Bouldering Tours in Hueco Tanks State Park
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.
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. Bouldering tours are limited to 10 people maximum. There are two types of guided tours: volunteer and commercial.
Volunteer bouldering tours are cheaper but much less reliable, as it requires a guide to volunteer his or her time (volunteer guides CAN NOT climb and DO NOT get paid). Often, Hueco Tanks park staff have difficulty finding a volunteer guide for every tour, so there is a good chance your tour may never actually happen (again, the volunteer guide is not allowed to climb while guiding).
Additionally, volunteer bouldering tours are always "public," meaning that they typically fill up with 10 climbers that may be strangers to you. Finally, the first person that schedules the bouldering tour gets to decide the primary locations that the tour will go to. The guide will try to accommodate other requests as he or she sees fit, but not much is guaranteed.
Volunteer bouldering tours cost an additional $2 on top of the normal North Mountain entrance fee stated above. So if you have a parks pass, it will only cost each person in your car $2 for the tour. This extra fee is paid directly to the park when you check in.
To schedule a bouldering tour with a volunteer guide, call Hueco Tanks directly (915-857-1135).
Commercial bouldering tours are a bit more expensive, but once you've scheduled a tour with us, it is practically guaranteed to go out climbing (barring exceptional circumstances; most of the park is unclimbable during or after rain, but some areas are still safe). Commercial bouldering tours can be either public (similar to the volunteer tours, strangers can join) or private (only you and your group will be on the tour). If you just want to go out with your friends, and decide exactly where your tour goes, then you would want to schedule a private guided tour.
Public commercial bouldering tours cost $30 per person, of which $7 goes to Hueco Tanks State Park and roughly $5 goes toward paying for the concession, insurance, and other administrative costs.
Private commercial bouldering tour prices must be negotiated in advance, and they depend on the number of people and other factors. Typically they are about $180 + $12/person.
To schedule a bouldering tour with a commercial guide at Hueco Tanks, please visit our Hueco Tanks Tour Reservation page.
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).