Jackson Falls, Illinois (IL)


Jackson Falls, Illinois
United States
37° 17' 43.8" N, 88° 24' 20.52" W

130,000 years ago the Laurentide ice sheet that covered up 85 percent of Illinois probably seemed like a pretty big problem to our ancestors. Instead of fretting over glaciers in 2011, we are blessed to have had that ice sheet form canyons and bluffs across the Shawnee National Forest that can be perfect for modern day rock climbers. Jackson Falls, part of the Shawnee National Forest, now offers a scenic plethora of 60 foot sandstone bluffs with hundreds of named climbing routes. This presents climbers with what is noted as the best spot in Southern Illinois for sport rock climbing. The area does offer a few traditional routes and top-rope options, and most routes are 5.9 and above. While climbing at Jackson Falls, you are expected to stay on the obvious trails as there are many protected plants and endangered species in the forest.

Climbing Routes

Lovely Tower- 5.7-5.12 This huge boulder is made up of seven traditional routes filled with long reaches and technical climbs that are good challenges for beginner climbers.

  • Lefty Crack- 5.7
  • Velvet Green- 5.12a
  • Lovely Arete- 5.11
  • Lost Innocence- 5.12c
  • Hidden Treasure- 5.12a
  • Discovering Sin- 5.12c

Monument- 5.7-5.12 A sixty foot wall awaits you here at the Monument. Six routes provide an even mix of sport and traditional climbs on a very open and inviting wall with lots of long treks across the sandstone bluff.

  • The Juggler- 5.12a
  • Lothlorien- 5.10a
  • Monumental Fear- 5.7
  • Naked Blade- 5.11a
  • Stubborn Swede- 5.8
  • Unclaimed- 5.9

Munchkin Boulder- 5.9-5.12 Splitting the trail in half, this 25 foot boulder offers four exciting sport climbs.

  • The Munchkin- 5.9
  • Tin Man- 5.11b
  • Mighty Mouse- 5.12a
  • If you give a mouse a cookie…- 5.10b

Pricker Peak- 5.10-5.12 Eight well defined routes await the distinguished climber and beginners alike. Loaded with hard face climbing, tough sequences, a few overhangs and a great scare factor, this is a popular sector at Jackson Falls. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Zoom to Doom- 5.10b
  • Captain Crunch- 5.11a
  • Cheerio Bowl- 5.10
  • Raisin Bran- 5.12b
  • Power Pump- 5.10b
  • Froot Loops- 5.11c
  • Lucky Charms- 5.11c
  • Honeynut Girl- 5.11c

Railroad Rock- 5.8-5.12 After a scenic walk along the railroad tracks to the north end of Jackson Falls, climbers will encounter Railroad Rock. 12 sandstone sport routes will tempt your fingers and tickle your toes. A classic set of climbs.

  • Electrocutioner- 5.8
  • Wild at Heart- 5.10d
  • Where’s my Bourbon?- 5.12d
  • American Handgunner- 5.11d
  • Astrological Soul- 5.10c
  • The Drifter- 5.11a
  • Barbarians at the Gate- 5.12a
  • Blue Velvet- 5.11c
  • Sunny Side- 5.8
  • Fragile Egos/Into the Sun- 5.10d
  • Damn Yankees- 5.12b
  • Ego Tripping- 5.10a

Rainy Day Roof- 5.6-5.11 Lots of crimps haunt this sandstone cliff that is perfect for sport climbing, especially on rainy days.

  • End of the Cluster- 5.9
  • Zapped- 5.11b
  • Thunder- 5.11a
  • Flash- 5.10b
  • Kodiac- 5.11b
  • Lightning- 5.10c
  • Sprinkles- 5.6

