Turkey Peak from the Main Dome
For the most part, the "peaks" of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area consist of granite domes, but Turkey Peak is the exception; just southeast of the Main Dome's summit, Turkey Peak has a craggy appearance from all angles, and climbers viewing it for the first time often ask, "Is there any climbing on that
Well, yes, there is.
On Turkey Peak, there are trad routes, sport routes (closely bolted by E-Rock standards), and toprope routes. One of the trad routes doubles as a scrambling route, and there also is a use trail that hikers take to the top and which climbers sometimes descend.
Once you enter the park, park as close as you can to the Summit and Loop Trails. Hike through the gazebo and then down some steps to a (often dry) creek bed (Sandy Creek). Bear right on the Loop Trail and soon take a spur leading to the saddle between the Main Dome and Turkey Peak. From there, a use trail will get you to the climbing routes, which are on the southwest face.
Turkey Peak from Sandy Creek
I have never taken the use trail to the summit, but I have seen people of various shapes and sizes on the summit, so it can't be too hard to find and follow.
There are two "walls" with established routes:
- The Mighty Dog Wall (left)
- Unnamed (right)
Mighty Dog Wall
Routes from left to right:
- Turkey Times (5.5, Trad)
- Pressed Turkey (5.8, Trad)
- Mighty Dog (5.11b, Sport)
- Godzilla (5.12a, TR)
- Windy Ramp (5.5, Trad)
Turkey Peak Routes-- Windy Ramp (5.5)
Routes from left to right:
- Central Ramp (5.4, Trad)-- This is given an X rating in some other sources and is called Class 4 in some other sources as well. It doubles as a scrambling route to the top.
- Turkey Hooks (5.8, Sport)-- 4 bolts and 2 bolted anchors. Crux is the awkward move left out of the dihedral.
- Butter Fingers (5.9, Sport)-- 3 bolts and 2 bolted anchors. Shares anchors with Turkey Hooks. Uses the first three bolts of TH but stays on the face and out of the dihedral. The crux is supposed to be in the run-out area after the third bolt, but I thought the climbing was harder lower.
- Butter Ball (5.8, Sport)-- 3 bolts and 2 bolted anchors. You might want to stick-clip the first bolt here (or clip it while lowering from BF as I did), as this climb starts at the edge of a sloping ledge, meaning a fall before the first bolt might be fatal for both the climber and the belayer.
- Doggy Daddy (5.10d, TR)
Turkey Peak Routes-- Central Ramp (5.4)
Turkey Peak Routes
To TR the sport routes on this wall, you need long slings or cord for extension. TRing Doggy Daddy requires building an anchor.
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
Because the climbs face SW and the climate features mild winters and hot conditions the rest of the year, this is a year-round crag. Winter afternoons are great, as are summer mornings. The elusive perfect days in early spring and late fall are best.
The park has a campground and also allows primitive camping (backpacking) in designated zones. Reservations are strongly recommended. See the park website.
External LinksEnchanted Rock SNA website