Devil’s Lake is the most visited state park in Wisconsin, offering magnificent panoramic views of the 360-acre Devil’s Lake from 500-foot high quartzite bluffs. It’s a popular destination for camping, hiking, trail running, boating and fishing. The 29 miles of hiking trails offer you stunning views of the lake—you have to work for it—and miles of solitude into the less popular wilderness. It’s also part of the 1,000-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail connecting various parks across the state. It’s located in the south central part of the state, a manageable drive from Milwaukee and Chicago, and not far from the state capital in Madison. With all that, you can understand why Devil’s Lake is so popular.
What Makes It Great
For rock climbers, Devil’s Lake is one of the top destinations in the Midwest. With 100-foot tall quartzite cliffs, the park offers terrain difficult to find anywhere else that far from the Rockies. There are more than 2,000 climbing routes of all skill levels to choose from in the park.
Devil’s lake offers places for top-roping, well-protected leads and extensive bouldering. There are no bolted routes at the park, only traditional climbing, but it does offer an abundance of quality, moderately rated climbs (from 5.5-5.8).
Climbing areas include the East Bluff, West Bluff, South Bluff and Sandstone Bluff, with the greatest number of routes on the east and west bluffs. The highest number of routes—and most popular spot—is the East Rampart, a long band of cliff which also features the longest climb in the park.
Who is Going to Love It
Beginner and intermediate climbers can learn the sport at Devil’s Lake. Expert climbers will have plenty to challenge them. It’s a good family trip, with plenty of things to do in the park for kids and guide.