Royal Arch Wall- 5.5-5.12/A2-A4 This arching wall will take your breath away, whether it is from its beauty or from the strenuous climbs that it has to offer. Here you can also take a go at some Aid Climbing and rely on your equipment for a change. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Deetle Dumps- 5.8
  • Wild Horse Race- A4
  • Umbrella Girls- 5.12a
  • The Meanest Flower- 5.9
  • Another Verm Route- 5.11b
  • Archangel- 5.10a
  • The Beach- 5.12a
  • The Beach (Puppy Poop Variation)- 5.9
  • No Dogs Allowed- 5.12
  • No Dogs Allowed (Direct Variation)- 5.12c
  • Dirty Diapers- 5.5/A2
  • Hunter’s Arrow- 5.10a
  • Hillbilly Highway- A4
  • Ebee- 5.10c
  • Heading Skills or Hospital Bills- 5.8/A4

Snakes Roof- 5.10-5.12 Actually lying under a roof, this slimy, squirmy climb provides a five juggy routes that requires a lot of muscle. (Sport)

  • Goin’ Rogue- 5.12c
  • The Feathered Serpent- 5.12d
  • Who Let the Snakes Out- 5.10c
  • The Bitch- 5.12a
  • Here Come the Snakes- 5.12c

Town Square- 5.9-5.10 Four short, fun climbs await you here. A great set of warm ups. (Sport)

  • I Be Lichen It- 5.10b
  • Katie Did- 5.9
  • Monkey Shower- 5.9
  • Spank You Very Much- 5.9

The Wizard Wall- 5.9-5.12 Burly routes that require delicate footing and long reaches make up this spectacular wall of magic. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Wizard’s Hat- 5.10a
  • What, How?- 5.9
  • Settled Controversy- 5.9
  • Suspended Animation- 5.9
  • What’s the Deal with Tim?- 5.11c
  • Stand and Deliver- 5.11b
  • Brown Recluse- 5.12b
  • Deception- 5.9
  • Spring Animation- 5.11d

Higher Ed Zone- 5.10a Watch out for the No Trespassing signs not too far past this area. (Sport)

  • Illinois State- 5.10a

Graduation Formation- 5.8-5.11 A spot filled with long approaches and lots of fun.

  • The Prospectus- 5.10a
  • Dissertation- 5.11b
  • Preliminary Exam- 5.8

Exam Wall- 5.9-5.13b Prepare for a fast heartbeat, sweating, shaking hands and everything else that goes along with taking that big exam, only this time it happens while hanging on the face of an impeccable sandstone boulder. Noted as some of the most difficult and outstanding climbs at Jackson Falls, the Exam Wall is sure to test one and all. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Splinter Faction- 5.11b
  • Off-Width Exam- 5.12a
  • Bursting Out- 5.12b
  • Flappin’ Jack- 5.9
  • Flaire- 5.12d
  • Hydraulic Hyena- 5.12b
  • East of East St. Louis- 5.13b
  • DSB- 5.12b
  • The Bolted One- 5.11d
  • Dynasty (Emperor of the North Variation)- 5.13b
  • Beaver Bones- 5.9
  • Emperor of the North- 5.13
  • Empress of the South- 5.11a
  • The Sophomore- 5.9
  • Unclaimed- 5.10d
  • Tons of Fun- 5.10c

Doors- 5.9-5.13 Open up your arms and reach for the waterfall as you scale this huge set of mixed-pro routes that are full of tricky moves. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Fancy Feet- 5.11b
  • Keeper of the Skill- 5.11a
  • L.A. Woman- 5.11a
  • Ladies Choice- 5.10a
  • Little Johnny Jewel- 5.11b
  • Morning Beers- 5.9
  • No Brains- 5.11d
  • The Bow- 5.9
  • The Stain- 5.11d
  • The Twist- 5.11c
  • Cro-Magnon Warrior- 5.12b
  • Dancing Bear- 5.12b
  • Digital Delicatessen- 5.12a
  • Digital Direct- 5.12c
  • Agent Orange- 5.13a
  • Amoeba Brains- 5.10d
  • Angry Child- 5.12a
  • Beastie- 5.11a
  • Broad Sword- 5.10a

Dog Walk Area- 5.7-5.11 A great set of climbs that will help you get to an even greater set of climbs. This area sports a chimney like no other. (Traditional)

  • Chuck-o-Rama- 5.11d
  • Jellyfish- 5.7

Clampett’s Wall- 5.8-5.12c A bunch of great routes with fun ledges and an exciting mantel.

