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Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

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Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Rock Climbing 

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Location: 36.0118, -93.2922 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 150,809
Administrators: TylerKC, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: sam davidson on Dec 30, 2006  with updates from Faulted Geologist
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Horseshoe Canyon Ranch (HCR) offers some of the finest sandstone in Arkansas with nearly 420 routes ranging from 5.5 to 5.14. The majority of the routes are fully bolted sport climbs, but there are also many fine trad routes and a plethora of good boulder problems. The cracks at the Ranch are some of the best in Arkansas and will challenge even the saltiest of crack masters.

Surreal sandstone climbing in a spectacular setting with all the amenities of a four-star dude ranch make this one of the most unique and enjoyable crags you will ever visit.

Getting There and Guidebook Information 

HCR is located approximately 7.0 miles west of Jasper and 6.5 miles east of Ponca on the south side of State Highway 74. Jasper is approximately 25 miles south of Harrison and 65 miles north of Russellville on Scenic State Highway 7.

A NEW (2013) full color guidebook for the area is available for mail order and immediate eBook download at

The 200 page guidebook is full color throughout and provides complete information on all of the over 420 sport and crack climbs. Also featured is a comprehensive and updated look at nearly 250 boulder problems on the ranch. All route and problem information is color coded by rating.
Rock Climbing Photo: NEW HCR Guidebook
NEW HCR Guidebook

Climbing Season

Weather station 12.1 miles from here

472 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',31],['3 Stars',171],['2 Stars',172],['1 Star',88],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Horseshoe Canyon Ranch:
Cotton Candy   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 60'   The North Forty
Swamp Rat   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Cliffs of Insanity
Green Goblin   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 65'   The North Forty
African Herbman   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 55'   The North Forty
Hackberry Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Walls Of Moria
Deft Jam   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 55'   Confederate Cracks
Man Servant   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 55'   Mr. Magoo Rock
Orange Crush   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport   The Far East
WMA Crack   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 60'   Confederate Cracks
Private Property   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 55'   The North Forty
Commodus   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   Roman Wall
Crimp Scampi   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The North Forty
Sonny Jim   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The North Forty
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 60'   The Far East
Big Top   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 65'   The North Forty
Boronocus   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   Roman Wall
Love Slave   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   The North Forty
Maximus   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 2 pitches, 75'   Roman Wall
Mine Mine Mine   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 50'   The North Forty
Cradle of the Deep   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport   Titanic Boulder
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

Featured Route For Horseshoe Canyon Ranch
Rock Climbing Photo: Awsome climb

Port Side 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  AR : Horseshoe Canyon Ranch : Titanic Boulder
This climb has some of the most interesting climbing at Horse Shoe Canyon Ranch. The well protected crux comes low at the first bolt where one utilizes whatever they can to get around the small roof. Slightly easier, but continually interesting climbing leads to the anchors....[more]   Browse More Classics in AR

Photos of Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Another one of Chili, well, chillin on the porch.
Another one of Chili, well, chillin on the porch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Really trying to "warm up."
Really trying to "warm up."
Rock Climbing Photo: HCR Springtime climbing.  Pic by Lorraine Walsh
HCR Springtime climbing. Pic by Lorraine Walsh
Rock Climbing Photo: Leaving the ranch after climbing 40 climbs in the ...
Leaving the ranch after climbing 40 climbs in the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Karen Elshout warming up near Crimp Scampi.  Photo...
Karen Elshout warming up near Crimp Scampi. Photo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Peanut!
Rock Climbing Photo: enough said.
enough said.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian on Crimp Scampi
Brian on Crimp Scampi
Rock Climbing Photo: Man Servant 5.9+
Man Servant 5.9+
Rock Climbing Photo: Goats.
Rock Climbing Photo: The view of the ranch from the anchors of Sybarite
The view of the ranch from the anchors of Sybarite
Rock Climbing Photo: Panoramic from the store porch.
Panoramic from the store porch.
Rock Climbing Photo: good morning!
good morning!
Rock Climbing Photo: Watching the sun come down at the Ranch.
Watching the sun come down at the Ranch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Beautiful leaves in early November 2010
Beautiful leaves in early November 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: Horses and goats.
Horses and goats.
Rock Climbing Photo: AB soaking up the sun and the views at HCR
AB soaking up the sun and the views at HCR
Rock Climbing Photo: Much needed pre-send siesta. The Natty is for the ...
Much needed pre-send siesta. The Natty is for the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: View towards the Goat cave, from the campground.
View towards the Goat cave, from the campground.
Rock Climbing Photo: Peanut
Rock Climbing Photo: The ranch
The ranch
Rock Climbing Photo: A view of the cliffs on the east side and some goa...
BETA PHOTO: A view of the cliffs on the east side and some goa...
Rock Climbing Photo: November sunrise at Horseshoe
November sunrise at Horseshoe
Rock Climbing Photo: Jon on the spectacular Crack of Arkansas (5.10a)
Jon on the spectacular Crack of Arkansas (5.10a)

Show All 40 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 14, 2016
By KevinD
From: Phoenix, AZ
Mar 22, 2010
Sign Posted: Dogs no longer allowed as of Jan 1 2010
By Tradoholic
Mar 30, 2010
This is one of the best places I have ever been to, to bring new climbers. TONS of easy and moderate climbs with forgiving rests and holds. Not too tall either. In addition there are classic 5.8's next to classic 5.12's so the experienced climber can belay the newbie, take a few steps and work a project.

