May 23, 2019 Slideshows » Arts

18 Unbeatable Texas Spots Perfect for Rock-Climbing and Bouldering 

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If you seek adventure, you may or may not have tried your hand at bouldering – or maybe even rock-climbing. Whether you have or not, you'll want to work your way through this list of spots where you can get your fill of thrills. Keep in mind that these parks may have rules and regulations in place for your safety.
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Pace Bend Park
Distance from SA:
2 hours
2011 Pace Bend Road N, Spicewood, (512) 264-1482, parks.traviscountytx.gov
True outdoorsmen will have lots of fun here, but make it a point to climb a bit. Water bouldering is the name of the game here as the beautiful cliffs overlook Lake Travis. Just come back to SA safe and sound, that’s all we ask of you.
Photo via Instagram / jayce.parkey
Barton Creek Greenbelt
Distance from SA:
1 hour
3755 S Capital of Texas Hwy B, Austin, (512) 974-6700, austinparks.org
With plenty to see and do along this greenbelt, you’ll surely be able to keep busy however long your trip to Austin. Even if you’re just trying to rock-climb, there’s plenty of routes of all skill levels along the greenbelt for you to tackle. The limestone is pretty smooth, though there’s routes that will require gear (definitely hit up the Seismic Wall). Sure, this area can get busy on the weekends, but think of it as climbing with good company.
Photo via Instagram / wala_cam
Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway
Distance from SA:
7 hours
850 Caprock Canyon Park Road, Quitaque, (806) 455-1492, tpwd.texas.gov
If you’re into climbing for the view you can enjoy after, you’ll want to head to Caprock Canyons immediately. While most of the Panhandle is incredibly flat, Caprock Canyons features solid boulders and gorgeous cliffs that call for an adventure. Hopefully your view includes a look at the bison that roam free here.
Photo via Instagram / calebseeks
Milton Reimers Ranch Park
Distance from SA:
1.5 hours
23610 Hamilton Pool Rd, Dripping Springs, (512) 264-1923, parks.traviscountytx.gov
Not too far from the gorgeous Hamilton Pool you’ll find a super cool spot for climbing. While the park in its entirety can be considered an oasis for nature lovers, the limestone structures here are considered sporty and give a view of the Pedernales River. Consider taking a dip if you need to cool down after your climb.
Photo by mattmitchl via Instagram / howl_mouth
Big Bend National Park
Distance from SA:
6 hours
Big Bend, nps.gov
This massive national park has outdoor activities for days, and of course that includes climbing. The West Texas park covers a wide array of environments – from desert to mountains to rivers. While much of the park isn’t suited for climbing due to unstable igneous rock, there are sweet spots waiting to be climbed. Expect a challenge as the region is arid – it is the dessert after all.
Photo via Instagram / kevinmcleanphoto
Bull Creek Park
Distance from SA:
1.5 hours
6701 Lakewood Dr, Austin, (512) 974-6700, austinparks.org
Though ideal for hiking and mountain biking, you can still get in some bouldering and climbing at Bull Creek. The routes are more difficult here on account of the limestone, but there’s also a selection of high-quality, easy-access spots for bouldering. These spots, along with the walls, are shaded, so you’ll find some relief in hot temperatures.
Photo by chris_k_choate via Instagram / badrian86
The Riverside Sanctuary
Distance from SA:
2 hours
2000 Scenic Dr, Georgetown
Located just behind a hospital in Georgetown you’ll find a literal riverside sanctuary. Though close to civilization, the crag is pretty secluded and features fresh rock that’s challenging enough due to the steep nature. Nearby trees also offer shade, so this is a prime spot for a cooler climb in hot temperatures.
Photo via Instagram / organicspectrum
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Distance from SA:
1.5 hours
16710 Ranch Road 965, Fredericksburg, (830) 685-3636, tpwd.texas.gov
Not only is Enchanted Rock home to that beautiful pink granite dome that you see all over Instagram, it’s also a prime spot for rock-climbing – and so close to home! This Hill Country spot is solid for climbing and bouldering, just make sure you read up on all the rules when you get to the park.
Photo via Instagram / leslyg13
Hueco Tanks State Park
Distance from SA:
8 hours
6900 Hueco Tanks Road No. 1, El Paso, (915) 857-1135, tpwd.texas.gov
Head west and you’ll be able to climb one of the most badass spots in all of Texas. You can choose to join a guided climb or go it on your own, either one will get you access to world-class rock-climbing. You’ll be right in your element in this desert sanctuary, so enjoy the climb.
Photo via Instagram / royahagigholam
McKinney Falls State Park
Distance from SA:
1.5 hours
5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, tpwd.texas.gov
