Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway

Park Alerts…

Rock Climbing

narrow area between two vertical sandstone walls

Penitentiary Hollow is one of the few natural rock-climbing venues in North Texas. It is made up of sandstone rock formations.

Download our Rock-Climbing Route Map | PDF  to see and read about the routes.

Before you climb

All individuals, groups, nonprofit organizations, educational classes and professional emergency training groups must register at park headquarters before rock climbing or rappelling.

Only approved guide service providers can lead groups here. No exceptions are allowed.

Colleges or universities hosting educational recreation classes in rock climbing/rappelling must have an approved Memorandum of Agreement and show proof of liability insurance coverage.

Professional emergency services training groups must have an approved special event contract and show proof of liability insurance. 

Climbing & rappelling rules

View from above of person climbing cliff

Liability Release

All climbers and rappelers must sign a liability release form at park headquarters on each visit.

After you sign, we will issue a wristband showing that you have signed the waiver. You must wear the wristband while participating in rock climbing activities.

Age requirements

Participants must be at least 17 years old. If they are younger than 17, a parent or legal guardian must be present, or the youth must present written permission from a parent or legal guardian. Youth group leaders/organizers must sign a statement of youth group compliance.


The climbing area closes daily at sundown.

We will close the climbing area under wet conditions to decrease the chance of injury to climbers and the rock. Please contact park headquarters to ask about closures before you travel to the park: (940) 328-1171.


Climbing north of the creek is strictly prohibited.

No free climbing, soloing or bouldering is allowed.

All TPWD rules and regulations apply here.

Emergency services

Please call 911 to report injuries and/or notify park headquarters. We may close the climbing area during an emergency.


We collect a climbing fee of $5 per person.

Guide Services

Rock-About Climbing Adventures is the approved guide to lead climbers at Lake Mineral Wells State Park. Go to the Rock-About Climbing Adventures website, email, or call (512) 415-0804 for more information.

Ropes & Bolts

Do not top rope to any structure in the scenic overlook area. Use supplied bolted anchors.

Climb clean! You may not install bolts, pistons or other equipment.