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Hueco Tanks Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 31.9169, -106.0429 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 242,744
Administrators: Hank Caylor, Matt Richardson, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Aimee Rose on Mar 30, 2006
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [3 people like this page.]
Remember pinkpointing and tights? Both were legit ...

Some areas require a guide.


The best bouldering in the world, Hueco is amazing, but you gotta play the game to get in. Must call Texas State Parks (512)389-8900 to make reservations for North Mountain (be sure to write down your confirmation #s as they tend to lose them). The Hueco Rock Ranch (915-856-7181) no longer offers guiding services but does offer excellent lodging and camping options.

Best time of year to visit is November through March. It gets windy through the end of March and beginning of April. After mid-April, it's hot as sin. The rock is amazing, bullet hard and sharp on the digits.

Matt Wilder's Hueco Tanks guidebook from Wolverine Publishing is the best resource for routes. It is very extensive, has great directions and pictures.

This online guide will focus on North Mountain, since in the other areas you'll have a guide and other people who can point out the problems.

Getting There 

Get to El Paso then take HWY 62/180 (aka Montana Rd) east until you pass all the junk yards. When you see the ufo shaped white building turn left and go to the end of the road.

Hueco Rock Ranch 

The Hueco Rock Ranch offers climbers a friendly place to stay while spending time at Hueco Tanks. Camp or rent a room/bunk. Showers, communal hang out area, and good company around the fire are included. Easy access to climbing and no hassle. Join the American Alpine Club and save 30%. Open November–April.

Book Reservations

Climbing Season

Weather station 8.2 miles from here

481 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',61],['3 Stars',199],['2 Stars',159],['1 Star',58],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Hueco Tanks

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Hueco Tanks:
The Maiden   V0 4     Boulder, 35'   East Mountain : Maiden Gully
The Melon Patch   V0 4     Boulder   North Mountain : Scary Boulder
Hershey's Symphony   V1 5 PG13     Boulder, 25'   North Mountain : Sign of the Choss
Nobody Here Gets Out Alive   V2 5+     Boulder   North Mountain : The Grenade
Ghetto Simulator   V2 5+     Boulder   North Mountain : Ghetto Simulator
Sign of the Cross   V3 6A     Boulder   North Mountain : Sign of the Cross
Moonshine Roof (center)   V4 6B     Boulder, 25'   East Mountain : Moonshine Roof
T-Bone Shuffle   V4 6B     Boulder   North Mountain : The Morgue
The Fin   V4 6B     Boulder   East Mountain : The Aircraft Carrier
Bloodline   V5 6C     Boulder, 15'   North Mountain : Bloodline
Lobsterclaw, AKA:Mr. Negative   V5 6C     Boulder   North Mountain : The New Meadow
Dragon Fly, AKA: Dogmatics   V5 6C     Boulder, 15'   East Mountain : Dragon's Den
See Spot Run   V6 7A PG13     Boulder, 25'   North Mountain : The Big Time
Baby Face   V7 7A+     Boulder   North Mountain : Trac II
Mushroom Roof   V8 7B     Boulder, 15'   North Mountain : Mushroom Boulder
The Egg   V9 7C     Boulder, 15'   East Spur : Back of the Maze
Full Service   V10 7C+     Boulder   East Mountain : Dragon's Den
Indecent Exposure   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 300'   North Mountain : Indecent Exposure Buttress
Sea of Holes   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R     Sport, 2 pitches, 350'   North Mountain : Central Wall
Window Pain   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   North Mountain : Central Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Hueco Tanks

Featured Route For Hueco Tanks
Rock Climbing Photo: Taking a rest by kneebar

Choir Boys V9 7C  Texas : Hueco Tanks : ... : Sign of the Cross
Would be 4 stars if you did not have to grovel in the dirt and the adjacent rock was not right behind your back as you are finishing the problem. Stellar movement none the less makes for a great problem.Start on the right facing sloper shelf down under the roof with a foot out right. Move to a left facing sloping shelf out right and push yourself into it getting a foot up back to your left. Move into an undercling and push out to a juggy horn with your right hand. The original Choire Boys (Choir...[more]   Browse More Classics in Texas

