Zoey's Wall is one of the last climbing walls in Sex Canyon, which is the main way people access the crags at Reimers Ranch, which probably is the best venue for sport climbing in the state of Texas.
It is a good place to take beginners, as the routes are short and well-protected, and all of them are moderates. In just a few hours, a small party could hit every route on the wall and then move on or call it a day.
Note: those pages do mention some roof routes that are not actually considered a part of Zoey's Wall.
Reimers Ranch is located off Hamilton Pool Road about 6 miles west of its intersection with Ranch Road 12. It is about 45 minutes west from downtown Austin.
Once through the entrance station, drive about 1.8 mi and turn left into a large parking area signed for a pavilion and for climbing access. A sign points the way to "Climbers Canyon." Hike the trail and then drop into the top of the "canyon" where a spring creates a stream that soon empties into the Pedernales River. This stream includes a waterfall and some deep pools that are great places to cool off after climbing on a hot day.
Hike by or through the stream until a trail becomes apparent. The trail through Sex Canyon (very slick in some spots) splits a number of times. Stay on the main path, not crossing the stream, until you reach a spot where a large fallen tree crosses the trail. Just before the tree is a path heading uphill. It will take you to Zoey's Wall.
I have updated names and grades to match the new edition of Austin Climbing: Sport Routes & Deep Water Solos by John Hogge, who has been heavily involved in route development in the Austin area. Thus, some of this information will differ from what is on other websites.
From left to right as you face the wall:
- Zoey's Arete (5.6)-- Pretty new route, fun, nothing special. Feels much easier than 5.6, though maybe the final move to the anchors qualifies. Awesome view of the river from the anchors.
- Just Had to Trad SOMETHING (5.5)-- Not in the guidebook. A crack/corner route (no bolts) to the right of Zoe's Arete. I have not climbed it trad but have scrambled up it; it is a bit loose and brushy, and it is not 5.5. More like 5.2. However, as the name implies, there is very little trad in this area, so it might be worth it if you're tired of clipping bolts and want to place some gear. Passive gear recommended in the limestone here.
- Light Buzzyear (5.8)-- Sketchy hands and fingers from the last bolt to the anchors, trust your feet and go. Other sites call this a 5.9; the guidebook calls it 5.8. I agree with those other sites; it is definitely harder than Zoey's First Step.
- Zoey's First Step (5.8)-- Fun. The move to the anchors is reachy and probably the only 5.8 move on the route.
- Maggie's Farm (5.6)-- Head up past a small "cave" on the right.
- I Never Called You a Beast (5.6)-- Not much to say. Short, easy, and fun.
- Clambering Kimberly (5.7)-- Fun climbing up to a ledge, then a little tricky but still fun to the anchors.
- Bulginator (5.6)-- There is good potential for confusion with this one. The guidebook calls this a TR route with anchors but no bolts, but there actually are three bolts. Thus, it is easy to think this is Sunny Fun, but the 5.9 variation the book describes makes no sense, and Sunny Fun is actually a few yards to the right. Anyway, for Bulginator, if you pull onto the big ledge after the first bolt, it probably does feel 5.6, with the anchor clip being the crux, but if you stay more on the face for the first two bolts, I think it is more like 5.7 and maybe even 5.8.
- Sunny Fun (5.7)-- A few yards to the right of the huge tree by Bulginator. I think the start is the crux, and it seems most people aren't aware that this route even exists. Brush makes trying the 5.9 variation look unpleasant.
All the anchors except the ones atop Light Buzzyear and Sunny Fun have sport anchors that you can lower and toprope off. The two exceptions currently have only chains.
Routes have two or three bolts each. A set of 6 draws will cover you for anything here.
The pictures below show the named routes, in sequence.
Sunny Fun (5.7)
The daily entry fee is currently $10. Annual passes are $125 if you live in Travis County and $200 if you don't. This is recently up from $100 for everyone and it is outrageous. 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 half the cost of a new pass for it. Nice racket they have going there.
Opening and closing times vary by the season. Check the park website
When to Climb
All year. Most of the walls face west. Those in Sex Canyon get good shade for much of the day.
In the very hot summer, climb here in the early morning. Zoey's Wall is up on a bench and does not get as much shade as the walls lower in Sex Canyon do. In the summer, the hot sun can be on this wall by 10 A.M. It hits from left to right, so Zoey's Arete might be hot even earlier.
In the winter, the afternoon is the time to climb here.
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. I also hear that the rich neighbors hate the place, so if you don't live locally, stay there and do your part to give the middle finger to the snobs.