8 Best Places to Climb
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8 of the Best Places to Climb Outside in Texas

At Oso Climbing Gyms, we believe that the perfect climbing gym is more than just a place to climb. It’s a place where you can interact with other climbers, learn new techniques, and explore different routes.

And while we love hanging out with you in the gym, sometimes it’s nice to mix things up and take your skills outside. Luckily, Texas is home to some of the best outdoor climbing spots in the country.

From bouldering to trad climbing, there’s something for everyone. Here are 8 of the best places to climb outside in the Lone Star State.

Some things to remember before you visit these beautiful places – it’s always our guide to minimize our impact on outdoor spaces. So, make sure to Leave No Trace, follow any posted signs and warnings, and be conscious of any fire bans. We all want to enjoy these areas for as long as possible, so please be kind and respectful of the land.

1.   Lake Mineral Wells State Park

This state park is located just 78 miles from Dallas, making it a great option for those who don’t want to travel too far from home. The drive from Dallas is about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Style of climbing: Top-roping and rappelling only

Tips or tricks: The best times to go climbing here are late fall and spring, as the summer heat will make it difficult for you to get to the anchor.

Rules from the State Park:

  • Only use the supplied bolted anchors
  • Adhere to clean climbing
  • Free climbing, bouldering, and soloing are not allowed
8 Best Places to Climb - Photo courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife
Photo courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

2.   Reimers Ranch Park

Located 222 miles from Dallas, it will take you three-and-half hours to travel to Reimers Ranch Park. It’s a climbers’ paradise with great views of the Pedernales River.

Style of climbing: Sport climbing, trad climbing, and bouldering

Tips or tricks: You’ll need to purchase a day pass or an annual pass to climb here.

Rules from the State Park:

  • Heed all the warning signs at trailheads in every activity area.
  • Camping and ground fires are prohibited
8 Best Places to Climb- Photo courtesy of Glenda Reyes-Ortiz: travis County Parks Website
Photo courtesy of Glenda Reyes-Ortiz: Travis County Parks Website

3.   Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

This park is 234.7 miles from Dallas, and it will take 4 hours and 2 minutes to get there. It has various climbing options that suit seasoned and beginner climbers alike. 

Style of climbing: Crack climbing, slab climbing, bouldering,

Tips or tricks: Check in early at the headquarters and sign a climbing release form.

Rules from the State Park:

  • Do not alter the rock features or install additional bolts
  • Ensure you’re fluent with climbing techniques to minimize accidents
8 Best Places to Climb - Enchanted Rock
Photo courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

4.   Eisenhower State Park

If you want a quick day trip from Dallas, look no further than Eisenhower State Park. It’s located only 78.6 miles away, and the drive will take around 1 hour and 19 minutes.

Style of climbing: Bouldering

Tips or tricks: The landings are uneven and rocky, so you need larger pads. 

Rules from the State Park:

  • Bring all the necessary gear and check the knots and anchors.
  • Reservations are recommended as they frequently reach capacity
8 Best Places to Climb - Eisenhower
Photo courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

5.   Barton Creek Greenbelt

This urban climbing spot is 198.8 miles and 2 hours 57 minutes drive from Dallas.

Style of climbing: Sport climbing and bouldering

Tips or tricks: If you don’t want the crowds, go during the weekdays when the crags are not overcrowded.

Rules from the State Park:

  • Please leave the park as you found it, take all trash and recyclables with you when you leave
8 Best Places to Climb - Barton Creek
Photo courtesy of Austin Parks Foundation

6.   Franklin Mountains State Park

This state park is 648.9 miles from Dallas and will take you 9 hours and 22 minutes to get there.

Style of climbing: Bouldering

Tips or tricks: Most routes are unbolted, and only the local slingers know them well. As such, you should go with a guide.

The State Park has the following rules:

  • Climbing is only allowed in the McKelligon Canyon and Sneed’s Cory
  • Follow the practices for safe climbing
  • Bring your safety equipment
8 Best Places to Climb - Franklin Mountains
Photo Courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

7.   Tonkawa Falls


This spot is only 117 miles from Dallas, making it a perfect destination if you want to avoid long drives. The best thing about this destination is that it’s never crowded, making it the ideal place if you need solitude.

Style of climbing: Sport climbing, Bouldering

Tips or tricks: The landing ground is uneven and steep, which makes it necessary to have a crash pad and a spotter.

The State Park has the following rules:

  • Always be aware of your own and others’ safety.
  • Swimming is prohibited at this time.

8.   Hueco Tanks State Historic Site

Located 602 miles from Dallas, this state park is home to some of Texas’s best rock-climbing spots. When traveling by car, it takes about 9 hours to get there. The site gets its name from the hollowed depressions evident in the rocks.

Style of climbing: Bouldering

Tips or tricks: There are hundreds of marked routes here, ranging from easy to extremely difficult. If you’re new to the area, hiring a guide is a good idea.

Rules from the State Park

  • Carry your equipment such as shoes, chalk, and crash pads
  • Dress in desert-appropriate attire
  • Avoid off-limit areas as per the closure list
8 Best Places to Climb - Hueco
Photo courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

Start Exploring the Best Places to Climb Outside in Texas

We know Oso’s one of the best places to climb and there’s nothing better than hanging here with your buddies, but if you want to shake things up and try something new, look no further than these eight best places to climb outdoors in Texas. With various options, you’re sure to find a destination that suits your skill level and climbing style.

Featured Header Image courtesy of Nathan Woeber Travis County Parks website

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