Tip: Bring you own TP for the pit toilets and DON'T PET THE BIG DOGS! They have a job to do.
By ferrells
Jan 28, 2011
Could someone tell me where the 'cracks that will test even the saltiest' are? Just Starboard List? Are there any (other) cracks here that are really good, above 5.10?
By Nate Moore
From: On the road
Jan 30, 2011
ferrells, Horseshoe doesn't really have any hard cracks. Classique and I Fought Piranhas are probably two of the hardest i can think of. If you want harder crack you will have to check out some other crags.
By Peter Dodge
From: Duluth, MN
Nov 27, 2011
What is the climbing like in February? Temps?
By ssimonson09
From: Gladstone, OR
Dec 14, 2011

February Temps can be decent depending on how things shake out and how late in February you go. It'll probably be getting up to the mid to upper 40's maybe almost the 50's in the day and at night it'll drop down to below freezing. Again, this really depends on the year though, I think the ice storm that ripped through there a few years ago was in late January early February, so it really just depends.

Generally speaking though HCR is a great winter destination as you can just chase the sun around the canyon for the best temps.
By SteveBSU
From: Muncie, IN
Jan 11, 2012
Does anyone know if you can climb for free in this area or do you always have to pay?
By michaeltarne
Feb 17, 2012
You always have to pay, assuming you want the Ranch to stay open to climbing. It's $5 a day for the best sport climbing within a ten hour drive. You can afford it.
By Jason Young
From: Los Alamos, NM
Apr 8, 2012
This area is well worth the $5 fee. There are hundreds of routes on superb stone. The bolt jobs are excellent with bomber hardware. It looks like glue-ins might be the new standard for the area. The bouldering looks amazing, and there's tons of it too. The setting is pretty amazing too. It is a true ranch with horses, cattle, goats, pigs, dogs, and cowboys.

I was just there last week. The weather was unseasonably warm, but quite nice. We did see about a dozen ticks during the two days we climbed there though.

P.S. Chili is a sweet dog, and the people who run the place were very friendly!

Don't forget to check out the Buffalo River while your there. The cliffs we saw on the stretch between Steel Creek and Kyle's Landing were AMAZING (they looked like a mini Verdon). The fishing was good too. There are some lunker bass in there as well as some trout and a ton of crappie. Oh yeah, I saw a couple of good spots for some DWS also (the water was quite warm for a river)!
By Jared Peterson
Apr 27, 2012
Hey anyone want to climbing at Horsehoe this sunday?
By David Becker
Jun 5, 2012
looking for a bouldering partner for this coming weekend for a little horseshoe action (June 9-10) and maybe Monday as well. Any takers? email me at
By Lee Collette
Jul 11, 2012
Does anyone know what the status of camping at the Ranch and/or close by is? Any inoformation you have regarding fees would be very helpful.
By Garrett Klingler
Jul 17, 2012

We were there a few weeks ago. You can camp at HCR for $5 a night (I think) and I believe they now have showers/toilets.

We stayed at Dogwood Springs a few times while climbing at HCR, its in Jasper. I like it because they have electricity at the campsites and a pool, which is great if you want to climb in the summer. Pretty sure its more like $20 a night.
From: Casper, Wyoming
Nov 3, 2012
Is it good enough climbing weather in march april to justify driving out from Wyoming??
By SteveBSU
From: Muncie, IN
Dec 11, 2012
If weather is sunny here, would it be climbable next week? and if its off season, is there still a price? also is it $5 dollars to climb and camp or just climb?
By Brett Portner-Kuhlow
Dec 18, 2012
Hey SteveBSU,

It is $5 to climb and $5 to camp. So, $10 a day to climb and camp. Not sure about the weather.
By KMo
Aug 24, 2013
What's the best airport option in the area?
By Raiden
From: Royal Oak, MI
Oct 4, 2013
There is another new guidebook (2013) that is the official guidebook for 24 hours of horseshoe hell. It breaks up the guidebook with the roped climbing in the first half and the bouldering in the second half.
By Raj
From: Houston, TX
Oct 7, 2013