  • Space Cowboy- 5.12b
  • Unclaimed- 5.11a
  • Whee Doggies!- 5.8
  • Double Knot Spy- 5.8
  • Gangster of Love (variation)- 5.12c
  • Lying Back With Ellie Mae- 5.8
  • Possum Grits- 5.9

Black Sheep Boulder- 5.10b-5.12a The largest freestanding tower, this route is known to have a lot of juggy, slimy excitement. (Sport/Traditional)

  • The Good- 5.10b
  • The Ugly- 5.10b
  • Touch My Shelf- 5.12a
  • Energizer- 5.12a
  • The Bad- 5.10c

The Belleville Wall- 5.10c-5.11b Climbers will need to do a lot of thinking and analyzing on this fun climb. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Courthouse- 5.10c
  • Gully Gee Whiz- 5.10b
  • Lindapalooza- 5.10d
  • Uncle Albert Plays the Blues- 5.11b

Battle Axe Tower- 5.8-5.11c Here stands a large freestanding tower with lots of pump will tempt your ego and require your brain to sustain your endurance. (Sport/Traditional)

  • The Flail- 5.12d
  • The Reckoning- 5.11d
  • Viking Blood- 5.12c
  • Void Warrior- 5.11d
  • Wrecking Ball- 5.12c
  • Cross-eyed Mary- 5.12b
  • Dos Hombres- 5.10a
  • If I Could Fly- 5.12a
  • Solace- 5.11b
  • The Dagger- 5.8

Applejack Wall- 5.8-5.12d This area is jack packed full of some of the hardest climbs at Jackson Falls. (Traditional/Sport)

  • Manhattan Project- 5.13c
  • Open Schmick..
  • Orion- 5.12a
  • Ragin' Cajun- 5.12c
  • Ridin' Cowgirls- 5.10b
  • The Shootist- 5.12a
  • Buckets of Jam- 5.8
  • Corporal Punishment- 5.11a
  • Extinguisher- 5.12a
  • Ice Harvest- 5.12c
  • Inferno- 5.12a
  • Ain't No Sunshine- 5.12d
  • Applejack Crack- 5.11b
  • Aretetouffee- 5.11d
  • Bill & Tee's Excellent Adventure- 5.10b

Yosemite Slab Wall- 5.6-5.12b/A3 There are a few routes here that are excellent practice for beginners as well as a few that have a crux that challenges the experts. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Kryptonite- 5.12c
  • My Head is Broke- 5.12a
  • No Dancers- 5.11b
  • Pete's Lead- 5.7
  • Smidgin- 5.6
  • The Vow- 5.11d
  • Tina's Soul Food Kitchen- 5.7
  • Unclaimed- 5.12b
  • Brass- 5.11b
  • East Gully- 5.6
  • Expressions- 5.11d
  • Free Sex Change- A3
  • Ketek- 5.10d

Wave Wall- 5.8-5.12d Be ready to fight for the solution on these puzzling routes with lots of fun movements. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Cyber Sex- 5.12b
  • Fine Nine- 5.9
  • Lithuanian Chimney- 5.8
  • Project X- 5.12a
  • Split Decision- 5.12d

Spleef Peak- 5.7-5.12c A slabby set of climbs filtered with cracks and cool moves. One boulder opportunity presents itself as a nice surprise. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Rattler- 5.10a
  • Songs From the Wood- 5.10a
  • Storm Watch- 5.12c
  • The Tin- 5.10a
  • Through the Smoke- 5.9
  • Heavy Horses- 5.12c
  • Bliss's Prow- V4
  • Blue Spark- 5.8
  • Crack to Infinity- 5.12d
  • Dancing on the..- 5.9
  • Garden Route- 5.10a
  • Garden Route.. 5.7
  • Into the Smoke- 5.9
  • Lovin' the Rain- 5.12b
  • Marley's Nose..- 5.11a
  • Master Marley- 5.10a
  • S.S. Minnow- 5.10b Mossy and dry, this climb will set your spirits sailing.
  • Three Hour Tour- 5.10b

