The Ledges, Michigan (MI)


The Ledges, Michigan
United States
42° 45' 27.72" N, 84° 45' 10.8" W

300 million year old sandstone and quartzite ledges decorate the banks of the Grand River just outside of Lansing, Michigan, waiting for climbers and explorers alike to explore their history and beauty. Indians who lived in the vicinity of the Grand River near the ledges were of Pottawatomi, Chippewa, and Ottawa ancestry. They dug clams in the river, mined coal on the river banks, and hunted for boar, deer, turkey, fox, and bear. They also fished for black bass. Their name for the ledges translated into English as "Big Rocks". Oak Park in Grand Ledge is one of the few places to climb in Michigan making it a popular destination for local climbers and it has recently been drawing in many climbers from other states. Since Grand Ledge is a resort town, there is a huge amount of camping and lodging available.

Climbing Routes

The Ledges- 5.6-5.13 Top roping only. Topping out and rappelling are prohibited.

  • Born Again Virgin- 5.8 Tricky but fun, especially for climbers who are new to real rock.
  • Enigma- 5.13a/V7 After a nice boulder problem, the finish on a calcite jug is breathtaking.
  • Assinine Behavior- 5.9 An easy route with a nice view.
  • Ballerina- V5 With a climb out into the book and a top out on the bulge, this problem is a lot of fun.
  • Black Buttress- 5.9 This route requires a lot of trust in the crimpers and excellent balance.
  • Blind Faith- 5.11b This hard route with lots of options takes you past the calming spring just before it thrusts you in to an the chaos of an invisible biter hole.
  • Brachiator- 5.9 Tricky footwork with fun underclings help to keep this 9 exciting.
  • Building Blocks- 5.8 Big blocks that confuse and mesmerize.
  • Cowabunga- 5.11a A left crimp with a right hand sloper on the corner. Very challenging.
  • Despondency- 5.11b A fun problem that requires some long reaches.
  • Doug’s Roof- 5.10a This is a fun challenge, great for learning footwork, and presenting some nice photo opportunities.
  • Finess- 5.9 Warm up on this one, it is easy compared to the others.
  • Frank’s Climb- 5.13a This is what I was talking about. Try not to lose your grip on these super thin holds.
  • Full Value Buns- V6 Solve this problem while avoiding the ledges, burn those glutes.
  • Hand Job- 5.9 The crack is your first difficulty, the first ledge is your second, and once you are at the third ledge and you think you have got it, be careful not to lose your foot in the huge hole.
  • Heart and Soul- 5.9 This one has a really high start, so you may need to find a cheater block.
  • Impasse- 5.8 One of the fun learning routes at the Ledges.
  • Inappropriate Behavior- 5.12a This route could prove to be the hardest at the ledges, only because of the technical skills and balance required. Do not be inappropriate and underestimate this climb.
  • Intergalactic Quaalude Trip- 5.10a This route is even more fun after it rains because it usually stays wet for a while.
  • Intimidator- 5.11b The best part of this pumpy route is below the roof.
  • Karen’s Overhang- 5.8 This climb is nice and shady on really hot days.
  • Karen’s Super Direct- 5.11a The harder version of the overhang, still lots of shade, but you will not have much time to rest in it.
  • Let Me Go Wild- 5.12c This huge roof is a lot of fun to traverse.
  • Ludwig’s Dude- 5.10c These two cracks will deceive you into thinking this one is a breeze, but beware, about two thirds of the way up there is a finger eater that wants to destroy you.
  • Mental Blocks- 5.8 Next to Building Blocks, this is a great beginner route.
  • Mossy Gully- 5.7 This corner crack is one of the more lighthearted climbs at the Ledges.
  • Myalgia- 5.11a This narrow rock is a tough climb that is relieved by a little shade from the overhanging trees.
  • One Story Town/Planet Emerson- 5.13a Lots of tricky handwork will define the difficulty of this climb.
  • Out Of Control- 5.11a Starting on a small ledge and shooting up between two roofs, this route has proven itself to many climbers that it is sometimes necessary to “try, try again.”
  • Peek- A-Boo- 5.9 Lots of fun, one of those climbs where the taller you are, the easier it is.
  • Pidgeon Shit- 5.9 Watch your fingers on this one.
  • Poison Ivy Jam- 5.6 Possibly the best learning and beginners climb at the Ledges.
  • Potato Chips- 5.7 A popular route that is great for beginners.
  • Precious Little- 5.12a Do not be fooled by the pretty name, small holds are where the name comes from.
  • RAGE- 5.10b A short, dirty climb.
  • Ragged Edge- 5.12c Hard to find holds will test your strength on this climb.
  • Rated X- 5.11b Make this route even harder with a direct start.
  • Rocket Man- 5.10b The first half is the challenge and the second half is a vacation.
  • Steppin’ Out- 5.12d The huge move that finishes this climb is definitely make or break.
  • Stretch- 5.8 Follow the stump marked crack.
  • Stretch Marks- 5.12a Climb the thin holds and past the number 9 and you have made it.
  • The Pretzel- 5.10a Different variations make this climb exciting.
  • The Resistance- 5.13c Deep crimps, slopey pockets, hard holds. Yep this climb is a monster.
  • The Tooth- V2 A sit start and easy problem, this boulder will feel like a reward compared to some of the other climbs here at the Ledges.
  • The Trick- 5.11b See if you can finish the route with two different variations and you may be the first.
  • Three Mules- 5.7 Watch out if the rock is wet.
  • TM/Transcendental Meditation- 5.10b You may need to meditate to conquer this route without using the crack.
  • Ultimate Bushwack- 5.5 The best beginners route at the Ledges, even good for children to learn on.
  • Wall Street- 5.11d The best line at the Ledges and the hardest eleven here. Watch your feet and keep your fingers strong.

Lansing Cottonwood Campground
5339 Aurelius Rd.
Lansing, Mi 48911
Phone: 517-393-3200
Rates: from $23/night

Graywolf Inn
219 North Bridge Street
Grand Ledge
Phone: 517-627-2671

Grand Ledge is located just west of Lansing, and just south of I-96. You can get there easily by taking any major highway to I-96. Then go south on Saginaw Highway 43 to 100 heading west to downtown Grand Ledge - follow signs for 100 thru town and across the bridge. Turn onto Front St. (heading West). Front Street is the street with the "LIK-IT-Y SPLIT" ice cream stand at the corner (just North of the bridge).

Latitude: 42.7577
Longitude: -84.753