BETA PHOTO: A mostly accurate and very helpful topo of the bac...
At 1825 feet, the Main Dome is the largest single feature at Enchanted Rock, home to the largest concentration of routes, and sees the most traffic (both climbers and hikers). It dominates the parking area, and is the first dome you see when approaching along Highway 965 from Llano. There is a small bouldering area on the front side (southeastern side) of the dome, but the majority of the climbs are found in Echo Canyon (between the Main Dome and Little Dome) and on the Backside. Echo Canyon in home to great single pitch areas such as the Orange Peel, Motorboat Rock, and the Triple Cracks areas. The Backside contains the longest climbs in the park, and consists of predominately bolted slab routes. Some of the areas such as Cave-In, Smorgasbord, and the Central Latitudes are pretty obscure and require a little exploration to find. Consequently they offer the most solitude. The Echo Canyon and Backside areas can get crowded, especially on weekends.
When you don't feel like climbing, Main Dome offers a couple of interesting diversions. The first is the summit trail that climbs to the top of the dome from the parking area. This trail is usually clogged with hikers on any given day. The views from the top of the dome are impressive. Once at the top of Main Dome, you can explore the Enchanted Rock Cave (also known as The Fissure) - a cave-like feature formed by a deep crack in the top of the dome. The Fissure is approximately 1500 feet long and has multiple entry and exit points. Often wet, bring a good pair of shoes and a light if you want to explore it. From the top of the dome, look for a depression lined with trees towards the Backside, and then follow the painted arrows down to the entrance.
To reach the climbing areas on the main dome, follow the park road to a turn around with a gazebo at the end. From the gazebo, take the stairs down to the creek, and follow the obvious trail that leads toward the dome. Approximately a third of the way up the dome, the trail splits: the summit trail branches right while the Echo Canyon Trail goes left. Follow the Echo Canyon trail over the saddle between the two domes and down a rocky draw. There are several large boulders and a small interpretive board with a map of the park at the base of the draw. Two climbers’ trails (marked with colored arrowheads) branch off from the right side of the boulders and lead to the Echo Canyon areas: the green trails heads up the Triple Cracks area while the purple trail leads to Throne Rock, Orange Peel, and Motorboat. To reach the Backside, follow the trail through the boulders that loops around the entire dome. Use the blue trail to access the News Wall and the yellow trail to access the Cheap Wine Wall and Devils Slide area. The trail continues to Freshman Mountain and Buzzards Roost.
Weather station 5.0 miles from here
71 Total Routes
['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',34],['2 Stars',23],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',2]
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The Backside area of the Main Dome.
Jimmy Ray Forester climbing on the backside
BETA PHOTO: The Main Shield, with some stations shown in appro...
Devil's Slide & Cheap Wine Wall
By J C Wilks
From: Loveland, CO
May 11, 2009
Descent for the Backside:
Capping the top of the climbs is an extensive ledge that starts above the left end of The Shield all the way across and past the News Wall. Starting at the right half of The Shield is a horizontal row of exfoliation boulders protecting this ledge like a parapet. The boulders extend across The Prok and News Walls. There is one slot in this row above Nobody Likes Bryant Gumbel which has anchors designated as a rap station only. It gets a lot of traffic here so don't top rope at this station. You can scramble up and off either end of the ledge to walk over the top to the Summit Trail or another destination if you are done with the backside.
By Ky Harkey
Mar 31, 2013
Some routes need a 70m - always knot the end of your ropes.