Ranch- 5.8-5.12b The southernmost section of climbing at Jackson Falls, these routes are steep, full of scary leads, and challenging to all climbers. (Sport/Traditional)

  • The Land of Nod- 5.10b
  • Thrill Jill- 5.12b
  • Brief Respite- 5.8
  • Condor- 5.11c
  • Cowboys & Cross Dressers- 5.12a
  • Darwin's Theory- 5.12b
  • Dave Smokes- 5.9
  • Disco Fever- 5.12c
  • Ever Ready Betty- 5.12a
  • Groovy Marcia!- 5.9
  • Kill Bill- 5.10a
  • Lasso The Vulture- 5.11a
  • Mad Hatter- 5.10c
  • Mirror Man- 5.11c
  • Southern Inquisition- 5.10b

Railroad Rock Hallway- 5.7-5.13a This main wall may appear spooky at first but it will haunt you if you do not send it! (Sport/Traditional)

  • Mother's Day Special- 5.10c
  • No Name Dihedral- 5.7
  • Permission Denied- 5.12a
  • Procrastination- 5.7
  • Slab Stick Comedy- 5.12a
  • Top of the Morning To You- 5.12b
  • Bottom Feeder- 5.11d
  • Butcher of Baghdad- 5.13a
  • Cheap Fame- 5.12a
  • Kiss That Frog- 5.12a

North Falls Area- 5.8-5.12b A nice canyon is ready to be rappelled into so that you can explore a few warm up routes, a few analytical routes, and few routes that are just plain fun. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Mud Pie- 5.10c
  • On Thin Ice- 5.10d
  • Puff- 5.11a
  • Star Power- 5.12b
  • Temporary Escape- 5.11a
  • Workin' Man Blues- 5.10a
  • Bug Meat- 5.10a
  • Cujo- 5.10a
  • Eat Dirt- 5.10a
  • Huecool- 5.11b
  • Hydra- 5.12c
  • Lovin Lizards- 5.8

Mr. Jimmy- 5.6-5.12b This freestanding boulder has some great beginner sport routes and some challenging mixed-pro routes. (Sport)

  • Big Wall Greg's Chicken Shack- 5.6
  • Don' t Mess With The Bull- 5.12b
  • Echolocation- 5.12b
  • Piss Ant- 5.11b
  • Spiders From Mars- 5.10b
  • Spirit- 5.12a
  • Stinger- 5.10b
  • Stinger Direct Variation- 5.11d
  • Venom- 5.10a
  • Voice- 5.12d
  • Which Side Are You On- 5.10c

Manky Alcove- 5.9-5.11c Do not let big reaches and spicy rock deter your quest to conquer these routes. (Sport)

  • Access Denied- 5.11c
  • Big Brother- 5.10c
  • Creep Show- 5.10a
  • Essence of Manky- 5.9
  • Hungry Wolf- 5.11a
  • Slug Man- 5.10b

Hobo Cave- 5.8-5.12c/A3 This huge cave was created by exfoliation and some of the bolts have been inside the cave for a long time. Caution is warranted in this area. (Sport)

  • In- 5.11d
  • Left Turn- A3
  • Living on the Edge- 5.12d
  • Open Project- 5.13
  • Open Project- 5.?
  • Sweeper- 5.8
  • Vertical Finger Crack- 5.9
  • Animal Husbandry- 5.12c
  • Belching Fiance- 5.12a
  • Creeper- 5.9
  • Fluffy Fly- 5.11b
  • Frigid Digit- 5.10b

A.B. Wall- 5.8-5.13b This wedge shaped boulder holds some amazing traditional routes, a top rope climb or two and some technical sport routes. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Optical Conclusion- 5.12a
  • Pulse- 5.13b
  • The Diggler- 5.11d
  • Unclaimed- 5.9
  • Watch Dog- 5.12a
  • Aggro-Sheen- 5.12c
  • Half Cooked- 5.9
  • Hearty Boy's Crack- 5.8
  • Industry- 5.12a
  • Iniquity- 5.12a

Basement- 5.13a It is a cold, dark overhang with an ominous look about it. Be fearful of these trying climbs. (Sport)

