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Alto Pass, Illinois: Bald Knob Cross of Peace

111 feet tall, and at the top of Bald Knob, which makes it easy to spot. Built 1959-63, renovated 2009-11.

Bald Knob Cross of Peace

3630 Bald Knob Rd, Alto Pass, IL
Southwest of Carbondale off Route 127 near Alto Pass, follow signs, turn right towards Bald Knob, then left on Bald Knob Rd for four miles up the mountain.
Lit at night. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About Bald Knob Cross of Peace

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Bald Knob Cross of Peace.

Bald Knob Cross of Peace

It's a long and winding road leading to the Bald Knob Cross of Peace. Over 100 feet tall and over 1000 feet above sea level in Southern Illinois. Ten feet of polished black granite panels line the base of the cross. Each side has a word engraved in it: Charity, Faith, Hope, Peace. I was looking forward to climbing up to the observation deck and taking in the view, but unfortunately there's no public access inside the cross.

[Mike Gassmann, 10/27/2018]

The staircase up inside the completely rebuilt Cross has been closed to the public for years.

Bald Knob Cross of Peace.

Bald Knob Cross of Peace

111 feet high. A mountainous, 7,500-square-mile view from the base of it. We visited last month, after not having seen it for two years. It has had major renovations added to the grounds: benches, lighting at night, and a visitor center. With its base elevation at 1,000 feet above sea level, it's still regarded as the tallest cross in America.

[Lisa Boswell, 09/18/2018]

Bald Knob Cross.

Bald Knob Cross of Peace

We visited on July 2, 2011. The renovation of the Cross has been completed. It was an awe inspiring sight.

[Ron Asher, 07/03/2011]

Hey, what's that on top? Some kind of... Prayer Control Tower?!

Bald Knob Cross renovation.

Bald Knob Cross of Peace

We visited on August 22, 2010 and were pleased to see great progress has been made on the cross renovation. The south face has been re-sheathed, and most of the sides were complete. The north face was still bare, but the man at the visitors center said that construction was steady and should be completed soon.

I was told at the visitors center that the original sheathing was panels from old freezers. A local company that manufactured commercial freezers had gone out of business and the panels were purchased to cover the cross. They saved the first panel that was removed.

The new sheathing is lightweight but strong. I recall it being dense foam with a white aluminum or plastic outer coating.

Until construction is complete, walking up near the cross is prohibited.

[Trent Dowler, 11/01/2010]

Bald Knob Cross of Peace under renovation.

Bald Knob Cross of Peace

Bald Knob Cross is currently undergoing complete renovations. It is huge; when you stand beside it almost compares to the Eiffel Tower, with the steel girders.

[Lisa Boswell, 07/17/2010]

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