Reimers-- Dr. Suess, Prototype
Greenbelt-- Random Wall, Gus Fruh
Enchanted Rock-- Cheap Wine Wall, Boston, Dome Driver, Motorboat Rock
Lizard Rocks, 5.7 and 5.8
Horse Creek Slabs, 5.7 route
Religion is a mental disease, often confused with spirituality. --pjs-1965
The daily entry fee is currently $10. Annual passes are $100 and well worth it if you climb here a lot. I bought an annual pass in August and by October had come out more than 10 times. Plus, the annual pass is good for all Travis County parks. Unfortunately, the pass is a windshield decal, not a card. If you want a duplicate pass for a second vehicle, you get to pay $50 for it. Nice racket they have going there.
Opening and closing times vary by the season. Check the park website
Climbers in Central Texas are well acquainted with the biting ants all over the place. Watch where you stand and where you step.
This part of Texas is also home to all four types of venomous North American snakes-- copperheads, cottonmouths, rattlesnakes, and coral snakes. Again, watch out, especially for the coral snakes. They are shy and bites are very rare, but their venom is highly potent and can be fatal. Also, it is my understanding that antivenin for coral snakes is in very short supply and highly expensive due to the fact that bites are so rare.
When To Climb
All year. Most of the walls face northwest and get good shade for much or all of the day. Since it is usually 90-100+ F out here May through September, it obviously makes sense to climb in the morning during summer. It's rarely too cold to climb here, but in winter, waiting until afternoon is a good bet. This wall gets just about no sun in winter.
If you have the flexibility, climb on weekdays. This place, and even most of Reimers Proper, is virtually deserted then except during spring and winter breaks.
None inside the park.
About 7 miles east on Hamilton Pool Road is Rock Dog
, owned and operated by local climbers. I've never been there but have heard the owners are awesome climbers and awesome people. Unfortunately, it currently is closed due to irresponsible campers trashing the place.
Found on the Back Side of Enchanted Rock, Cheap Wine Wall and its neighbor Devil's Slide are home to most of Enchanted Rock's multi-pitch routes and, hence, its longest routes.
For the most part, the routes here are on granite slab with bolts for protection, though some pitches have flakes of rock quality from questionable to poor, and some pitches have no protection at all. Most of the time, the harder moves are protected, but not always.
This is all part of the spice of multi-pitch at Enchanted Rock.
Pitches range from two to three.
You can lead any pitch here with a 50m rope, but unless you plan to top out on the dome and walk off, you will need at least two 50s to rap back down; a single 70 will not get you back down safely, nor will a 40 be enough to get up some pitches.
But if you go out here informed and with your run-out head, you will love this wall, and your only complaint will be that it isn't at least twice as long.
The photo below, linked from Mountain Project, is an excellent representation of the routes in this area of the dome.
Getting ThereSet out on the Summit Trail and then take the Echo Canyon Trail. When that trail reaches a board with lots of information posted, head right on a good trail that follows the Backside and has several spur trails to various walls. Look for the Yellow Trail and take it to the base of the dome. Devil's Slide is to the left.
From left to right by first pitch (some of these routes cross each other higher up, and things can get confusing):
- Boston, 5.7--
- The Kracken, 5.8+--
- Newark, 5.8+--
- Hartford, 5.8--
- Dome Driver, 5.8--
- MD 20/20, 5.9 R
- T.J. Swan, 5.8
- Ripple, 5.9+
There is a $7 daily entrance fee.
Climbers and rappelers are required to sign in. You are not required to pay a fee, get a permit, or list where you will be climbing; but you have to name the members of your party, note your climbing dates, and sign a waiver.
Periodically, the park closes for permitted hunts. Check the park website (final section below) for these and other possible closure periods.
On weekends and holidays and during school breaks, the parking lots often fill by as early as 10 or even 9 A.M. When that happens, the park closes for up to three hours at a time. Signs on major access roads will announce these closures, but that doesn't help if you're not local, so you might want to call before leaving. From the park's website: "Flashing signs on approaching roads will also alert you if the park is closed. One sign is north of Fredericksburg on R.R. 965; the other is on Hwy. 16 near the R.R. 965 intersection."
I saw this situation myself on Thanksgiving Day 2016 (fortunately, I had come in two days before and was camping), so it is no joke.
When To Climb
Early spring and late fall are best, but winter has a lot of good climbing days. Unless you're out here really early or really late, you pretty much don't want to touch this place May through September, though there are climbs in the park are good in the summer.
The park has a campground and also allows primitive camping (backpacking) in designated zones. Reservations are strongly recommended. See the park website.
As long as you don't need real mountains, snow, ice, and the ocean: Austin (and vicinity) pretty much has it all: lots of beautiful, smart people; lots of cool, friendly people; plenty of jobs, and many of them paying well; great food and music; top-notch climbing gyms if that's your thing; and, most importantly, year-round outdoor sport and trad climbing.
And deep water soloing.
Yes, DWS in Central Texas. Dam-created Lake Travis is over 100' deep in places, and it rises to meet limestone cliffs up to 40' high. To many locals, this is a place to drink beer and dive off cliffs, to drink beer and have cookouts, and to drink beer and zoom around in watercraft; to local climbers, it is a place to climb May-September when chasing the shade gets old.
The rock can be slick from algae near water's edge, but past that, it is sharp and pockety with plenty of flakes, cracks, and overhangs.