Jason Kehl on Atlas V5 at the Holy Boulders. Photo...
The Holy Boulders is the largest concentration of boulders in Southern Illinois. There are over 200 developed boulder problems from V0 to V13 and has the potential for hundreds more. The sandstone boulders and cliff line are known for their Fontainebleau-like perfect friction and aesthetic lines. THE SEASON:
Its highly recommended to visit the Holy Boulders October to early April and avoid a trip May through September when the humidity is high and the poison ivy, ticks, and chiggers are out. It is still a very wild place so be smart and climb safe! THE HISTORY:
The Holy Boulders are open thanks to efforts by local climbers, Illinois Climbers Association, and Access Fund to acquire the property when the Tripp Family put it up for sale in May 2012, putting the boulders at risk of indefinite closure. The Tripp Family owned the property for 47 years and gave climbers permission to climb when it was discovered in 2004, but public information was limited due to its unprotected status. Big thanks to all that have donated and volunteered already, including Climb So Ill, Conservation Alliance, Southern Illinois University, University of Illinois, Moosejaw, and countless individuals. For more information and history, go online to www.accessfund.org/holyboulders THE RULES:
Please remember to practice leave no trace ethics, pack it in-pack it out, and stay on existing trails where possible. Respect adjacent private property to the south and do not drive up or approach from Tripp's Lane. Overnight use, ORV/vehicular access, and hunting are not permitted on the property. Please contact Access Fund
immediately if there are any concerns.
Stay tuned for updates and users are welcome to add boulders and boulder problems to this database. Happy bouldering and Go Online to Donate Today!
The Holy Boulders are in Jackson County, Southern Illinois. It is 30 minutes southwest of Carbondale; 2.5 from St. Louis; 2.5 from Evansville; 3.5 from Nashville; and 5.5 hours from Chicago. It is nestled on the western slopes of Shawnee National Forest on both public and private land.
There are two parking areas off Macedonia Road to the west of the property. From the northern end directly across from FS Road 2078, spot a hiking trail just before a road cut to the powerline easement. Follow this path in the trees along a small stream before crossing the powerline cut. After 15 minutes (2/3 mile), you cross into Access Fund property and come to a small kiosk at the Mollusk boulder. Please remember that parking and the initial approach are on Shawnee National Forest - please leave no trace and do not improve the trail. Not all local roads are clearly marked in the area and cell service can be spotty, so upload the driving directions beforehand. Click Here for Driving Directions
The main access point may change in the future. Check in for updates.
Weather station 6.1 miles from here
69 Total Routes
['4 Stars',8],['3 Stars',31],['2 Stars',24],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in The Holy Boulders
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Holy Boulders:
Featured Route For The Holy Boulders
Undercling King V5-6 6C+ IL
: The Holy Boulders
: Illuminati Boulders
Start on two wide sidepull crimps, and drop into a right hand crimp. Then climb straight up the technical face... (look for that undercling!) a committing last throw to a jug in order to avoid dabbing/crashing through the tree. Crux is making the stab into the slot at mid height. Some use the thin undercling, others go big... Absolutely classic.. Enjoy....[more] Browse More Classics in IL
By Lucas Chisausky
Nov 6, 2013
Hey I am just wondering if there is primitive camping in the holy boulders area, and if not where the closest camping would be?
By JD Borgeson
Feb 5, 2015
Best camping we found was at Murphysboro lake. we tried out devils backbone, but it was kind of sketchy. also read about a place called turkey bayou (?), but didn't check it out.