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Mineral Wells State Park

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Backside of Main Canyon 
Big Overhang 
Cave Tower 
Fort Worth Top Roping 
Main Canyon Left 
Main Canyon Right 
Middle Tower 
Scenic Overlook 
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Mineral Wells State Park  

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Location: 32.8203, -98.0273 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Hank Caylor, Matt Richardson, LeeAB, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ryan Lauck on Sep 27, 2007
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BETA PHOTO: Bouldered in the 80's by David White the Deadhead ...


Lake Mineral Wells State Park is one of the closest climbing areas to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. The climbing area is a small maze of sandstone conglomerate bluffs named Penitentiary Hollow.

Due to the rock quality the park service restricts the area to top roping and rappelling only and the area is closed when wet. The walls range from 20 to 40 feet and are mostly face climbs with a few tough classics and plenty of easy to moderate routes. Most routes are in the 5.6 - 5.9 range but there are plenty of 10s and 11s too.

Almost all climbs have solid bolt anchors at the top, but bring plenty of long slings because many are 8 to 10 feet or further from the edge. The tops of all climbs can be reached directly off the path from the parking lot or by an easy scramble.

The best time to go is late fall through spring. Texas summers will leave you stewing in your own sweat before you can even set an anchor. Picnicers and spectators usually outnumber climbers 3 to 1, but plenty of large groups come here on the weekends. I've found that most groups show up early and clear out by 3 or 4, so sleep in late.

Currently you need to pay $5 per person to enter the park (free if you have a Texas State Park pass) and $3 per climber. Also, every climber has to sign in.

Getting There 

Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway is located 4 miles east of Mineral Wells on US Highway 180 or 14 miles west of Weatherford on US Highway 180

100 Park Road 71
Mineral Wells TX 76067

Detailed directions and a map can be found at:


Climbing Season

Weather station 3.9 miles from here

29 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',14],['1 Star',10],['Bomb',1]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mineral Wells State Park:
Thin Crack   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     TR, 35'   Main Canyon Left
PeeWee's   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Cave Tower
Keith's Way   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Big Overhang
Finger Stinger   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     TR, 35'   Main Canyon Left
Browse More Classics in Mineral Wells State Park

Featured Route For Mineral Wells State Park
Fun dyno before the finish.

Mission Impossible V4+ 6B+ PG13  TX : Mineral Wells State Park : Main Canyon Left
Update: By J. Thornton on Dec 25, 2012This problem is actually on Big Overhang wall, and is same start as Hidden Jewel.---- Thanks for the help J. Thornton. -Tyler1080p HD Video of the first send by Tyler Garrett VIA GoProCam.mountainproject.com&modestbran... frameborder='0'>...[more]   Browse More Classics in TX

Photos of Mineral Wells State Park Slideshow Add Photo
Topping out on 5.8 Scenic Overlook.
Topping out on 5.8 Scenic Overlook.
A view of the main canyon from the scenic overlook
A view of the main canyon from the scenic overlook
BETA PHOTO: climbdfw.wordpress.com/topos/
the "cave" viewed from the PeeWee side
the "cave" viewed from the PeeWee side
The top of the main canyon on a crowded day
The top of the main canyon on a crowded day
The entrance to Penitentiary Hollow from the parki...
The entrance to Penitentiary Hollow from the parki...
BETA PHOTO: climbdfw.wordpress.com/topos/
This scrappy little boulder has 3 or 4 routes with...
This scrappy little boulder has 3 or 4 routes with...
Topping out on 5.8 Scenic Overlook.
Topping out on 5.8 Scenic Overlook.

Comments on Mineral Wells State Park Add Comment
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By Wes B.
Sep 15, 2009
Not a bad place to climb when near the Metroplex. Call the rangers before you head out otherwise you may make the drive for nothing. 10ft - 20ft slings are a good idea for most routes.
By Tyler Garrett
From: Dallas, TX
Mar 27, 2014
If you're looking for good sport climbing, you went to the wrong place... The amount of time to setup a top rope on these routes... most decent climbers could have lead and set 2-3 routes. It would be nice if they ever decided to bolt and chain these routes... maybe be able to make a hard line out of something. If you're able to climb 5.11+ you're going to be very bored. Last two trips I took here I ended up free soloing the entire time... at least then you can link some cool bouldering starts but there really isn't anything that didn't seem less than a high ball.
By Fenicks
Aug 19, 2014
Ummm... were the people placing the bolts drunk?

Didn't really have a problem with the toprope in and of itself - you can top out on most routes, then move the slings and rappel back down. You can also usually climb two different routes from one set of anchors.

However, the anchor bolts are so far away from the ledges, and seem to be placed completely at random sometimes. For example, we found a set of bolts at the BOTTOM of the stairs past the overlook. Anyone know why we would need bolts on the floor?

Most routes were pretty easy, just for fun climbs. If you're looking for a challenge, there are very few here. Or, like Tyler mentions, there are plenty of cool places not anchored that can be soloed, especially the bigger boulders further down the trail.
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