These gorgeous falls await you – as do some super awesome climbs. Suitable for both rock-climbing and bouldering, McKinney Falls should be a go-to for nearby climbs that allow you to still experience nature at its best. Most of the climbs here are short and steep, but we’re sure you don’t mind.
Photo via Instagram / _pabloaguilar
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Tonkawa Falls
Distance from SA:
3 hours
8542 5th St, Crawford, (254) 486-2125, facebook.com
If rock-climbing is sacred to you, head north to experience Tonkawa Falls. The low-key spot is hardly ever crowded, allowing you to enjoy a serene climb without any distractions. Located near the small town of Crawford, consider this spot a true getaway.
Photo via Instagram / claytonthenomad
Camp Eagle
Distance from SA:
2 hours
6424 Hackberry Rd, Rocksprings, (830) 683-3219, campeagle.org
This camp is privately owned, but you can still make the trek out here to reach new heights. Be prepared for this sport climb on the limestone structures – and right on the river! There’s dozens of known climbs and room for plenty more. Bouldering is an option too, if you want to make the most out of your trip. In the crag, you’ll be able to enjoy the shade in the afternoon. Just remember to plan ahead before making the drive out there. Try to visit when there aren’t campers on the grounds so you can enjoy the secluded spot.
Photo via Instagram / stacey423
Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway
Distance from SA:
4 hours
100 Park Rd 71, Mineral Wells, (940) 328-1171, tpwd.texas.gov
Dedicated climbers will want to make their way to this state park for the chance to experience Penitentiary Hollow, one of the few natural rock climbing venues in North Texas. As such, there’s lots of rules to follow, but it guarantees one hell of a climb. Just be sure to check in at headquarters when you get to the park.
Photo via Instagram / whereswesam
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Distance from SA:
7 hours
Salt Flat, (915) 828-3251, nps.gov
With views of the Salt Basin Dunes and the rocky El Capitan, there’s plenty to appreciate at this beautiful national park. While the park offers more hiking than climbing, you’ll want to explore Dog Canyon. Plan for a longer vacation as this canyon is accessible by going up into New Mexico and then making the trek back into Texas. It’s worth it though, as this spot is insanely remote. The canyon includes plenty of trails, but go the Bush Mountain route to cross the canyon and climb a ridge that takes you up to Bush Peak.
Photo via Instagram / priskillya
Franklin Mountains State Park
Distance from SA:
8 hours
Tom Mays Park Access Road, El Paso, tpwd.texas.gov
Making up a whopping 24,000+ acres, Franklin Mountains has plenty of space waiting to be explored. While you can find lots of points to climb here, there are two designated areas that are just what you’re looking for. McKelligon Canyon and Sneed’s Cory are both badass spots, but the former is surrounded by desert canyon walls that connect to a number of trails. Routes are even noted for the climb, with the symmetric terrain full of crevices and cracks.
Photo via Instagram / the_mustachedmexican_man
Pedernales Falls State Park
Distance from SA:
1.5 hours
2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, (830) 868-7304, tpwd.texas.gov
Beautiful waters may be the star here, but Pedernales Falls is also home to some beautiful structures ideal for bouldering. Despite offering perfect chances for the activity, this spot is still a hidden gem for adventurers. Head over soon before the word gets out.
Photo via Instagram / mytxtravelsandadventures
Eisenhower State Park
Distance from SA:
5 hours
50 Park Road 20, Denison, (903) 465-1956, tpwd.texas.gov
Located on the shores of Lake Texoma, this state park has all the outdoor activities you know and love – from fishing to camping. Also, bouldering! With a mixture of limestone and sandstone, this spot is considered tricky due to the rock breaking off. If you’re a seasoned sport up for a challenge, consider making the drive north to conquer this spot.
Photo via Instagram / klt8
Davis Mountains State Park
Distance from SA:
6 hours
TX-118, Park Road 3, Fort Davis, (432) 426-3337, tpwd.texas.gov
Still a secret spot for climbers, this state park keeps it simple with pretty sights and memorable climbs. Eye-catching peaks and sheer cliffs await you here formed from volcanic activity, as does a bounty of wildlife and nature. The highest point within the park is Mount Livermore – which offers opportunities to both hike and rock-climb.
Photo via Instagram / davemccaul
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Pace Bend Park
Distance from SA:
2 hours
2011 Pace Bend Road N, Spicewood, (512) 264-1482, parks.traviscountytx.gov
True outdoorsmen will have lots of fun here, but make it a point to climb a bit. Water bouldering is the name of the game here as the beautiful cliffs overlook Lake Travis. Just come back to SA safe and sound, that’s all we ask of you.
Photo via Instagram / jayce.parkey

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