The greatness of Austin rock climbing occasionally always falls into this one common problem, you must have a partner. Bull Creek District Park is a perfect solution when your partner bails on you, you un-expectantly have a free hour or two, you can't find anyone to go climb with, or you just want to climb by yourself. The bouldering is not world class, but some days the gym just doesn't cut it. You need to feel real rocks, get some highball bouldering in, and feel the sun on your back.
What Makes It Great
For beginner climbers, head to the Big Chief Boulder (the diagonally slanting boulder at the back). Big Chief has some fun sit starts and some dancing between a tree to finish most of the routes. Most of the routes work along the large diagonal with a few having vertical problems. The cruxes of most of the problems are at the top, so bring a crash pad for slightly softer landings.
For more experienced climbers, head to the vertical facing problems at the Walter Weed and Bill boulders. Tiny Dancer is the classic problem here. It is a tough V6 that is mono heavy and tests your tendon's limits on power. This problem has some fun Youtube videos to watch of people on this problem. The other problems on these two faces range from V0 to V8 with all the routes finishing 15' above the ground (so maybe having two crash pads is helpful). For more specifics on the routes, look at the Austin climbing books or the Texas Rocks IPhone app.
Who is Going to Love It
In addition to the bouldering, there are some defunct routes that the tried and true Austin climbers still talk about. The most recent Austin Climbing book mentions the routes and their general locations. Climbing here is not promoted and the bolts are not maintained, but Bull Creek contains some beautiful sport climbs. It's a shame this area was moved away from.
The park also has grills, multiple slackline locations, and little swimming spots if the water is high enough. Although the climbing is not an all day activity here, a group can spend all day here partaking in the various activities on offer.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The park is located in NW Austin, just a short 20 minute drive from downtown (much longer if going during rush hour). There are at least 23 problems at the park and they range from V0 to V8. Parking is quite simple, either pull into the lot right before the main entrance to the park or drive across the stream and park in the main parking lot. The approach hike in is a mere 30 seconds from the first parking lot and the city has put a pea gravel pit underneath the main problems. The park has bathrooms, lots of green space, Bull Creek flowing through it, and it's dog friendly.