Texas State Parks with potential

5 10 2008

The only officially sanctioned places for climbing in state parks in Texas are: Mineral Wells, Franklin Mountains, Hueco Tanks, Enchanted Rock. Texas Limestone Bouldering lists a few parks where bouldering is accepted, but not officially endorsed.

Other places with obvious potential:

Big Bend Ranch State Park – only its remoteness prevents it from becoming more popular. Too few people to really care what you’re doing. The whole border of Texas and Mexico in this region is one massive limestone cliff. 1 days drive from everywhere.

Colorado Bend State Park – TONS of beautiful limestone walls and plenty of caves too. 2 hrs from Austin, 1 hr from Killeen.

Garner State Park – a huge cliff on typical amazing Hill Country water. The rivers in this area make Reimer’s water look and feel like a lukewarm bath. 2 hours from San Antonio. 3+ from Austin.

Government Canyon – a few of my San Antonio friends said their one regret was that they didn’t stealth bolt any climbs before this became public land so that climbing would’ve been grandfathered-in. Haven’t been there myself, so I don’t really know what’s out there. Right smack dab near San Antonio.

Guadalupe River State Park – Climbing was once open here, and may or may not still be. I’m not really sure and don’t know anyone that has climbed here. Right near San Antonio.

Seminole Canyone State Park- again, beautiful limestone walls carved by the flash floods of the desert. Historical pictographs and petroglyphs, so this place would never be opened by the man. Middle of nowhere Del Rio, but if you could get the Pecos River Cliffs to re-open, they’re just right down the road.

What are the parks I’m missing?


Pedernales Falls – I’m an idiot for forgetting about this one.  Already plenty of bouldering goes on.  I guess this could have been covered in the statement above about the TLB guide, but whatever.

Lost Maples – more hill country limestone.

Fort Richardson State Park

27 09 2008

I remembered going camping with my family as a kid at Fort Richardson State Park in Jacksboro, about an hour northwest of Ft.Worth. I remembered there being a bunch of tall rocks, so I decided to check it out today. I tried to do some research online but there wasn’t much help, as most of the pictures show empty prairie or the historical army post there.

I got there and found that yes, there are rocks. Unfortunately the tallest section is only around 20 feet or so, with most topping out around 8-10 feet or less. Nothing really spectacular. That being said, those spots that actually are tall enough are decent.

I’m not saying that Fort Richardson is worth too much attention since other better locations are in closer proximity (Hostility Boulders, Nolan River), but should you find yourself in the area with a crashpad and shoes, check around campsites 20-22 along the Lost Creek trail.

Bad Beta

3 07 2008

This past weekend, another local and I ventured out to Dinosaur Valley State Park and Big Rocks Park in Glen Rose to search for potential climbing. Despite some very promising photos, the trip was mostly a bust. While there are a few boulders that offer some problems, there is nothing worth traveling any distance for. If you’re in the area and you have a pair of shoes, sure knock yourself out, but otherwise look for your climbing fix elsewhere.

The only worthwhile stuff we found was at Dinosaur Valley, found on or around the Blue Trail. Most of it was surrounded by crumbly choss.

Dinosaur Valley Problem adjacent to Blue Trail

This boulder, which was featured in our last post about Glen Rose, ended up being very tall though this picture doesn’t show it. It has a couple possible routes, all of which would entail some cleaning and would ultimately end up very difficult. The tip of the boulder is very far off the ground, but with a very chossy lower section.

All of this originated because we’re aware that the Chisholm Wall is somewhere between Cleburne and Glen Rose. So, if any of you jerks know the directions to the infamous Chisholm Wall, you should confess so we can use our network of political connections/thuggery to open it back up. After twenty years of being closed, its an idea worth exploring.

New Areas and State Land

17 06 2008

Its no secret that the state doesn’t exactly look favorably upon bolting any routes on public land. However, setting up a top rope or bouldering aren’t too big a deal as long as you use discretion and act responsibly.

We’ve been checking out parks in the vicinity and have run across a few places with obvious potential. One such place is Big Rocks Park, a city park in Glen Rose with what could be decent bouldering right on the Paluxy River.

http://flickr.com/photos/foneman30/2538722806/ (This flickr user has chosen not to allow embedded pics, so click the link.)

Another is Dinosaur Valley State Park, the park made famous for the dinosaur footprints embedded in the limestone riverbed.

The limestone in these parks is the same that made Cleburne famous back in the day, and there’s gotta be more in the area. We’re hoping to do an exploratory trip in the next few weeks and we’ll let you know what we find. Feel free to beat us to the punch.

So this is Hell’s Gate?

4 06 2008

First things first: wordpress seems to be messing with some of the formatting, so we apologize for any weirdness with the page right now. We’re working on getting everything fixed.

Now onto the climbing….

Should you ever find yourself at the oddly named Possum Kingdom Lake northwest of Fort Worth, prepare to be amazed. The lake has amazingly high limestone cliffs great potential for sport routes or DWS. However, as with most locations in Texas, the cliffs either belong to the government or are in the private hands of the wealthy. Either way, the rule of the day is STAY OFF.  Jumping from heights above 20 is prohibited, as is climbing or rappelling on Brazos River Authority lands.

This picture is of the area known as Hell’s Gate. It opens to a secluded cove that’s typically occupied by drunk college students, or those who wish they were still drunk college students.

This pic shows some of the amazing potential found along the shores of the lake. If only the McMansions weren’t occupying the top.