3 Days, 2 Nights
Rock Climbing
Skill Rating:
Devil’s Lake State Park, WI
$ 325
Included: Guides, all meals except in transit, permits, instruction, and all necessary group and climbing equipment (excluding climbing shoes).
Not Included: Personal clothing and accessories, sleeping bag and a pad. A complete clothing checklist will be sent to you upon registration. Climbing shoes available for rent for $15.

Join us for an introduction to the exciting world of rock climbing at Devil’s Lake State Park. Surround yourself with colorful bluffs and trees while we teach the basics of climbing to beginners and challenging climbs to those of you ready to take it higher. Our experienced guides will show you the ropes - literally - and help you reach your goals.


We will be setting up camp Friday evening.  All day Saturday and most of  Sunday will be spent learning and refining your rock climbing skills.  We generally hike and rock climb throughout Devil’s Lake State Park.  Saturday morning we will be doing some instruction on the basic skills required to rock climb safely.  Throughout the rest of the weekend you will have the opportunity to hike, rock climb, learn advanced rock skills, swim and enjoy the wilderness experience that Devil’s Lake provides.

In order to provide the finest and most complete wilderness experience, we strongly encourage and expect participation in all camp chores, including cooking, washing dishes, setting up and breaking down camp. We will provide all meals (except in transit), tents, all camping and cooking equipment, and all rock climbing-related equipment.  Showers and swimming are available at Devil's Lake. You may be sharing a tent with fellow participants each night. 

Clothing & Equipment:

Clothing Checklist

  • 2 t-shirts (non-cotton preferable for quick drying)
  • 1 shirt, long sleeved, synthetic preferred.  Cotton when wet stays wet and makes you colder
  • 1 towel
  • 2 pairs of shorts (loose fitting for comfort under the harness, non-cotton)
  • 1 pair loose fitting long pants - no blue jeans
  • Sun/rain hat
  • 1 pr. synthetic long underwear (medium weight); especially for early summer and fall trips
  • 2 pairs shoes/sandals - lightweight sneakers work fine. Hiking boots are another option.  Tevas or other sport sandals are handy for camp. 
  • 2 pair socks
  • Bathing suit
  • Underwear
  • 1 light or mid-weight fleece jacket
  • Windbreaker jacket
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants)
  • Bandana (optional)
  • Clean change of clothing for the trip home (optional)


  • Toiletry kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and shampoo, sunscreen, face cream, nail clippers, personal medication etc.)
  • Bug repellent
  •  Sleeping bag (compact, 3-season) and pad
  • Flashlight, batteries & extra bulb- headlamps are preferred
  • Large plastic cup with handle (commuter mug)                   
  • Pocket knife       
  • Water bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Chums/Croakies® to keep glasses on your head are imperative
  • Energy bars/reserve food   

Optional Equipment

  • Rock climbing shoes and chalk bag
  • Camera, film, waterproof container
  • Book(s)
  • Entertainment (harmonica, cards, games)
  • Fishing rod (collapsible, with container and license) and tackle
  • Ziploc storage bags
  • Crazy Creek chair or small lawn chair

Notes: Climbing shoes are a luxury and not required for any of the rock climbing activities for this weekend.

What is special about this trip?
Devil’s Lake is the perfect venue to learn to rock climb in the Midwest. Stunningly beautiful and colorful bluffs encircle a sparkling lake, making for some spectacular vistas. Come join the exciting world of rock climbing!

How do I get there?
From the Chicago area, just take interstate 90 past Madison and exit in Baraboo, WI.

What papers do I need for travel?
You don’t need any papers, just a Wisconsin State Parks sticker or parking permits.

How and where will you meet me?
The Northwest Passage staff will meet you at the campsite on the first night of the adventure.

How long will it take me to get there?
It takes about 3 - 3.5 hours to drive from Chicago.

Where should I stay overnight around there?
There are lots of hotels, motels and cabins in the area. If you plan to arrive early or stay late, give the office a call for a recommendation on a great place to stay.

What money should I take?
You will need a Wisconsin State Parks sticker or a few day passes for your vehicle which you can purchase at the park entrance. You won’t need any money on the trip itself, just traveling money.

Do they take plastic there? Are there cash stations?"
The park and most shops and restaurants in the area accept credit cards, and there are lots of ATMs in town.

What's the weather like?
It’s very similar to Chicago summertime weather, hot during the day with nighttime temperatures in the 60s.

What are the accommodations like?
We stay in Eureka tents, either 2-man or larger A-frame style tents.

What do I need to bring?

We will send youu a gear list upon registration.

Can I drink the water?
Yes, there is running water and hot showers throughout the park.

What's the food like?
Your NWP guides cook up great food and lots of it. Breakfasts consist of oatmeal, hot drinks, fresh fruit, eggs and bacon. At lunch we have sandwiches and snack on fruit, trail mix, hummus, cookies, etc. We make a hearty hot supper each night, typically something along the lines of chicken fajitas, jambalya, pesto pasta or Thai noodle dishes.

What time zone will I be in?
All of Wisconsin is in the Central Time Zone.

How can people reach me in an emergency? Can I call home?
The Devil’s Lake park office number is (608) 356-8301, and all our guides will carry their cell phones with them.

How much time do we spend traveling each day? How many miles? Do I have free time?
We spend about 5-6 hours climbing on Saturday and about 4 hours climbing on Sunday.

What kind of equipment do you use?
We use high quality climbing equipment, and maintain our ropes down to the most stringent detail.

How many people are on this trip? How many guides? Who are the guides / what are their qualifications?
We typically take between 4 and 10 people on this trip. The guides are experienced rock climbing instructors and are all certified in Wilderness First Aid.

How can I prepare physically for the trip? How much prior experience is needed?
No prior experience or physical conditioning is necessary for this trip.

"Well other than the rock climbing, Adam's incredible leadership, guidance, and hospitality. We are both total newbs and Adam was so patient, respectful, encouraging, tactful, and knowledgeable with what guidance he gave us. Now you've got us spoiled, and we'll only want to travel with Adam!" - Cecil, Chicago, Illinois

"We had a great trip this weekend. Ben and Barrett really went out of their way to help my son and I learn.  Crystal has a great attitude and was great teaching my son.  We had a diverse group with varying personalities and levels of ability.  This team found a way to include everyone. Great job." -Dan S. Chicago, Illinois 

  "This trip was great. I would definitely do it again." - Erin k. 

"Keith did a great job of helping eery participant get the most out of the experience regardless of their skill levl or interest or background. Keith is am excellent teacher- he explained everything without appearing to be constantly lecturing. This trip exceeded my expectation in every way! The quality and amount of climbing and the overall flow of the trip were perfect. Again, I credit Keith for everything except the excellent weather!" - Mike Zarski Wilmette, Illinois

"Thanks Chris & Bethany for not giving us too much "slack". We felt very safe and energized. " -Yana S.

"I had a great, wonderful and amazing time... All of my doubts and fears melted away around the campfire Friday evening and by Sunday it wasn't easy to go home." - Devil’s Lake Climbing Participant