Mineral Wells State Park
Submitted by: Ryan Lauck
DescriptionLake Mineral Wells State Park is one of the closest climbing areas to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. The climbing area is a small maze of sandstone conglomerate bluffs named Penitentiary Hollow.
Due to the rock quality the park service restricts the area to top roping and rappelling only and the area is closed when wet. The walls range from 20 to 40 feet and are mostly face climbs with a few tough classics and plenty of easy to moderate routes. Most routes are in the 5.6 - 5.9 range but there are plenty of 10s and 11s too.
Almost all climbs have solid bolt anchors at the top, but bring plenty of long slings because many are 8 to 10 feet or further from the edge. The tops of all climbs can be reached directly off the path from the parking lot or by an easy scramble.
The best time to go is late fall through spring. Texas summers will leave you stewing in your own sweat before you can even set an anchor. Picnicers and spectators usually outnumber climbers 3 to 1, but plenty of large groups come here on the weekends. I've found that most groups show up early and clear out by 3 or 4, so sleep in late.
Currently you need to pay $5 per person to enter the park (free if you have a Texas State Park pass) and $3 per climber. Also, every climber has to sign in.
Getting ThereLake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway is located 4 miles east of Mineral Wells on US Highway 180 or 14 miles west of Weatherford on US Highway 180
100 Park Road 71
Mineral Wells TX 76067
Detailed directions and a map can be found at:
The entrance to Penitentiary Hollow from the parking lot
The top of the main canyon on a crowded day
A view of the main canyon from the scenic overlook
the "cave" viewed from the PeeWee side
Bouldered in the 80's by David White
the Deadhead Boulder has a 5.11 topout with a XX landing zone.
This scrappy little boulder has 3 or 4 routes with a large section in the center that has not been bouldered yet.
Up for some V8?
CommentsWes B. Sep 15, 2009
Not a bad place to climb when near the Metroplex. Call the rangers before you head out otherwise you may make the drive for nothing. 10ft - 20ft slings are a good idea for most routes.
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