Park at the "Vertical Heartland" parking lot and make sure to register. The approach is about 10 minutes. Camping is available just a little further down Lick Creek Road at Twin Bluffs Bed n' Breakfast. The proprietors Neil and Laurie will let you camp in their field for a nominal donation. They also have a bunkhouse with fireplace for winter climbers.
Directions are a little difficult to follow....it's exit #36 from I-57, and when you head east, you go for about 2.4 miles and the parking area and trailhead are on the left, not the right. There's a sign there that says "Vertical Heartland."
It's an awesome place, but none of the climbs are marked, so try to find a guide book if you can!!
Draper's Bluff is now closed to all public use. Apparently a change in the Illinois public or Recreational use statute exposed the owners to unconscionable liability(prohibited non climbers also caused some unexplained risks to the climbers) this is a tragic situation. the Ulners(property owners) actively supported climbing at their crag which I felt was unique for SoIll.(instead of climbing down in a hollow the upper part of the cliff was exposed and offered fabulous panoramic views. I am sorry to report this.
The Illinois Climbers Association (ICA) needs your help to get Drapers reopened. The Illinois General Assembly has a bill in the house to reestablish protection for private property owners (the Ulners'). Please, whether you live in Illinois or are out of state, visit the ICA's website www.ilclimbers.org for more information. Also, the Access Fund has an Action Alert the simplifies the process of contacting the Representatives in Illinois, www.accessfund.org/action.
I'm trying to find out the names of some climbs here... maybe someone has a history book they can tap into since it looks like the State killed climbing here.
1. 'Unknown Sport #2' 5.6: walk up to base of cliff, walk right, short bolted route in right facing corner. 2. 'Unknown Slabby Sport #1' 5.7: Just before right facing corner mentioned above. Bolted. 3. 'Unknown Easy Dyno' 5.6: walk up to base of cliff, walk left to buggy bolted route with small mantle towards top. Dyno up and right to the mantle for extra fun points.
I climbed here back in 2003. Sad to see it closed. If anyone knows if there are other accepted names for these routes please let me know. Hope to see the area open again, soon.
The southern face is available for climbing through Vertical Heartland. There's a website. I took a Boy Scout troop there last weekend and we all had a great time. Fantastic setting and view from the bluff.