Lower Cobden Road 
Makanda, Illinois 62958
Phone- 618-697-7929
Rates- $129.00 average per night for 2 people (max capacity 2)
From the north:
Take Interstate 57 South to the Route 13 exit (Carbondale - Exit #54B), head west (right) on Rt. 13 toward Carbondale, go approximately 15 miles. Look for Wal-Mart on your right. Turn left at this light (Giant City Road). Continue 12 miles to the south. Giant City Road will lead you into the park.
From the south:
Follow I-24 to I-57 North, or stay on I-57, to the Rt. 148 exit (Exit #45), head northwest on 148 for approximately 2 miles. Turn left on Grassy Road. There is a convenience store on this corner. Follow Grassy Road for 5-7 miles. Stay left when you come to a Y. Continue southwest on Grassy Road. Grassy Road will come to a T at Giant City Road. Turn south (left) on Giant City Road. Continue approximately 4 miles to the park.
From the east:
Head west on I-70 or, if you are further south, take I-64 to I-57 South. Continue approximately 50 miles south from I-64 to the Route 13 exit (Marion - Exit #54B), head west on Rt. 13 toward Carbondale, go approximately 15 miles. Look for Wal-Mart on your right. Turn left at this light (Giant City Road). Continue 12 miles to the south. Giant City Road will lead you into the park.
From the west:
Head east on I-64 approximately 50 miles from St. Louis. Take the Rt. 127 (Nashville) exit south. Continue south for approximately 50 miles to Murphysboro. At Murphysboro, go left or east for approximately 10 miles. You will pass through the town of Carbondale. Watch for the mall on your right. When you see Wal-Mart on your left, this is your light. Take a right here on Giant City Road heading south for 12 miles into the park.
Latitude: 37.605
Longitude: -89.1884