Photos of Hueco Tanks Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Hiking back from West Mountain at the end of the d...
Hiking back from West Mountain at the end of the d...
Rock Climbing Photo: No one gets out of here alive.
No one gets out of here alive.
Rock Climbing Photo: End of the Rainbow
End of the Rainbow
Rock Climbing Photo: Bob Horan bouldering at Hueco on Obscured By Cloud...
Bob Horan bouldering at Hueco on Obscured By Cloud...
Rock Climbing Photo: Fred Nicole floating around at Hueco Tanks, photo:...
Fred Nicole floating around at Hueco Tanks, photo:...
Rock Climbing Photo: Earl Wiggins hb @ Hueco Tanks: photo Bob Horan
Earl Wiggins hb @ Hueco Tanks: photo Bob Horan
Rock Climbing Photo: Waiting in line outside the park gate for North Mo...
Waiting in line outside the park gate for North Mo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Oryx at the entrance gate to the Park.
Oryx at the entrance gate to the Park.
Rock Climbing Photo: BH sends the 45 Degree Wall.
BH sends the 45 Degree Wall.
Rock Climbing Photo: Working the No body @Hueco Tanks
Working the No body @Hueco Tanks
Rock Climbing Photo: Even though jumping through the hoops to climb her...
Even though jumping through the hoops to climb her...
Rock Climbing Photo: Hueco Tanks
Hueco Tanks
Rock Climbing Photo: Horan on repeat ascent of Mother of the Future V7,...
Horan on repeat ascent of Mother of the Future V7,...
Rock Climbing Photo: EW... back in the day when HT was just a little bi...
EW... back in the day when HT was just a little bi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Shane Rymer on 2nd ascent of Moonlight Drive Trave...
Shane Rymer on 2nd ascent of Moonlight Drive Trave...
Rock Climbing Photo: This was taken outside of Fort Bliss in El Paso re...
This was taken outside of Fort Bliss in El Paso re...
Rock Climbing Photo: BH highballing on FA of Distorted History V5 @ Hue...
BH highballing on FA of Distorted History V5 @ Hue...
Rock Climbing Photo: and after
and after
Rock Climbing Photo: The newly renovated AAC Rock Ranch
The newly renovated AAC Rock Ranch
Rock Climbing Photo: Hueco in the 80s
Hueco in the 80s
Rock Climbing Photo: The second bolt on Desperado (5.10+) broke under b...
BETA PHOTO: The second bolt on Desperado (5.10+) broke under b...
Rock Climbing Photo: Fun Downclimbs!
Fun Downclimbs!
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset at Hueco
Sunset at Hueco
Rock Climbing Photo: Don't mess with Texas! Or so the saying goes.   No...
Don't mess with Texas! Or so the saying goes. No...

Show All 26 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Hueco Tanks Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 19, 2017
By Russ Walling
Oct 17, 2007
Here is a small selection of videos shot at Hueco in the early 90's..... yeah it's dated... but it's FREE! Check them out and you can laugh at my JRat clothes!
By Monomaniac
From: Morrison, CO
Feb 12, 2008
The Geographic Coordinates provided above are incorrect. Here are some better coordinates, in case someone with Admin privileges wants to update things:

Hueco Tanks: -106.0429 x 31.9169

North Mountain: -106.0445 x 31.9225
East mountain: -106.0391 x 31.9171
East Spur: -106.0372 x 31.9108
West Mountain: -106.0456 x 31.9129

Some N Mtn areas:

110 Proof Roof: -106.0436 x 31.9222
The Grenade: -106.0438 x 31.9221
Indecent Exposure Buttress: -106.0483 x 31.9215
Martini Roof Area (Upper Lost Boulders): -106.0425 x 31.9217
Mushroom Boulder: -106.0487 x 31.9219
The New Meadow: -106.0437 x 31.9232
Sign of the Cross: -106.0433 x 31.9246
Small Potatoes: -106.0433 x 31.9224
Trac II: -106.0456 x 31.9217
Warm Up Boulder: -106.0449 x 31.9260
By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Feb 7, 2009
The book: "Hueco Tanks, a climber's and boulderer's guide", by John Sherman, Mike Head, James Crump, and Dave Head, gives this for first ascent information:

"The history of lead climbing at Hueco Tanks can be summed up in one name - Mike Head. Mike ascended over two thirds of the lead climbs in this guide, usually in very bold style. Imagine leading Window Pain or Head Fox with only two bolts apiece as Mike first did. Or free soloing the first ascent of Sea of Holes, before the loose rock had been cleaned off.

Mike placed the majority of retrobolts (sic)in Hueco Tanks, changing his routes from sporty climbs to sportclimbs (sic)."

The history of climbing bolt legalization at Hueco Tanks is found in an article titled: "Retrobolting At Hueco" by Laurel Lacher (Rock & Ice Magazine, #36, March/April 1990).
By Russ Walling
Feb 11, 2009
Thanks Ken.

Does anyone know the official bolt replacement policy at Hueco these days? Or do you just wait for a "drillers moon" and make it happen?
By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Feb 11, 2009
Russ, thanks for all the great Hueco beta and photos (and the mussy hooks in the Owens too)!

I did ask a park staff member if I could help replace old bolts. The answer was that "Austin is working on it still." It being some kind of policy.

I had thoughts of the old Drilling Moon methods too, but it might get climbing banned. The scope of what really needs doing is too huge.

Sorry to all for hogging up so much page space with a lengthy condition report. Looking forward to a day in the future the conditions are simply "Phat new bolts on one of America's best crags."

By Russ Walling
Feb 11, 2009
"Austin is working on it" uh-oh. That is kinda scary.

