Horseshoe Canyon Ranch is a dude ranch that also houses a good number of sport climbs (around 250+ lines) and boulders of sandstone rock.
Best Time to Visit
Horseshoe Canyon Ranch is a cool weather bouldering destination making the best time to visit when the temps are in 40 – 60’s. I visited in January and definitely experienced days that were in the 30′s, with temps below freezing at night. The best seasons to visit would be spring and fall.
Length of Stay
There is a good amount of climbing in Horseshoe Canyon Ranch and the surrounding areas. On my visit I was there to boulder only, and felt that I had pretty much bouldered it out within a week to week and a half.
How to Get There
Horseshoe Canyon Ranch is located outside of Jasper, Arkansas. From Jasper, travel 7.4 miles on State Highway 74. You will see a brown sign that says something along the lines of “Turn Now for Horseshoe Canyon Ranch” and you should immediately make a left turn on a dirt road. Follow this road for just over a 1/2 mile, seeing two different signs stating that Horseshoe Canyon Ranch is a 1/2 mile away. You will then come to the gate (remember to close behind you) and the road will take you right to the store where, if open, you can get all the information you need from Barry.
There is a Dr. Topo guide available, plus a book that is specifically about Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. The Dr. Topo guide is almost as good as the bouldering sections of the guide, so is a good alternative for a short stay.
Climbers are allowed to camp in Horseshoe Canyon Ranch for a cost of $5 per day. As a solo traveler, camping at the Ranch is probably the best idea if looking for fellow climbers. There is free camping somewhere nearby (within a 30 minute drive) but unfortunately I don’t know exactly where it is located. Another option is to stay in the cabins. A crew of us did this one night when the temps hit real low levels and the cost (in January 2009) was $80. The cabins are nice and can comfortably sleep 5+ people in beds and a handful more on the floor. Note that all animals on the ranch wander around so there is a good chance that your cabin could be surrounded by horses in the morn (reference picture above).
Wi-fi is available at The Lodge. The Lodge is supposed to be used by cabin guests only, but Barry, the owner of Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, allowed me to use the wifi.
Wi-fi can also be found in town at The Library, which is located at the very edge of town by the car wash.
Jasper is a quant little town that can be explored on rest days. There is a great little restaurant, The Boardwalk Café, that serves excellent organic foods. There are a couple of national parks within a couple hour drives, but I did not check them out.
- There are many dogs that roam through the ranch. The guidebook suggests not to feed them and requests that climbers keep their dogs on leash. The dogs are friendly but are very protective of their food and the livestock.
- When I rolled into Horseshoe Canyon Ranch and Jasper, I was coming in with 8 friends. Our presence increased the population of the town by 1.6%. This fact for some reason cracked me up. =)
If you have any additional beta, please feel free to comment or email me.