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Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

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Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 1,787'
Location: 36.0118, -93.2922 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 332,611
Administrators: TylerKC, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: sam davidson on Dec 30, 2006  with updates from Clint White aka Faulted Geologist and 1 more


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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.

The Buffalo River is on the other side of 74 hwy. Hit the BRT, a 40 mile hiking trail. Ponca offers rentals of kayak, canoe, and rafts, or bring your own and float the Buffalo - one of the only pristine rivers in a national park not crowded with houses and other nonsense. There are cliffs along the Buffalo that beg to be climbed, so bring your synthetic shoes.

Camping is $5 per night, climbing is $10 per day. Restrooms, sinks, and token showers were added in 2012, making this a great base for multi-day excursions. Sign in at the Trading Post and check out the gear.

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

518 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',31],['3 Stars',190],['2 Stars',200],['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
African Herbman   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 55'   The North Forty
Green Goblin   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 65'   The North Forty
Swamp Rat   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Cliffs of Insanity
The Greatest Show on Earth   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport   The North Forty
Hackberry Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Walls Of Moria
Strongman   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 50'   The North Forty
Orange Crush   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport   The Far East
Man Servant   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 55'   Mr. Magoo Rock
First Normal Form   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 65'   The North Forty
Private Property   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 55'   The North Forty
Season of the Storm   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 65'   The North Forty
Sour Girl   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 35'   The North Forty
Commodus   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   Roman Wall
Learning to Fly   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Prophecy Wall
Crimp Scampi   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The North Forty
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 60'   The Far East
Sonny Jim   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The North Forty
Big Top   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 65'   The North Forty
Love Slave   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   The North Forty
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

Featured Route For Horseshoe Canyon Ranch
Rock Climbing Photo: This is the dinner plate and above.  Sorry I didnt...

Big Top 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  Arkansas : Horseshoe Canyon Ranch : The North Forty
Start with some tricky climbing down low, then head right to a small roof and the "Dinner Plate". The crux comes right after the dinner plate up black holds....[more]   Browse More Classics in Arkansas

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: Karen Elshout warming up near Crimp Scampi.  Photo...
Karen Elshout warming up near Crimp Scampi. Photo...
Rock Climbing Photo: enough said.
enough said.
Rock Climbing Photo: Leaving the ranch after climbing 40 climbs in the ...
Leaving the ranch after climbing 40 climbs in the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Peanut!
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian on Crimp Scampi
Brian on Crimp Scampi
Rock Climbing Photo: Goats.
Rock Climbing Photo: Man Servant 5.9+
Man Servant 5.9+
Rock Climbing Photo: View from the HCR campgrounds looking out to the F...
View from the HCR campgrounds looking out to the F...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Ranch!
The Ranch!
Rock Climbing Photo: The Swing!
The Swing!
Rock Climbing Photo: Gear at the Ranch
Gear at the Ranch
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking out at the far east
Looking out at the far east
Rock Climbing Photo: Chili the ranch dog.  The best dog a climber could...
Chili the ranch dog. The best dog a climber could...
Rock Climbing Photo: Horses and goats.
Horses and goats.
Rock Climbing Photo: First Normal Form 5.9+
First Normal Form 5.9+
Rock Climbing Photo: View towards the Goat cave, from the campground.
View towards the Goat cave, from the campground.
Rock Climbing Photo: The ranch
The ranch
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: Beautiful leaves in early November 2010
Beautiful leaves in early November 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: good morning!
good morning!
Rock Climbing Photo: Panoramic from the store porch.
Panoramic from the store porch.

Show All 45 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 13, 2017
By Kevin D
From: Phoenix, AZ
Mar 22, 2010
Sign Posted: Dogs no longer allowed as of Jan 1 2010
By Tradiban
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 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 Mahal
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: Seattle, WA
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 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 Taylor
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 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 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!
By Cassidy Thomas
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 20, 2016
How is the weather in December? My friends and I are looking to do a Christmas break climbing trip to somewhere we've never been before (we're all from the Northwest). I've heard of this area before but I'm just a little worried it might be rainy in the winter. Any advice?
By Mark Orsag
From: Omaha, NE
Aug 21, 2016
Yeah, it can be a bit iffy (and colder than you might think as well) down there at that time. But if the weather is decent, the conditions can be really good for sending harder routes or problems. That is when a lot of the really strong boulderers, in particular, show up there-- or at least that is my understanding. I personally have climbed at HCR in November but not December.
By Luc Ried
From: Batesville, AR
Aug 21, 2016
Conditions in Arkansas are never really predictable, you may have a week with no rain, or you may have a week of nothing but rain. There are areas in horseshoe that you can climb if it does happen to rain, and I highly recommend a trip. December is the best month of the year for climbing here. Have a good trip and stay safe!
By Steven Smith 2
Oct 11, 2016
FYI: The climbing fee has increased to $10/day
By David Krem
Dec 30, 2016
If you plan on camping and climbing here expect to pay $15 a day for one person. Not what the books says. It's $5 for camping and $10 for a day pass of climbing.

  • Also if you're climbing on the DMM permadraws from the 24HHH be careful. They are aluminum draws that got a lot of use from the comp and general climbing season. Was there this past weekend and found some scary sharp draws on well traveled routes. I highly recommend inspecting any DMM permadraws you clip into. Told the staff there and hopefully they replace them/keep an eye on them.
By mike varlotta
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Jan 12, 2017
I have the month of July to climb around the midwest. We will be climbing from MI down to OK and possibly TX. Do people climb at Horeshoe in the summer? I am guessing that is probably the worst time of the year, but it's when i have the time off so if i want to get on AR rock I'm going to have to make due. With good beta about chasing shade is it possible to have a decent several day trip in July? Or is it simply not worth it? If anyone can share even better summer destinations throughout the midwest, please do.
By Chase Webb
From: Little Rock, AR
Jan 12, 2017
Mike, if you have the whole month of July to climb, I would suggest going somewhere a little cooler and less humid. It is certainly possible to climb in July but IMO your time would be much better spent elsewhere!
By Mark Orsag
From: Omaha, NE
Jan 13, 2017
Second what Chase said. HCR is an awesome place to climb, but July and August would be a perfectly miserable time to climb there. Try something up north like the Mt. Rushmore/Custer State Park combo in South Dakota instead at that time of year.

Mark O

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