Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
Hueco Tanks is the best bouldering spot in the world. Unfortunately, this climbing mecca has some fairly strict access rules. These rules protect the park (a desert life isn't easy), the amazing native American rock art (there are over 200 different rock art locations in Hueco Tanks), and the crag itself. But these rules also limit how many people can be in Hueco Tanks at once, where they can go, and how they can get there.
Hueco Tanks is split into the self-guided (North Mountain) and the guided (East Mountain, East Spur, and West Mountain) areas.
North Mountain (No Guide Needed)
Most of North Mountain is the open access part of Hueco Tanks and it can have up to 70 people on it (climbers, yogis, hikers, picnickers, etc). There are 60 call-ahead reservation spots and 10 day-of walk-in spots. During the busy climbing season (sometime between mid November to mid March), these 60 reservations fill up quickly, so make reservations early. If people do not claim their reserved spots on North Mountain by 10 AM, then these reservations are released and people waiting in line at the park can get in. You can call the reservation line (1-512-389-8911) and make a reservation up to 90 days in advance, for up to three consecutive days (ie, days 90, 91, and 92 from the day you call). You must then take at least one rest day (or at least one non-reserved day) before making another three reservations. Campers inside the park can get in line in front of the climbers waiting at the gate. And some people just camp in their cars outside the gate to be first in line.
Currently, the entrance fee for North Mountain is $7 per person per day, or free for everyone in the car if someone has a Texas State Parks Pass ($70 per year).
East Mountain, East Spur, and West Mountain (Guide Required)
If you want to get on East, East Spur, or West, then you have to schedule a tour with a guide. Each bouldering, yoga, pictograph, or hiking tour can have at most 10 people. Pictograph tours may have up to 25 people. There are two types of guided tours: volunteer and commercial. Check the following links for more information.
- Bouldering tour information
- Yoga tour information
- Pictograph/Hiking tour information
- Schedule a bouldering, yoga, pictograph, or hiking tour now
You should probably leave your crag dog with the neighbors. The official wording from Hueco Tanks is: Pets can only walk on paved surfaces and on the picnic area trail. They must be on leash. Do not leave pets alone in a vehicle. That means you can't take your dogs out to the bouldering spots and you can't leave them in your car while you boulder, so what else are you going to do with them? Shade can be difficult to find, and several of the private camping locations don't allow dogs either (e.g., Hueco Rock Ranch).