Welcome to SP!  -
Barton Creek Greenbelt
Area/Range

Barton Creek Greenbelt

 
Barton Creek Greenbelt

Page Type: Area/Range

Location: Texas, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 30.24372°N / 97.80227°W

Object Title: Barton Creek Greenbelt

Activities: Hiking, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope, Bouldering, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

 

Page By: Bob Sihler

Created/Edited: Oct 7, 2016 / Dec 1, 2016

Object ID: 984729

Hits: 168 

Page Score: 76.66%  - 7 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

Overview

Austin, probably the best place in the state of Texas to spot one of its most critically endangered species-- a Texas Democrat-- is now the 11th largest city in the country and the 4th-largest in Texas. Considering that, one probably would not think of Austin, a city far from any real mountains, as a place with climbing, whitewater kayaking, and mountain biking, yet it has those and more. Welcome to the Barton Creek Greenbelt, a semi-wilderness mostly within the Austin city limits.

Since this ostensibly is a climbing site, this page will focus mostly on the climbing.

Limestone is the rock here. A lot of it is highly polished by generations of climbers, but there are spots that still tear your hands up. Note that because of the polish and because many of the routes here were put up before grade inflation became so rampant, many climbs will feel tough for the grade, maybe even a full grade harder.

Polished Limestone at Seismic Wall
Polished Limestone at Seismic Wall

Almost all the routes are bolted, and most of those have sport anchors. There are some toprope routes, some of which can be done off sport anchors and some of which have to be set up from above, and there even are a handful of trad routes. Bouldering exists as well. Sport routes go from 5.6 to 5.13. Trad and TR routes start at 5.4 and go at least to 5.9.

Look for fossils, too. Sometimes they're right on the routes!

Fossils
Fossils

Many of the crags are located adjacent to or near swimming holes. During the warm months, which is like March through October, it's great to jump in and cool off after climbing.

Swimming Hole at Gus Fruh
Swimming Hole at Gus Fruh

There are several climbing crags here. From north to south as you follow Barton Creek, they are as follows:
Bird Dog and Over Easy, 5.8 and 5.9
Bird Dog and Over Easy, 5.8 and 5.9-- Seismic Wall

Face Off, 5.9; and Swordfish, 5.8
Face Off, 5.9+; and Swordfish, 5.8+-- 5.8 Sanctuary

April Fools, 5.9; Touch of Class, 5.7; Steep Bulge, 5.10a
Worm, 5.9+; Touch of Class, 5.7; Steep Bulge, 5.10a-- Guide's Wall


Austin Climbing: Sport Routes & Deep Water Solos by John Hogge is the best beta source for the area. The second edition became available in late November 2016.

Barton Creek at Seismic Wall
Barton Creek at Seismic Wall

Getting There

There are several access points for the Greenbelt; this site covers them all.

The most popular climbing areas seem to be New Wall, Great Wall, Gus Fruh, and Seismic Wall.

To reach the New Wall and Great Wall, exit Mopac at Barton Skyway and go southeast until the intersection with Spyglass Drive.

For Gus Fruh, take Barton Skyway from Lamar Boulevard and turn onto Barton Hills. Drive to the the well-marked trailhead.

If you want to go to Seismic Wall, turn off 360 into the business park just south of the bridge over Barton Creek. Turn left and drive to a marked parking area.

Barton Creek Greenbelt
Barton Creek Greenbelt

Red Tape

Read signs with posted regulations. No fees.

External Links

Barton Creek on Mountain Project

Barton Creek on rockclimbing.com

Camping

None. Day-use only.

Images

Swimming Hole at Gus FruhBarton Creek at Seismic WallPolished Limestone at Seismic WallSeismic WallBird Dog and Over Easy, 5.8 and 5.9Face Off, 5.9+; and Swordfish, 5.8+Fossils
Worm, 5.9+; Touch of Class, 5.7; Steep Bulge, 5.10aBarton Creek Greenbelt