Here is slide show from our trip in '07. You can see some of the old bolts in the show. It is a fairly large QT Movie, so be patient and let it load. There is like 100 images. You can do a mouseover on the little "i" in the upper right hand corner for captions on each photo. If you put your mouse over the bottom middle, forward, reverse and pause will show up.

here is the link:
By joshf
From: missoula, mt
Nov 16, 2009
there is a small mexican grocery on the right of the main road a couple miles out heading out from el paso towards tortillas in the world. we subsisted off the damn things for almost a week and bought as many as we could before we headed home...dirt cheap and damn good for a tight budget.
By Nate Moore
From: On the road
Apr 2, 2010
I need to get to Hueco from Springfield, MO on the weekend of the 10th of April. I can meet you somewhere other than Springfield if i need to and my dates can change a little as well.

By gabriel hamilton
Sep 9, 2012
hey guys,

I have a quick question...

It is my FIRST trip to Hueco, FINALLY!

unfortunately, the only time we have allotted for now, is october 24-28...

Can we still find awesome climbing with the temperature during this time???

Basically, is it still worth it to make the trip??


By Dr. Dre
From: Manitou Springs, CO
Sep 16, 2012
Am heading to EP for work a few days and would like to check out Heuco. I heard that the park gate closes at 6 pm. Are there any areas one can still access for climbing or bouldering after 6 pm without issues, if one were to park outside the gate?
By bsear945
Oct 2, 2012
Does anyone have any experience with dogs at Hueco Tanks. Options of where to keep them due to them not being allowed on North Mountain or the Rock Ranch.

By Donovan Allen
From: Subaru
Nov 29, 2014
NOTE: there are NO DOGS allowed on the mountain. Just figured I'd mention that. Kind of unclear on the info section and hueco parks doesn't display that information either.
By Lowell
From: El Paso, Texas USA
Dec 5, 2014
World famous "Pete's" Re-Opens!

Hueco Tanks Climbing Shop & Campgrounds
6011 Hueco Tanks Rd. 915-244-6792

Old school climbers remember "Pete's" Country Store as one of the most iconic dirtbag campgrounds in American climbing history. Located just outside the park entrance at Hueco Tanks, Texas, the Country Store was where bouldering pioneers stayed during the years that Hueco transformed from a little-known rock pile into one of the world's premier bouldering areas.

Deadpoint Magazine Article

Hueco Campgrounds

By meghan c.
From: el paso, tx
Dec 20, 2014
Moving to El Paso ...

We're moving to El Paso in a few weeks and are looking for a roommate or two to split a house near the downtown UTEP area, preferably somewhere in the Sunrise Hills area. We = my boyfriend James, myself, and our dog Whittlock. We're laid back 20/30ish and would be very happy to share a house with other climbers.

By Ted Pick
Jun 7, 2015
As of June 2015, this is the list of areas in Hueco Tanks State park & Historic Site that are closed to climbing:

Mushroom Boulder (North face)
Nuclear Arms/Blood and Gore
Gold Star Roof
Artist's Opposition (at end-loop area)
Cave Kiva
Pictograph Site 17 (rattlesnake area)
Pictograph Site 16A, A-1
Donkey head (near picnic site 3)
Stanage on Holiday
Present Arms (Southwest face)
Chris' Arete (Santiago Cooper inscription)
Pictograph Site N19F
Pictograph Site N19C (at West end of Laguna Prieta)
Roughage (Lunch Rocks area)
Sculpture/Thighburner (Lunch Rocks Area)
Warm-Up Boulder (North restrooms)

Five Bimbos
Snappy Tom
Bucket Roof
Meine Kleine Buzzbomb

45° Wall
Saint Vitus Dance/That's My Daughter Wall

Pictograph Site 29 (Cave of the Masks)
Pictograph Site 37AB (Southwest wall of shelter near Animal Acts)
By bluelizardclimbingandyoga
From: bluelizardclimbingandyoga.
Jul 31, 2015
Hey everyone, we're new commercial guides, so if you either can't get in to North Mountain (only 70 people allowed at a time) or if you want to check out the back-country (East, East Spur, or West require guides), then check us out!

climbing (at) bluelizardclimbingandyoga (dot) com
By derekpearson
Feb 20, 2016
I'm looking for a ride to hueco tanks March 23rd through March 25.
I have reserved camping and a day pass for each day. I'm at FT Bliss for training and the army will not allow me to rent a car during my four day pass. I'll pay for gas and the camping.
By Adam Peters
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Feb 25, 2016
By mike varlotta
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Jan 15, 2017
My son and I are going to be climbing for six weeks this summer in the Midwest. I'm trying to figure out if it's worth it to drive an extra 500 miles to check out Hueco in July. (We have never been there.) I am guessing that that is the worst month to be there, but I'm wondering if there are any areas in the park where the combination of shade and elevation allow for reasonably tolerable temps? Also I am looking for help in understanding the logistics of a visit there. Is it true that the guide requirements are only for bouldering? And that if you are climbing with ropes then you do can be there on your own? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.
By Margaret Fegan
Feb 19, 2017
I'm headed out to Hueco this week, and I'm looking to rent a crash pad. I've been assured there would be groups around who wouldn't mind having someone jump in with them, but I'd hate to crash a party. I'm also wondering if I need a guide and/or guidebook or if I can just wing it. (only because I know it is a very popular location and I could find people).

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