  • Coup D'Etat- 5.13a
  • Misery- 5.13a
  • Open Project- 5.13a

Beaver Wall- 5.8-5.13a Sharp crimps and lots of jugs will swing you through these climbs. Be careful not to be a sucker… (Sport/Traditional)

  • Everybody Needs Friends- 5.12a
  • Flingin Hog- 5.11a
  • Frizzle Fry- 5.12b
  • Get Out of My Kitchen- 5.10c
  • Chit Chat- 5.8
  • Conspiracy Theorists- 5.11b
  • Legends of the Falls- 5.13a
  • Red Corvette- 5.13a
  • Shorty the Pimp- 5.13a
  • Tasmanian Devil- 5.12b
  • Unknown/Unnamed Bolted- 5.8
  • Who Needs Friends?- 5.12a

Big Star Wall- 5.7-5.13a The stars of this wall are all of the classic routes, ready to test each climbers skill. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Alaska- 5.10b
  • After Hours- 5.7
  • Big Star- 5.12b
  • Birthday Route- 5.10b
  • Cocoa Rae- 5.10c
  • Da Bro- 5.10b
  • Express Checkout Line- 5.9
  • Manufacturer's Consent- 5.13a
  • Mary's Cookies- 5.11d
  • Mason-Dixon Line- 5.12c
  • Mr. Alison's Cookies- 5.11c
  • No Name Dihedral- 5.9
  • No Paynes in Heaven- 5.12c
  • Pita- 5.10a
  • Project-
  • Pull My Finger- 5.10d
  • Raging Intensity- 5.12a
  • Reduction- 5.11c
  • Stingray- 5.10d
  • Sun Ra- 5.12b
  • Tear Stained Eye- 5.10b
  • Train in Vain- 5.9
  • Underoos For Kangaroos- 5.10a
  • Wishbone- 5.11a
  • Working Class- 5.12c
  • Y-TY-N?- 5.10b
  • Zen Arcade- 5.13b
  • Free Day- 5.8
  • Galaxy 500- 5.12a
  • Gooble Juice- 5.12c
  • Jones'n in..- 5.12a
  • Ladybug Lynn- 5.11b

Boner’s Boulder- 5.10a-5.11c Known for its prominent, flat nose, this boulder presents three great sport climbs. (Sport)

  • Feed Me- 5.11c
  • Pet Me- 5.10c
  • Tail Wagger- 5.10a

Cobra- 5.12a Squeeze between the boulders and figure out the top rope, that is your mission. (Traditional)

Dolphin Rock- 5.6-5.12a Four flaky routes with a hard pull to the roof. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Dolphin Friendly- 5.10a
  • Fred and Wilma- 5.12b
  • Jimmy Gillespie- 5.11a
  • Needles and Threads- 5.6

E.M.J Wall- 5.4-5.12b Cool, clean, and requiring a little more balance than usual. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Chimichonga- 5.8
  • Dance With Destiny- 5.12b
  • Lucky Bastard- 5.8
  • Luscious Babes- 5.8
  • Off Web- 5.7
  • Point Blank- 5.11d
  • Russia- 5.12a
  • Screamery- 5.4
  • Thin Lizzy- 5.12a

The Gallery- 5.6-5.12a This section offers the largest concentration of 10’s in Jackson Falls. A great spot for learning new tricks. (Sport/Traditional)

  • The Unbolted One (AKA Dirty Laundry)- 5.10a
  • Walrus- 5.10b
  • Yuppie With A Gun- 5.11a
  • Cut Throat- 5.10b
  • Deep Throat- 5.10b
  • Earthbound Misfit- 5.10a
  • Group Therapy- 5.10c
  • Kings Jester- 5.10d
  • Psychotherapy- 5.10b
  • Shock Therapy- 5.12a
  • Sore Throat- 5.10c
  • Squirrel House Crack- 5.9
  • The Cringe Chimney- 5.6
  • The Minstrel- 5.10c

Hidden Peaks- 5.6-5.13a These two towers might look like an easy feat but they hold some twists and turns that might tangle you up. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Cocktail Generation- 5.12b
  • Coral Crack- 5.6
  • Cranial Implosion- 5.12a
  • Detox Mountain- 5.12a
  • Devils Lake Dreams- 5.9
  • Elders Of The Tribe- 5.12c
  • Jahluv- 5.9
  • Kaya- 5.13a
  • Ode to Mary Jo- 5.11a
  • The Farmer- 5.12a
  • Unknown- 5.6

The Promised Land- A separate bluff from Jackson Falls, it is only a moderate hike down the railroad tracks and completely worth the traverse. Here lie some of the best unknown climbs.