By Brett Portner-Kuhlow
Oct 12, 2013
Raj, I just got back from HCR and outside dogs are still not allowed. They could interfere with the working dogs on the ranch. If you are lucky Chili the ranch crag dog will follow you around and hang out with you at the crag.
By Dan Cooksey
From: Colorado Springs
Jan 7, 2014
Hey guys and gals.

looking to visit for the first week of March. Never been to the area and are fairly new to climbing(little over a year). We boulder 3 days a week and have pads, we also have ropes and usually set our own top ropes. My main question is, are there climbs with bolts that you can set a top rope without leading? neither of us have got into leading yet. Thanks for the info in advance.
By Baxter Reecer
Jan 15, 2014
Dan, there are no climbs that you can set a top rope for (without leading, at least that I'm aware of) mainly because the crags are approached from below, and the land above is mostly owned by somebody else (I think). However, if you have never done any lead climbing, HCR is a fantastic place to get some practice in and feel very comfortable...There are numerous routes in the 5.6-8 range on huge holds that I have seen inexperienced climbers fly up. There is also a large boulder in the 40 with anchor bolts for practicing cleaning/rapping. If you're unfamiliar with the techniques, there are always lots of people on the weekend who are friendly and willing to teach a climber a thing or two.
By RaulMM
From: New Castle, CO
Feb 5, 2014
Planning on spending a week at HCR in early/mid march. Does this place get a lot of spring break traffic?
By Siberia
From: Birmingham, AL
May 19, 2014
I'm looking at spending several days at HCR in November of this year. What are my odds of finding a group to climb with during the week days?
By Alan Moles
Jun 23, 2014
How is the weather for the summer? Is there a bad bug problem? Are there any good swimming holes nearby(creeks, rivers, lakes,etc.? Is there any free van camping nearby?
By Baxter Reecer
Aug 4, 2014
@Siberia, you can occasionally find people in the middle of the week, but HCR's busy days are usually just the weekend, with some people climbing on Friday or Monday as well. I wouldn't count on it being too populated during the week.

@Alan Moles, weather for the summer is pretty typical for Arkansas summers - hot and humid. Shade is almost a requirement if you want to get on a climb and there are areas with plenty of it, but occasional cool weekends (i.e., under 85-90 highs) do happen. Bugs include ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, and lots of other bugs that don't really do anything but annoy you. The Buffalo National River is 15 minutes away, with some DWS and good swimming. Closest free camping that is not secret is Sam's Throne, around 30-45 minutes away. You may be able to find some free camping along the Buffalo, but please remember that much of the land in this area is private.
By RayTay
Dec 1, 2014
I was at hcr this past weekend and was really surprised to see how common TRing thru the rap rings was...even the guides were doing it. Anybody know why it's being taught this way? Obviously makes cleaning easier but really wears the rings down
By D.Arnold
Dec 30, 2014
What are the camping and climbing fees these days at the ranch? And is there any place to free car camp close by?
By Michaelsmccranie
Mar 27, 2015
24HHH is going to be awesome this year, but it may take a little luck to get in new registration rules
By Baxter Reecer
Apr 14, 2015
@RayTay - The reason guides (and everybody else) is doing it is because it's pretty much up to you to decide what you want to do! The way I understand it, because you pay to climb and the ranch is maintained by very diligent people, in addition to the high quantity of climbers that come through the ranch anyway, the gear is replaced accordingly. This is not the ethic in the rest of the state, and rarely anywhere else in the country. If it's just one run, I usually use the rings. More than a few and I still use my own gear, just out of habit.
By John Farris
Apr 27, 2015
Anyone know how the poison ivy is this time of year? Just want to make sure its not growing over the trails before I make the trek out there.
By Luc Ried
From: Batesville, AR
Apr 28, 2015
Poison ivy is pretty bad on secondary and tertiary trails, most main trails are pretty clear, just watch your step
By mic1052005
Oct 15, 2015
Need a climbing partner/belay 16-17 oct. If anyone plans on going out to HCR solo send me a message.
By micah kraft
Nov 2, 2015
How long does the area stay wet after rain? Looking to spend weekend bouldering and looks like rain the day before.
By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Mar 17, 2016
Any locals have info on current conditions at HCR? We're looking at possibly a couple of days there early next week. Not sure if the heavy weather that hit MS & LA affected the area or not.
By Jesse Therrien
Mar 25, 2016
Looking to do some climbing at HCR tomorrow but I'm all by myself; if anyone needs a partner, plans on going alone or has an odd number in there party please let me know by sending me a personal message :)
By Mark Orsag
From: Omaha, NE
May 14, 2016
Great place for safe sport climbing-- beginner , intermediate, advanced, and near world-class (with one world class route). Usually very well-protected climbing. More three-star climbs than you can imagine!

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