Top 8 Places to Rock Climb in Northeastern Minnesota
*within 2 hrs of Ely, MN.
First of all, yes, there is definitely rock climbing in northeastern Minnesota. All locations are a guaranteed adventure with a beautiful view, some with excellent quality climbing, and some are more for the novelty of just being able to climb in Minnesota. The climbing community in northern Minnesota is small but mighty. Many climbers regularly gather for weekend warrior getaways to the North Shore, or extended trips out West. There is a lot of potential for climbing development. The nearest gear store to Ely, MN is Vertical Endeavors in Duluth, MN.
1) Jeff's World: Trad, Bouldering, Sport and Top Rope, 75', 30+ routes, *****
Crane Lake, MN
Considered the premiere up and coming climbing destination of the Midwest, Jeff's World has it all! An adventurous approach, beautiful climbing (the setting and location), seclusion, and community. (A disclaimer, Jeff's World is technically in Canada, but primarily accessed and utilized by Minnesotans.) This is a 75' granite cliff with over 30 routes (many are bolted). Please be respectful of this place and the people who have put their heart and soul into making climbing possible here. Be sure to check in with Customs or obtain a Remote Area Border Crossing permit before going.
2) Palisade Head: Top Rope and Trad, 100', 50+ routes, ****
Silver Bay, MN.
Considered a classic climbing area of the North Shore, palisade is home to some of the most challenging routes in Northeast Minnesota. Be sure to bring plenty of webbing and rope protection to build solid anchors. Some trad gear may needed for some anchors.
3) Shovel Point: Top Rope and Trad, 50'-100', 20 routes, ****
Silver Bay, MN.
Located on an awesome setting at Tettagouche State Park on the North Shore of Lake Superior, Shovel Point offers incredible vistas and beautiful climbing. Bring extended anchor line. Look for the extra large bolts (you can't miss them).
4) Ennis Lake: Top Rope, 35', 10 routes, ***
A great location for novices and for teaching natural anchor set up. Located on the beautiful Secret Blackstone Trail at the end of the Fernberg (169 North). Please be mindful of protecting the trees for anchor set up and practicing Leave No Trace Principles for visitors.
5) Sawmill Creek Dome: Bouldering, 64 routes, *****
Considered some of the best bouldering in Minnesota, Sawmill Creek Dome is a concentration of beautiful granite boulders tucked in a Minnesotan fairy land.
6) Carlton Peak: Top Rope, 55', 20+ routes, ****
A really fun climbing area with spectacular views of the North Shore. Please respect the no chalk ethic. Carlton Peak offers excellent climbing for all levels.
7) Section 13: Sport and Trad, 60', 18+routes ***
A beautiful small crag with lovely vista views (especially in the fall!). Highlights include an excellent 5.9 finger crack called Rubble Trouble Direct and the 5.11 trad route, Digit Damage (rare finds in Minnesota)! A good place to find seclusion, with a nice 1 mile approach hike.
8) Giant's Ridge: Climbing Wall, 32', ***
A fun wall for families and a great introduction to climbing for kids. Open Thursday thru Sunday, 10 am - 7 pm. $7 per climb or $20 day pass. The climbing wall is perfect for family and group activities, as well as team building events. Or, just for fun & fitness. Located near the new chalet. Buy your pass in the chalet's Gift Shop.
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