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Johnson Shut-ins

Johnson Shut-ins  

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Location: 37.5697, -90.8813 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Dave Hug, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: marcus floyd on Nov 19, 2012  with updates from WDW4
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State Park Permit Required MORE INFO >>>


The Shut-ins brown, pink, and purple porphyritic rhyolites generally face south, providing plenty of sun during a fall day. Rhyolite deposited over the area as ancient eruptions sent volcanic debris down the mountainous area of the time. Slowly, the landscape again exposed the igneous rock as a result of plate tectonics, general uplift of the Ozark Plateau, and weather. Now, many smooth facets of fractured rock provide perfect traditional leads (though trad leading is NOT allowed here!) and top roped climbs. For some bouldering is unavoidable.

Getting There 

From Hwy 21, follow Hwy N to the state park entrance, then head to the park office. next, go down stream to the cliffs and find a good warm-up.


 To purchase, click here

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 10.1 miles from here

Photos of Johnson Shut-ins Slideshow Add Photo
Park Topo Handout: Side 1  Depicts the lower half ...
BETA PHOTO: Park Topo Handout: Side 1 Depicts the lower half ...
Park Climbing Permit
BETA PHOTO: Park Climbing Permit
Park Topo Handout: Side 2  Depicts the upper half ...
BETA PHOTO: Park Topo Handout: Side 2 Depicts the upper half ...

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By Ryan Kramer
Sep 11, 2014
Made my first trip to Shut-ins last weekend and while I was somewhat disappointed by the length of the climbs (too short) I found the rock to be very pleasing to the touch and a pleasure to climb. I had never climbed on volcanic rock before and I understand now why granite and the like is so desirable.

Looking for the highest routes we could find, my partner and I headed down to the lower cliff. The routes were somewhat dirty and there is not a whole lot of room to belay next to the diving pool but we got a few enjoyable climbs in.

If you climb during swimming season hopefully you do not get stage fright. Nearly the whole time climbing we had an audience watching us from the diving pool. Some kept quite but others tended to make annoying comments.

My only other complaint would be the guidebook. I understand the limited beta given in the route descriptions but I would appreciate if it had a runout rating for some of the climbs. We found that some routes just stopped taking gear halfway up.

All and all it was an enjoyable time. I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars.
Sep 21, 2014
A guidebook for Johnson Shut Ins is available at Old Mountains Gear Exchange in St. Louis, or direct from the publisher here: sentinel.sotinapublishing.com/...
Beyond the Guidebook:
The Definitive Climbing Resource
Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run
Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps
Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes
Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!