Rockwoods Reservation

Rockwoods Reservation

Coming Fall 2021

Rockwoods Reservation is located in the beautiful Henry Shaw Ozark Corridor between Wildwood and Eureka, Missouri. This unique limestone quarry is the one and only approved climbing area managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Climbing is available year round at the 109 Bluff. BETA Fund and MDC established a partnership to develop approximately 15 sport routes with more likely to come. Please know that parking is limited and consult the “more info” section before going.

Coming Fall 2021

Rockwoods Reservation is located in the beautiful Henry Shaw Ozark Corridor between Wildwood and Eureka, Missouri. This unique limestone quarry is the one and only approved climbing area managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Climbing is available year round at the 109 Bluff. BETA Fund and MDC established a partnership to develop approximately 15 sport routes with more likely to come. Please know that parking is limited and consult the “more info” section before going.

Directions

109 Bluff is located within Rockwoods Reservation, 30 miles west of St. Louis, Missouri, between Wildwood and Eureka on land owned and operated by MDC. The 109 Bluff is located on the west side of Hwy 109 on Christy Avenue. When arriving, please use extreme caution as the turn onto Christy Avenue from Hwy 109 is sharp.

Approaching from the South

  • From Eureka, MO, I-44
  • Exit Hwy 109 and travel north for five miles
  • Drive past the main Rockwoods Reservation entrance
  • Turn left onto Christy Avenue
  • Park in parking area immediately on the right.

Approaching from the North

  • From Wildwood, MO, Manchester Rd./Hwy 100
  • Turn south onto Hwy 109 for about 2 miles.
  • Turn right onto Christy Avenue. Be cautious of the sharp, u-turn onto Christy Road.

109 Bluff is located north from the parking area. Walk around the access gate (marked emergency vehicles only), following the gravel path uphill to the north for about 5 minutes.

Parking:

  • Park only in the designated parking area.
  • Do not block the emergency access gate.
  • Do not park along Christy Avenue or on Hwy 109.
  • Anyone parking outside of the parking area may be ticketed or towed; habitual violation of parking guidelines may threaten climbing access to the area.
  • Carpool to reduce parking issues. Consider parking at one of the main Rockwoods Reservation parking areas and carpool over to the climbing bluff.

NOTICE: A private residence is located past the main parking on Christy Avenue. Do not approach the private residence or block the roadway.

More Info

  • See WARNING notice below.
  • Call 911 for all medical emergencies.
  • Loose rock is present. Use extreme caution and climb on designated routes only.
  • No access is allowed on top of the bluff due to steep, leaf covered slopes, and loose rock.
  • Helmets are strongly recommended at all times for all climbers, belayers, and spectators.
  • Do not sling trees or other natural features.
  • No installation of fixed hardware.
  • Use climbing chalk to protect the limestone from polishing due to natural oils in your skin and sweat.
  • Use natural bristle brushes to clean holds of dirt, debris, and excess chalk. No wire or stiff bristle brushes allowed, as they carve into the rock and degrade holds.
  • Use caution during warmer months and be aware of snakes, ticks, and area wildlife.
  • No bathrooms available at 109 Bluff. Plan accordingly.
  • Leashed dogs are allowed by MDC, but not recommended at 109 Bluff.
  • 109 Bluff faces east with morning and mid-day sun exposure, dropping into the shade in the afternoon.
  • Climbing is only allowed at 109 Bluff. Do not climb in any other areas of Rockwoods Reservation.

Camping

Camping and overnight parking at Rockwoods Reservation is not permitted. Camping is available by reservation at Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park and several nearby private campgrounds.

Missouri Department of Conservation’s Area Rules

All climbers must abide by MDC and Rockwoods Reservation Area Rules.

Climbing Access History

109 Bluff at Rockwoods Reservation has a rich climbing history. Many of climbing’s early pioneers explored the area, learning new skills, and testing their metal before venturing out across the U.S. and the world. MDC previously established a partnership with a now-defunct organization called STREAM in which only members of STREAM were allowed to climb by obtaining a daily permit with area staff. Unfortunately, the process was cumbersome and frustrating to both climbers and staff. In 2014, when MDC embarked on a ten-year area management plan for Rockwoods Reservation, despite public input MDC’s plan officially closed climbing, even to former STREAM members. Climbing at Rockwoods seemed to pass into history, chalked up as a lost crag, never to be opened again.

However, in the summer of 2017, a sliver of hope appeared. MDC announced it would host statewide public meetings to gain feedback on the Wildlife Code of Missouri – the official rules and regulations legally governing hunting, fishing, and public use of conservation lands. BETA Fund saw these meetings as a slim opportunity to resurface the interest in climbing access with the conservation management team. BETA Fund put out a call to action and the climbing community responded. Over 30 St. Louis-area climbers converged on Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood, MO for a public meeting and MDC heard you! Following the meeting, BETA Fund was invited to meet with area staff and began planning. In November of 2018, just one year following that original public meeting, MDC and BETA Fund signed a Cooperative Agreement for the purposes of reopening climbing at Rockwoods Reservation. You did it!

Through many years of continuous planning, meetings, negotiations, field work, drilling, blood, sweat, and tears, the area is finally open for climbers to enjoy!

109 Bluff has been climbed and explored since the 1980’s and likely earlier. Please contact BETA Fund if you have prior knowledge of the area and routes to help preserve and share climbing history.

WARNING

By climbing at 109 Bluff, I have read, acknowledged, and agree to the following:

I AM SOLELY RESPONSIBLE AND PERSONALLY ASSUME ALL RISK OF SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH TO MYSELF AND/OR OTHERS ARISING OUT OF MY USE OF 109 BLUFF. I understand that climbing is an inherently dangerous activity that can result in serious injury or death arising from hiking, climbing, loose rock, equipment failure, environmental conditions, misuse, and other risks and hazards associated with rock climbing and outdoor activities. Wearing a helmet does not eliminate the dangers associated with any activity, but in certain instances, a helmet can reduce the risk of permanent injury or death. Helmets are recommended and I understand that if I choose not to wear a helmet I do so at my own risk. The 109 Bluff is intended for use only by competent and responsible climbers who know how to climb, clean, and belay properly. Proper training is essential before using 109 Bluff.

Learn more about Rockwoods Reservation.