John Bryan State Park, Ohio (OH)


John Bryan State Park, Ohio
United States
39° 47' 28.32" N, 83° 51' 15.84" W

Some of the first people to experience the area's beauty were the Moundbuilders, and later, the Shawnee Indians.  Just five miles south of Yellow Springs, approximately where the town of Oldtown is now, was the site of Old Chillicothe, one of the leading Shawnee settlements in Ohio. The great Shawnee warrior, Tecumseh, was a frequent visitor here and to the nearby James Galloway House, which has been kept intact by the Greene County Historical Society. Much of the history of John Bryan State Park is "written in the rocks" of the Little Miami River gorge. Entering the area at Clifton, at 980 feet above sea level, the Little Miami drops 130 feet through layer upon layer of bedrock. Each layer has a story to tell of times when the area was covered by warm, shallow seas or was a part of a muddy river delta or was scoured by tons of slow-moving glacial ice. Each layer has its own characteristics as well. Some of the shale layers are easily worn away by the forces of erosion, causing undercutting in the cliff face. The more erosion-resistant dolomite or limestone rocks above are weakened by this undercutting and large "slump blocks" fall away, creating unusual rock formations including Steamboat Rock.

Climbing Routes

Red- 5.6-5.9 Look for eye bolts painted red.

  • Climb A- 5.7 Balance and strong finger tips will get you through this route. (Top Rope)
  • Climb B- 5.6 This route will pump you up.  Get those biceps ready! (Top Rope)
  • Climb C- 5.10a A dynamic first move and lots of mini pockets keep this climb fun. (Top Rope)

Orange- 5.9-5.10a Look for eye bolts painted orange.

  • Climb A- 5.10a The holds on this route are fantastic but the line will confuse you. (Top Rope)
  • Climb B- 5.9 Easy and fun with a nice crack climb. (Top Rope)

Yellow- 5.8-5.11a Look for eye bolts painted yellow.

  • Climb A- 5.9 This climb starts with a swift throw to a huge jug on the bulge above your head and ends with fun sequencing. (Top Rope)
  • Climb B- 5.8 Climb B can be reached by entering the cave found during climb A. Once you are inside the cave, scale upward toward the right hand side.
  • Climb B2- 5.11a A fun sequence that will require some balance and great footwork. (Top Rope)
  • Climb C- 5.10c This route could turn into a 5.11 if you follow the right line. (Top Rope)

Green- 5.7-5.9 Look for eye bolts painted green.

  • Climb A- 5.9 Stray away from the direct line and increase the difficulty of this climb. (Top Rope)
  • Climb B- 5.7 The best warm up route here. (Top Rope)

Blue- 5.5-5.7 Look for eye bolts painted blue.

  • Climb A- 5.5 This center crack is great for beginners. (Top Rope)
  • Climb B- 5.6 A nice, long face climb. (Top Rope)
  • Climb C- 5.7 Climb C can be conquered 2 ways. The first being a level of 5.8 if you take the crack to the left known as "Bat Crack." The alternate route, "Sanke Ledge," the crack to the right is a 5.7 (named for the critters that have been encountered there). (Top Rope)

Pink- 5.5-5.11b Look for eye bolts painted pink.

  • Climb A- 5.11b This incredibly challenging start may take a few tries. (Top Rope)
  • Climb B- 5.5 This climb is great for learning to climb on real rock. (Top Rope)
  • Climb C- 5.7 This overhang has great footholds and challenging hand holds. (Top Rope)

Black- 5.2 Look for eye bolts painted black.

Rappel Site- 5.2 The rappel site has a 5.2 on the left site and a 5.4 on the right site. These are the easiest for climbing and the best for rappelling. Organized groups may reserve this site by calling the park office in advance. The group can be of any size, but no more than 10 rapellers or spectators may be at a site at one time. Additional group members should occupy their time with other activities away from the site in order to limit environmental impact.

John Bryan State Park
3790 State Route 370
Yellow Springs, OH 45387
Phone- 866-644-6727

The Springs Motel
1801 Xenia Ave.
Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387

From Cincinnati head North on 71. Turn left when you reach 72 North. Follow 72 to Clifton and turn left on SR 343. Drive around 2 mi. and take a left at a marked road (JB sign) Drive 3 mi. until an entrance on the left. stop at the park office and take a tag after registering and then you are free to climb at any open site.

Latitude: 39.7912
Longitude: -83.8544