Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 30.50348°N / 98.83236°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Bouldering
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 1580 ft / 482 m
Sign the Climber's Log

Overview

If you're looking for the unlikely combination of a short, easy approach, moderate trad routes, and no crowds, Buffalo Boulder will make you happy (for an hour or so).

Although it is right off the Loop Trail just a couple minutes from the Loop Trail Boulder and 20-30 minutes from the trailhead, Buffalo Boulder, apparently named for its resemblance to a buffalo lying in the grass (in the picture below, the resemblance is there), is not in either Enchanted Rock guidebook currently in print and is not on Mountain Project and sees little climbing traffic. In fact, it is likely that more hikers reach the "summit" than climbers do since there is an easy walkup on a low-angle slab.

In an out-of-print guidebook called Little Dome Driver, Buffalo Boulder is a bouldering destination, and there are several bouldering problems listed. Two of those problems are long enough and featured enough to go as trad routes, and this page will focus on them.

Don't get too excited, though. Each route is only 25-30', the easier one is quite easy but on very suspect rock, and the harder one is only tough for the first 10' or so before yielding to a very easy finish.

But it's a place to plug some gear and not have to worry about standing in line.

My Kids on Top
My Kids on Top

Getting There

Park in the campground and take the Loop Trail, which starts at the circle at the end of the road.

Hike 20-30 minutes until you see the formation on your right.

Routes

Right Leg, 5.5-- The 5.5 is my suggestion; my son thought it was easier. In Little Dome Driver, this one has a V0- grade. It starts as a crack and then becomes a huge flake. Although the flake can take big gear up to a #6 BD cam, you wouldn't want to fall on a cam in the flake. Anchoring is a little tricky. Up top, there is a single old Star Drive bolt with a thin hanger. Because I did not really trust it, I had my son, who led the route first, just walk off. Then I pulled the rope, led the route, put a locker on the bolt, and downclimbed the route. I've been told that you can make a long TR anchor off flakes way back, but that's a lot of extra gear to carry for such short routes.

Left Leg, 5.9-- LDD gives this a V0 grade, which roughly equates to 5.9, though I felt this one felt more in line with 5.8 cracks at Enchanted Rock. But there are fun jams or liebacks while they last, and then the climbing becomes very easy. Anchors? Again, I had my son walk off and then I re-led the route. After leading it, I cloved off the bolt mentioned above and belayed off my harness as my son cleaned. You could build a gear anchor in crumbly rock just below the topout, hope something holds or the climber doesn't fall, and then top out and walk off.

Right Leg
Right Leg
Left Leg
Left Leg

Red Tape

There is a $7 daily entrance fee per person.

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.
 
Slinging trees for anchors or pro is prohibited.
 
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."
 
The state parks now have an online system for reserving day passes up to 30 days in advance.

When to Climb

All year. Summer mornings are shaded here; later, it turns into an oven.

Camping

The park has a campground and also allows primitive camping (backpacking) in designated zones. Reservations are strongly recommended. See the park website.

There is also camping 7 miles away at Frontier Outpost and 13 miles away at Oxford Ranch. Both sites are privately owned. Fees are $10 and starting at $8 per night per person, respectively.

External Links

Enchanted Rock SNA website

 


Parents 

Parents

Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

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