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Main Dome

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Main Dome Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 1,825'
Location: 30.5053, -98.8182 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Hank Caylor, Matt Richardson, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Steve Marr on Sep 15, 2006
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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BETA PHOTO: A mostly accurate and very helpful topo of the bac...

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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.

Getting There 

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.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.0 miles from here

106 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',9],['3 Stars',45],['2 Stars',40],['1 Star',10],['Bomb',2]

Classic Climbing Routes in Main Dome

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Main Dome:
Texas Flakes   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 1 pitch   Smorgasbord Wall
Easier Than It Looks   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Devil's Slide
Harder Than it Looks   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 1 pitch   Devil's Slide
Smorgasbord   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch   Smorgasbord Wall
Sweat   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch   News Wall
Hartford   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches   Cheap Wine Wall
The Kracken   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   Cheap Wine Wall
Dome Driver   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 3 pitches   Cheap Wine Wall
Walk In The High Country   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13     Sport, 5 pitches, 500'   Devil's Slide
Mark of the Beast   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 3 pitches   Devil's Slide
MD 20/20   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Trad, 1 pitch, 140'   Cheap Wine Wall
Knuckle Duster   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 130'   Devil's Slide
Pro Sweat   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport   News Wall
Ripple   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   Cheap Wine Wall
Fly on a Windshield   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   The Shield
Stranger Than Friction   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   The Shield
Bold Talk for a One-Eyed Fat Man   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R     Sport, 1 pitch, 115'   The Shield
French Route   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 170'   The Shield
Ding Dongs and Taco Sauce   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Trad, TR, 30'   Main Dome South : Frontside Boulders
Gravitron   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a X     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 100'   The Shield
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Main Dome

Featured Route For Main Dome
Rock Climbing Photo: first piece of gear on Knuckle Duster

Knuckle Duster 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  Texas : Enchanted Rock State Natura... : ... : Devil's Slide
This is a fantastic and overlooked climb. Up the unprotected easy slab and throuh a left-facing corner system at about 5.5. Then step right onto the headwall to clip the first of four bolts. Some of the best slab climbing in the park through these four bolts on knobby feldspar and perfect friction. Gain the ledge and bolted rap station....[more]   Browse More Classics in Texas

Photos of Main Dome Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Devil's Slide & Cheap Wine Wall
Devil's Slide & Cheap Wine Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Jimmy Ray Forester climbing on the backside  Photo...
Jimmy Ray Forester climbing on the backside Photo...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Main Shield, with some stations shown in appro...
BETA PHOTO: The Main Shield, with some stations shown in appro...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Backside area of the Main Dome.
The Backside area of the Main Dome.

Comments on Main Dome Add Comment
Show which comments
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.

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