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Outdoor Climbing

Wondering where to climb? Here is a whole bunch of information on quite a few different locations, both near and far! If the place you're looking for isn't listed below, you can always check Mountain Project. There's even a free app available now, thanks to Black Diamond. The links provided open documents with information about the climbing area including directions to, approach, route type, camping amenities, and links to other useful documents and websites. This is not a comprehensive list, but rather a list for which supplemental information is available.

MISSOURI

Cliff Drive - In the heart of Kansas City (MO) hides a secret crag.  It's not very big, and limestone can be quite soapy, but it's climbing in the heartland, so who can complain? 

Less than 2-hour drive to limestone cliffs along various bodies of water.  Not the most solid of rock, so helmets and attentive belays are recommended.  Wonderful way to spend a day, although alpine starts are recommended in the summer to avoid the heat of the day as the sun bounces off the water and bakes the rock. Great winter climbing.

Trappers - Limestone cliffs rise above the confluence of the Sac and Osage rivers. A sport rack is all that is needed for many climbs.  

Reeds Bluff - Limestone cliffs rise above the Sac river just a few miles south of Trappers Camp. A sport rack and 5.10 climbing will give you multiple days of climbing. This area is especially great when the water is too high to climb at Trappers.

Warsaw - Limestone cliffs border the edge of Truman Reservoir. Mostly bolted, with a few enjoyable gear lines. Good area for top-roping. 

Raven Rocks - Developed by local climbers in 2015, this new area brings lake-side sandstone climbing to the map in Missouri. Loads of moderates, so get out climb! 

The Missouri Limestone Select guidebook is out of print and out of date, missing many of the newer climbs. However, it is still worth borrowing if you can get a hold of one as the information for many of the other crags in the stat is still useful. Hopefully a new Missouri guidebook will be released in 2015!

ARKANSAS

Roughly a 5 hour drive to the favored destinations of most area climbers for weekend trips in the spring and fall, although climbing can be had year round.  Surprisingly bomber, single pitch, sandstone cliff bands are tucked away throughout the northwest corner.

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch - Full-service Dude Ranch and the largest crag in the state with over 400 routes and a lot of bouldering. Lots of moderates (under 5.9), and lots of bolts. Expect crowds.  

Sam's Throne - Previously the largest crag in the state with over 300 routes. Free camping on top of the cliff band.

Cave Creek - Sport climbing mecca! Fixed draws are common and crowds are a rarity. 

Fern - Short walls in a magical canyon. You might spot a fairy! Lots of moderate sport.

Jamestown - A bit of a drive, but a climber-owned crag, well bolted, with lots of 10's and under.

For more areas, check out the guidebook Rock Climbing Arkansas by Cole Fennel which is currently out of print. This book details 14 areas in Arkansas and is hands-down the best guidebook I've ever used. You can pre-order the second edition, now (to be printed July 2015)! More recently, Clay Frisbee has published both an Horseshoe Canyon Ranch guidebook, and an Arkansas Rock guidebook.

ILLINOIS

Jackson Falls - Waterfalls and bolted, sandstone cliffs.  Proximity to St. Louis and Chicago makes every weekend a busy weekend.  About 6 hours from KC.

OKLAHOMA

Wichita Wildlife Refuge - A pile of granite fulfills your climbing needs, but be prepared to place your own gear and build your own anchors. About 6 hours from KC. 

COLORADO

Our neighbor to the west (roughly 9 hours to the west) is a fantastic destination for climbing and choosing where to go can easily become overwhelming.  The document below lists some of my favorite places with some of my favorite climbs, as well as advice on other attractions (brewery tour anyone?) all near the hub of Boulder.

Front Range Areas - Flatirons, Boulder Canyon, Eldorado Canyon, Horsetooth Reservoir, Poudre Canyon, Lumpy Ridge, Rocky Mountain National Park, Clear Creek Canyon, and Shelf Road. 

UTAH & NEVADA  

This packet of information was originally intended for the KU Rock Climbing club for their 2011 Spring Break trip to Red Rocks, Las Vegas, NV via Moab, UT.  Spring Break aside, it's chocked full of useful information including directions, camping, climbing, hiking, bouldering, and routes.  If you're planning a road trip to either location, I'd recommend acquainting yourself with the information provided in the Red Rocks, NV & Moab, UT slideshow first! In case you're wondering, it's about 16 hours to Moab, and a long, 24 hour drive to Las Vegas.