• @justinblau

    click me to Tweet

  • Find me on Twitter

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • RSS World Hum’s RSS

    • A Sort of Homecoming
      Ivana Waz left Serbia for America when she was 14. She returned to her homeland with her son to answer the question: Was she more Serbian or American?
    • A Honeymoon of One’s Own
      Abbie Kozolchyk traveled the globe to research a National Geographic book on romantic travel. That's when she discovered her inner stalker.
    • 2016 Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference
      This year’s Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference—or as many justly call it, summer camp for travel writers—kicks off Thursday in Corte Madera, California. If you’ve ever wanted to study travel writing with a host of accomplished writers and editors, this is the time and place. The four-day conference features classes and panel discussio […]
    • How Korean Karaoke Changed My Life
      After being turned away from the school choir, Lavinia Spalding lost her love of public singing. Then she moved to South Korea.
    • Talking Travel Writing at AWP 2016
      I’ll be moderating a panel on travel writing—Does Travel Writing Have a Place in the Age of Instagram and Google Earth?—at the AWP conference in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 2. I’ll be joined by World Hum contributors Tom Swick and Pam Mandel, as well as travel writer and novelist Janis Cooke Newman. If you’ll be at the conference, stop in and say hi! […]
    • Riding the Slot
      As she struggled to make sense of her father's final days, Lenore Greiner sailed across a treacherous patch of San Francisco Bay
    • Road Trip to the Spiritual Assembly
      When her Aunt Noonie needed company on an annual pilgrimage, Nancy Davis Kho tagged along. Just how "woo-woo" would things get?
    • The Intricate Weave
      Don George was in Cremona, Italy, and grieving the loss of his father, when he heard the violin soar
    • War Story
      Could a trip to the old battlefields of Europe with his veteran father work a little magic on their relationship? Jim Benning hoped so.
    • Walking Off Writer’s Burnout
      Jeff Biggers hadn't written anything original in months. The joy was gone. Then he and a friend went for a stroll in Bologna.
  • Advertisements

Climber’s Paradise: Hueco Tanks State Park

This article was written and photographed by ChronicWanderlust contributor Jacob Pelham.

View from the Hueco Tanks

Hueco Tanks State Park is a place that travelers have used for hundreds of years, from the ancient Paleo Native Americans to being a stop on the Butterfield stage route, travelers have used this area as a lifeline in the desert. Travelers of today flock to this area for many reasons including bouldering, birding, hiking, camping, and to just escape the pace of the city. 

Hueco is a Spanish word for hollows, referring to the swiss cheese type holes and indentions in the boulders

Hueco is a Spanish word for hollows, and refers to the swiss cheese type holes and indentions in the boulders that make up this unique area .These holes collect water during rain and tend to retain much of the water within crevices and caves hiding the water from the hot sun. Many types of grasses, cacti, succulents, and trees have sprouted up in the areas adjacent to the massive rock formations which in turn attracts wildlife to this area. Native Americans used this area for many different purposes including hunting, gathering and collecting water, some believe this a a very spiritual place, and in certain areas you can find huge collections of pictographs and petroglyphs telling unknown stories on the rock.

A climber bouldering over his crash pads

From October to approximately February, the population of this remote location explodes with climbers from all over the country and even other parts of the world. Most of the climbing that goes on here is bouldering in which you do not use ropes but portable crash pads in case you fall. The usual maximum height of these boulders that are climbed is around 30 feet and even with the use of crash pads this extreme sport is dangerous. There are hundreds of possible climbing routes throughout the park some of  which are very technical and challenging, but possible. As you walk through the park you notice white marks along the rock where climbers climbed using chalk for grip. Some of the routes seem impossible for anyone to climb and about the time you start thinking that, a climber will come along and climb the impossible.

Freedom to climb wherever you want...

During the last of February this unique area hosts the Rock Rodeo, a multiple day competition where some of the best climbers in the word come to compete. This is a great time to visit and climb on the rocks, even if you are just starting in bouldering someone will come along and give you a few pointers or even let you tag along in their group.

The Hueco Rock Ranch's welcome sign...

The Rock Ranch is a camping area just outside of the park that host to climbers but anyone is welcome. For 5 dollars a night you can have your own personal patch of dirt to set your stuff up and all the stars you care to sleep under. During the Rock Rodeo this camp area is packed with campers, tents, and even a few hammocks (reservations mandatory). At night at the Rock Ranch expect to be invited to join everyone around one of their monstrous bon fires where stories are told and the beer flows freely.

Beautiful rock formations

At Hueco Tanks, it doesn’t matter your background, where you are from, or what your political beliefs are, you are guaranteed to meet friendly interesting people wandering the desert just as you are, and just as the people who came before you were.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: