When you first arrive on your deserted island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you’ll find yourself quite restricted in terms of accessing most of the island’s landmass, but with two simple critical items you can easily cross rivers and climb cliffs!
With the Vaulting Pole tool item you can cross all of the rivers you wish with ease, and with the Ladder tool item you can climb previously inaccessible cliffs and ledges that have been taunting you. Here’s how to unlock and craft both of these important items to progress in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
How to Get the Vaulting Pole to Cross Rivers
In order to cross the rivers on your deserted island and explore the other side, you’ll need to get your hands on the important Vaulting Pole tool item.
Unlocking the Vaulting Pole requires you to first make it to at least your second full day on the island with Blathers’s Tent fully built and open ready to accept donations. In order to build Blathers’s Tent, you first need to donate five bugs or fish to Tom Nook at Resident service and place the location for Blathers’s Tent.
After placing the location for Blathers’s Tent, the construction will be completed the next morning. When the day begins, head over inside of his tent to speak with Blathers and he will discuss with you his interest in finding fossils on the island.
In order to get to the fossils on the island though, you’ll need to be able to cross the river to find the dig spots, which of course requires the Vaulting Pole tool! Therefore Blathers will transfer both the Vaulting Pole crafting recipe and the Flimsy Shovel crafting recipe to your NookPhone.
How to Craft the Vaulting Pole
You’ll need to gather five Softwood crafting materials to craft the Vaulting Pole tool item. Those can be gathered by hitting a tree with either the Flimsy Axe or Stone Axe, but only once per day. If you don’t find enough Softwood from one tree, try another as the type of wood that drops is random.
After crafting the Vaulting Pole tool item, you can finally use it to cross over the daunting cliffs that have been tempting you and begin exploring the new uncharted areas of your island! Be sure to take the time to harvest all of the new trees, rocks, and weeds that you couldn’t previously access.
How to Get the Ladder to Climb Cliffs & Ledges
In order to climb up the cliffs on your deserted island and explore the higher levels, you’ll need to get your hands on the important Ladder tool item. It’s essential because you can’t fully explore every part of your island and conquer those pesky cliffs until you have it.
Unlocking the Ladder requires you to first make it to at least the third full day on the island. You’ll know when you have reached the right part of the game when Tom Nook receives a phone call during the morning Island Broadcast.
If you’ve made it far enough and saw the phone call interrupt the Island Broadcast, then head over to Resident Services and speak to Tom Nook. He’ll inform you about how three interested parties, meaning villagers, have called him about wanting to join your deserted island.
These interested parties will include any villagers you’ve discovered and invited to your island on Island Tours with the Nook Miles Ticket, but you don’t have to have invited anyone yourself to prompt the conversation with Tom Nook.
Keep speaking to Tom Nook until he eventually offers you the ability to craft a Bridge Construction Kit. Once available on your NookPhone, gather the following supplies below to craft the bridge construction kit and place it on a river of your choice.
How to Craft the Bridge Construction Kit
- 4 Log Skates (Craft with 3 Wood — 12 Wood in total)
- 4 Clay
- 4 Stone
After crafting the bridge construction kit and placing it on a nearby river, you can speak to Tom Nook again to receive the holding plots for placing where your new villager houses will be built. Each villager house will eventually require a series of items to be crafted for them first, but you should start by choosing where you want them to go and placing the plots.
One of the villager housing plots you place will require you to craft an item that happens to require flowers which don’t exist anywhere on your town, other than right up on the cliffs where you can’t currently access.
This is where the essential Ladder tool item comes into play, and Tom Nook will now call your NookPhone to let you know about the problem before providing you the handy crafting recipe you need to craft the Ladder tool item.
How to Craft the Ladder Tool
- 4 Wood
- 4 Hardwood
- 4 Softwood
You can acquire all three types of wood needed for the Ladder tool by hitting a tree with either the Flimsy Axe or Stone Axe, but only once per day. Which type of wood that drops each time is completely random, so keep trying to get them all.
After crafting the Ladder tool item, you can finally use it to climb up those menacing cliffs that have taunted you for days and begin exploring the last uncharted areas of your island! Be sure to take the time to harvest all of the new trees, rocks, and weeds that you couldn’t previously access.