Climbing at Hueco Tanks


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Hueco Tanks is a very unique geological formation just outside of El Paso, Texas. The rock is a weak form of granite called syenite that was formed roughly 35 million years ago. This syenite was eventually exposed due to weathering and created the heucos (Spanish for ‘hollows’) in the rock. A special combination of features has made Hueco Tanks one of the best areas in the world for bouldering; which is a form of climbing short, difficult problems with only the use of pads instead of ropes.

The sun was just setting as we landed in Seattle for 1 of 2 connections on our way to El Paso, Texas.


The following day we finally arrived at ‘Hueco Hacienda’, which is a small hostel near the park. If you are looking for a place to stay I highly recommend it! The hosts were incredibly nice and helpful with everything we needed or inquired about. As well as everything being extremely well organized and clean.



A fantastic view of Hueco can be seen from the main sitting area.




They even had a setup to play horse shoes outside and small climbing wall to train.





The Hacienda also came complete with a very stoic dog named Tinsel.


A little less stoic after a run.


Early the next morning we made the short drive towards Hueco and met up with our guide Luke. A guide is required if you want to enter anything but ‘North Mountain’ in the park. Luke was fantastic and really helped us make the best of our short time on the rocks.




Once we had our group together we began to hike in to the first climbs of the day.


Hiking in with the large ‘crash pads’ on your back can be difficult at times due to the tight spaces.



We spent the next few days exploring/climbing the beautiful rock in the park.


Photo credit: Paige Sorger



Occasional we’d see civilian and military planes fly over head with the airport and base close by.



















Each night the sun would set behind Hueco meaning it was time to head out of the park as at closed at 6pm sharp.







By |2017-06-01T14:05:49+00:00March 16th, 2015|Climbing|12 Comments


  1. Eileen March 16, 2015 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Amazing formations. I’ve never seen photos of these before. Climbing those seems very different from other types of climbing. I really enjoy traveling vicariously through you. Your photography is great and the diversity of places is fascinating. thanks. Eileen

  2. Andy Knaster March 16, 2015 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    I remember climbing there in the 1980s when I was a young officer stationed at Fort Bliss, TX. Thanks for the beautiful reminders of my more youthful days.

  3. rena1021 March 17, 2015 at 12:22 am - Reply

    I was there as a kid, it was really beautiful there. Thank you for sharing! Looks like you enjoyed it as much as I remember doing! đŸ™‚

  4. Jack Ostram March 17, 2015 at 5:03 am - Reply

    Wonderful shots. Interesting area.

  5. Rita Jannusch McKenzie March 17, 2015 at 8:15 am - Reply

    Beautiful rocks and photos. However, I don’t see the value of the crash pads if you fall more than 2 feet. Seems very dangerous which I’m sure is part of the appeal.

    • Anonymous March 17, 2015 at 9:35 am - Reply

      The pads really are useful! I’ve fallen on them from 15 feet + and they can really save your skin! (Or at least keep you from bruising your heel)

  6. wildcatroars March 17, 2015 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Wow, blown away by the beautiful photos!

  7. SilverClaw13 March 17, 2015 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Lovely colors and vistas.

  8. Mark Simms March 17, 2015 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Fantastic images

  9. Angela March 17, 2015 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    Wow Patrick! I never thought I’d see you heading into my hometown of El Paso, TX. Hueco tanks is nice. You all should go back to El Paso and hike the trails in the Franklins. Lovely picfures and such a nice surprise. Love your hiking posts.

  10. themeanderingmushroomman March 18, 2015 at 10:30 am - Reply


  11. jmsabbagh June 19, 2015 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Exceptional pictures of a daring and brave sport lady.

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