5 Cool Rock Climbing Spots in Missouri

5 Cool Rock Climbing Spots in Missouri

From unique bouldering opportunities, to rappelling rock faces in state parks, Missouri is a special rock climbing destination that climbers may not first think of. The state features a variety of spots offering interesting challenges and some of the most breathtaking views around. Here are the five coolest rock climbing spots in Missouri. 

1. Elephant Rocks State Park

This unique park in southeast Missouri features elephant-shaped boulders that were formed from 1.5-billion-year-old granite. Standing end-to-end like a train of circus elephants, these rocks are an intriguing visual formation for everyone from geologists to history buffs to children and beyond. The Braille Trail, designed specifically for those with visual and physical disabilities, provides an easy way to see these fascinating rocks. Follow an extension of this trail to see the ruins of a beautiful old railroad engine house. It’s quite the site to see. 

2. Vertical Voyages, St. Louis, MO

While you don’t necessarily have to hike to get here, this spot is well worth the mention because you won’t find anything else quite like it in the Midwest. Vertical Voyages operates under the belief that it is important for individuals to have positive and intimate experiences with nature in order to cultivate a desire for conserving and protecting our environment. Participants of the programs at Vertical Voyages, which are designed for all skill levels, will be challenged physically, stimulated mentally, and become more connected with nature.

3. Johnson Shut-Ins State Park

If you’re looking for a distinctive destination, then Johnson’s Shut-In State Park is a perfect choice. The ancient beauty, geology, and wilderness qualities of this park and the surrounding St. Francois Mountains make it an interesting place to climb. Hikers have long-enjoyed the rugged character found throughout Johnson Shut-Ins State Park, which features multiple rocky trails.

4. Lake of the Ozarks State Park

Characterized by open woodlands, quaint streams and springs, and stunning bluffs, Lake of the Ozarks makes for a great and lesser-known rock climbing destination. Lake of the Ozarks is one of the few state parks in Missouri that permits rock climbing. Explorers will be afforded some truly beautiful views from atop the bluffs. 

5. St. Francois State Park

It doesn’t get more immaculate than St. Francois State Park. This lush state park offers opportunity for hikers, horseback riders, anglers, and rock climbers. The area is defined by forested ridges and cool hollows, according to the state park website. It’s no easy task climbing in St. Francois. There are an abundance of boulder problems and short walls, so it’s recommended to have some experience if you try to explore this spot.