  • Cooler- A3 A huge cliff of boulders. (Aid)
  • Sweet Dreams- A3
  • Main Wall- 5.9-5.13b/A4 A large mix of climbs and variations. (Sport/Traditional)
  • 3 Day Impression- 5.11a
  • Adios Amigos- 5.13b
  • Balance of Power- 5.12d
  • Better Late Than..- 5.11a
  • Chameleon- 5.11c
  • Chocolate Plated- 5.10c
  • Congo Spray- 5.12a
  • Delirious- 5.9
  • Ditch Digger- A4
  • Essence of Power- 5.12c A0
  • Fashionably Late- 5.11a
  • Four Bettys- 5.10d
  • Gecko- 5.10b
  • Hoser- 5.12a
  • Hubba Hubba- 5.12a
  • Key Lime- 5.11a
  • Killer Chickens- 5.11a
  • Last Gasp of Hope- 5.12c
  • My Generation- 5.9
  • Mysterious Hardware- 5.12b
  • Ohh La La- 5.12b
  • Pool of Reflection..- 5.13a
  • Pool of Reflection..- 5.13b
  • Poseur- 5.12b
  • Remove La Ropa- 5.12b
  • Salamander- 5.10c
  • Skink- 5.10d
  • Spectator Sport- 5.10a
  • Taco's ATV Jamboree- 5.11c
  • Team Honda- 5.12a
  • Traffic Jam- 5.10b
  • Trap Line- 5.10b

Mass Production Wall- 5.10d-5.12b Lots of documented routes with low traffic. (Sport/Traditional)

  • Assembly Line- 5.12b
  • Big Chaw- 5.10b
  • Carpal Tunnel- 5.11b
  • Proud Betty's- 5.11b
  • Resolve Under..- 5.10d
  • Slave Labor- 5.10d
  • Unknown- 5.11b
  • Workshop- 5.11c
  • Sugar Cube Tower- 5.7 A beautiful slab with an amazing view, but very tricky to follow. (Traditional)
  • Candy Corner- 5.7
  • Candy Machine Face- 5.7
  • Swiss Cheese Block- 5.9 A large boulder with a very hard to find route. (Sport)
  • Unknown- 5.9
  • X Block- 5.10-5.12b A not so pretty tower with some powerful finishes and excellent lines. (Sport)
  • Generator X- 5.11b
  • X Factor- 5.11c
  • XOXO- 5.10b
  • Xterminator- 5.12a
  • XXX- 5.10a

The road is rough until the unmarked recreation area on the right, just before the creek. There is an outhouse there and a bulletin board with information supplied by the Illinois Climbers' Association. Camping is allowed here. (VERY Primitive)

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

From the south, you can take either Interstate 57 to Rte. 146, east to Hwy 45, northeast to Ozark Road; or Interstate 24 north to Hwy 45, northeast to Ozark Road.

From the north, get to Interstate 57, then south to where Interstate 24 splits to the southeast (right hand lane, long curving exit), to Tunnel Hill Road exit, Tunnel Hill Road left, to intersection with Hwy 45, left onto Hwy 45, to Ozark Road.

From Harrisburg take Hwy 45 south to Ozark Road.

Ozark Road: about 4 1/2 winding miles 'til you come to an intersection near Zion Church and Cemetary. Veer left, staying on Ozark. After another 200 yards or so, turn right at a farmhouse on a hill. After a mile, you'll be heading down toward creek bed. Just before the creek bed, turn right to park and camp, or just after, turn left to do the same.

Latitude: 37.2955
Longitude: -88.4057