The best bouldering in the world, Hueco is amazing, but you gotta play the game to get in. Must call Texas State Parks (512)389-8900 to make reservations for North Mountain (be sure to write down your confirmation #s as they tend to lose them) or call the Hueco Rock Ranch (915)855-0142 for tours (required) of the other areas and camping.
Best time of year to visit is November through March. It gets windy through the end of March and beginning of April. After mid-April, it's hot as sin. The rock is amazing, bullet hard and sharp on the digits.
Matt Wilder's Hueco Tanks guidebook from Wolverine Publishing is the best resource for routes. It is very extensive, has great directions and pictures.
This online guide will focus on North Mountain, since in the other areas you'll have a guide and other people who can point out the problems.
Get to El Paso then take HWY 62/180 (aka Montana Rd) east until you pass all the junk yards. When you see the ufo shaped white building turn left and go to the end of the road.
Hueco Rock Ranch
The Hueco Rock Ranch offers climbers a friendly place to stay while spending time at Hueco Tanks. Camp or rent a room/bunk. Showers, communal hang out area, and good company around the fire are included. Easy access to climbing and no hassle. Join the American Alpine Club and save 30%. Open November–April.
By Monomaniac Administrator From: Morrison, CO Feb 12, 2008
The Geographic Coordinates provided above are incorrect. Here are some better coordinates, in case someone with Admin privileges wants to update things:
Hueco Tanks: -106.0429 x 31.9169
North Mountain: -106.0445 x 31.9225 East mountain: -106.0391 x 31.9171 East Spur: -106.0372 x 31.9108 West Mountain: -106.0456 x 31.9129
Some N Mtn areas:
110 Proof Roof: -106.0436 x 31.9222 The Grenade: -106.0438 x 31.9221 Indecent Exposure Buttress: -106.0483 x 31.9215 Martini Roof Area (Upper Lost Boulders): -106.0425 x 31.9217 Mushroom Boulder: -106.0487 x 31.9219 The New Meadow: -106.0437 x 31.9232 Sign of the Cross: -106.0433 x 31.9246 Small Potatoes: -106.0433 x 31.9224 Trac II: -106.0456 x 31.9217 Warm Up Boulder: -106.0449 x 31.9260
The book: "Hueco Tanks, a climber's and boulderer's guide", by John Sherman, Mike Head, James Crump, and Dave Head, gives this for first ascent information:
"The history of lead climbing at Hueco Tanks can be summed up in one name - Mike Head. Mike ascended over two thirds of the lead climbs in this guide, usually in very bold style. Imagine leading Window Pain or Head Fox with only two bolts apiece as Mike first did. Or free soloing the first ascent of Sea of Holes, before the loose rock had been cleaned off.
Mike placed the majority of retrobolts (sic)in Hueco Tanks, changing his routes from sporty climbs to sportclimbs (sic)."
The history of climbing bolt legalization at Hueco Tanks is found in an article titled: "Retrobolting At Hueco" by Laurel Lacher (Rock & Ice Magazine, #36, March/April 1990).
"Austin is working on it" uh-oh. That is kinda scary.
Here is slide show from our trip in '07. You can see some of the old bolts in the show. It is a fairly large QT Movie, so be patient and let it load. There is like 100 images. You can do a mouseover on the little "i" in the upper right hand corner for captions on each photo. If you put your mouse over the bottom middle, forward, reverse and pause will show up.
there is a small mexican grocery on the right of the main road a couple miles out heading out from el paso towards hueco...best tortillas in the world. we subsisted off the damn things for almost a week and bought as many as we could before we headed home...dirt cheap and damn good for a tight budget.
Am heading to EP for work a few days and would like to check out Heuco. I heard that the park gate closes at 6 pm. Are there any areas one can still access for climbing or bouldering after 6 pm without issues, if one were to park outside the gate?