Cheap Wine Wall, 5.7-5.9+

Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 30.50900°N / 98.818°W
Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter


Cheap Wine Wall

Cheap Wine Wall from the approach-- the obvious notch on P1 of Boston makes it easy to find the wall and the routes

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 fair 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. 

Routes range from one to three pitches. 

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.

Enchanted Rock Backside from Moss Lake

Enchanted Rock Backside from Moss Lake

Enchanted Rock Backside, Sunset

Enchanted Rock Backside, Sunset

The photo below, linked from Mountain Project, is an excellent representation of the routes in this area of the dome.


Getting There

Set 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. The trail leads directly to the base of Cheap Wine Wall.

Cheap Wine Wall

Base of Cheap Wine Wall (and Dome Driver)


From left to right by first pitch (some of these routes cross each other higher up, and things can get confusing):
  • Boston, 5.7-- Two pitches, mix of sport and trad
  • The Kracken, 5.8+-- Two pitches, sport
  • Newark, 5.8+-- One pitch, sport, starts from the ledge where the first pitches of Boston and Kracken end
  • Hartford, 5.8-- Two pitches, sport
  • Dome Driver, 5.8-- Three pitches, mix of sport and trad
  • MD 20/20, 5.9 R-- Two pitches, sport, wide spacing between bolts
  • T.J. Swan, 5.8-- One pitch, sport
  • Ripple, 5.9+-- One pitch, sport
Cheap Wine Wall

Cheap Wine Wall

Cheap Wine Wall

Cheap Wine Wall

Cheap Wine Wall

Cheap Wine Wall

Red Tape

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 that 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.

External Links