Rock Climbing at Penitentiary Hollow

Penitentiary Hollow is one of the few natural rock climbing venues in North Texas. Download our Rock Climbing Route Map (PDF) to see the routes.

We charge a special activity (climbing) fee. Climbers and rappelers must sign a liability release at park headquarters on each visit. Participants must be at least 17 years old or with a parent or legal guardian or present written permission from a parent or legal guardian.

Protection at Lake Mineral Wells State Park shall consist of top rope only. TPWD prohibits all non-top roped climbing, including free soloing and bouldering.

No climbing is allowed when the rock formations are wet.

This area closes at sundown. 

Climbing and Rappelling Rules

  • All climbers must sign a liability release at park headquarters.
  • Climbers must be 17 years old or have written permission of parent or guardian. Youth group leaders/organizers will sign a statement of youth group compliance.
  • The area will be closed under wet conditions. This decreases the chance of injury to rock and person.
  • Do not top rope to any structure in the scenic overlook area. Use supplied bolted anchors.
  • Climb clean! No bolts, pitons or other equipment may be installed which might damage rock or other natural features. Protection at Lake Mineral Wells State Park is from top rope only.
  • Climbing north of the creek is strictly prohibited. Climb only in Penitentiary Hollow.
  • Rappelers should make every effort to schedule activities to avoid conflicts with technical climbers. All climbers must be belayed.
  • Please report injuries or accidents to park headquarters.

Guide Services

The following guides lead rock climbing tours at Lake Mineral Wells: