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The Palisades is a great area for anyone living near Chicago who can get away for a weekend. It is located on the Illinois side of the Mississippi river, just across from Iowa. The limestone bluffs rise roughly 180 feet above the river level in some places, though none of the climbs are actually this long. Pretty much everything here is top-rope, with tons of natural anchor options in the trees and some boulders on top of the walls. This limestone can get pretty manky - especially with wet and even just humid weather. There are a few routes that are in bee territory here, which can make the climbing very exciting. Because of the humid and buggy summers, the best time to climb here is October to November. A nice dry crisp fall morning here is ideal.
Use a map to find Savannah, Il and then head north a few miles to Mississippi Palisades State Park. Camping is available at the north end of the park, but if you want to get away from the Good 'ol RV Folk (who mostly stay huddled within their giant rolling metal crap houses), you'll have to pack it in a mile or two to the primitive sites on the eastern hills. This is not recommended for climbers, however, as you'll be an awfully long walk from the crag. Instead, look for tent sites at the south end of the campground (sites #45-60). You'll be reasonably far from the RV's, and you can still car camp and then drive to the crag, which is located at the south end of the park. Ask park staff for more details and a map.
24 Total Routes
Browse More Classics in Mississippi Palisades
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mississippi Palisades:
First Crack 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'
Nosey 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'
Third Crack 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b TR, 40'
Sentinel North Face 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c TR, 1 pitch, 60'
Difficult Crack 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 35'
Double Overhang 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'
Pretzel 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a TR, 1 pitch, 60'
Blank Face 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c TR, 1 pitch, 60'
Featured Route For Mississippi Palisades