Inks Lake State Park Climbing: 5 Thrilling Spots to Explore

Inks Lake State Park offers a unique opportunity for climbing enthusiasts, with its granite rock outcroppings and varied terrain. While it may not be as well-known as its neighbor, Enchanted Rock, Inks Lake provides a more secluded and quiet climbing experience.

Access to Inks Lake State Park Climbing

Access to climbing at Inks Lake is granted through Inks Ranch, which is open to the public on approved weekends only. The climbing area is located on a portion of Watch Mountain and features similar climbing to nearby Enchanted Rock. Climbers should be self-reliant and competent in route finding, anchor building, and descent techniques. It is important to note that Inks Ranch is a developing area, and climbers should be aware of loose rock and bring a helmet for safety.

Gear Recommendations for Inks Lake State Park Climbing

Inks Lake State Park Climbing

For those interested in traditional climbing, a double rack, set of stoppers, 10 draws, anchor building equipment, and a 60m rope will cover most established climbing routes. Most trad climbs tend to use larger-sized cams (BD .75-#6). If you climb something that isn’t in the Rakkup guide, it is likely a first ascent, and climbers are encouraged to document their new route using the Survey123 app.

Boulderers should also take care to protect the sensitive plants around the base of the boulders. Wagbags will be available for purchase for $5 to help manage waste in the backcountry.

Planning Your Visit to Inks Lake State Park Climbing

When planning your visit, keep in mind that Inks Ranch is a primitive event, and attendees should bring all necessary food, water, camping gear, and amenities. There is no electricity or running water available, and cell service is spotty. Portable restrooms will be provided, but wagbags are recommended for backcountry travel.

Inks Lake State Park is located 22 miles south of Llano, TX, off of County Road 113A. Follow Highway 16 either south from Llano or north from Fredericksburg until you reach the intersection with County Road 113. Head west on County Road 113 for 5.9 miles until you reach the intersection with County Road 113A (Inks Ranch Rd). Turn left on County Road 113A and drive for 4.3 miles, passing through the open gates marked “Paradise Ranches.” Pass the small lake with the ranch houses and take a left on Inks Ranch Rd. Continue into the Ranch and park at the designated parking area with the metal staircase.

Rules and Regulations for Inks Lake State Park Climbing

The Inks Ranch Open Weekends have specific rules to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors. Some of these rules include:

  • No at-will access to the Ranch
  • Climbing only within the designated climbing area from sunrise to sunset
  • No pets
  • Camping and parking only in approved areas
  • Packing out all trash
  • Observing fire bans and using approved fire rings
  • Respecting property boundaries
  • Not disturbing or tampering with cultural artifacts or hunting equipment

Inks Lake State Park Climbing offers a unique and challenging experience for climbers of all skill levels. With its secluded location, granite rock formations, and varied terrain, it provides a refreshing alternative to the more crowded climbing destinations in the area. By following the rules and regulations, climbers can enjoy a safe and enjoyable adventure at this hidden gem of a state park.


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