Alabama has a renowned bouldering park called Horse Pens 40. North of Birmingham 30 minutes in Steele, AL rests an amazing bouldering park. Complete with RV and primitive camping, hot showers, water and electric hook-ups, a country restaurant and country store.
Historic Horse Pens 40 (HP40) is run by the “Shultz family and is located atop a mountain surrounded by serenity and clean air. Everyone is encouraged to explore the beautiful trails among the unique and amazing rock formations that give Horse Pens 40 their worldwide fame.” (HP40)
HP40 hosts 3 bouldering competitions a year: Chandler Mountain Challenge, HP40 Rocks, Triple Crown Bouldering series. The rock is sand rock and is some of the best “slopers” in bouldering. There are 272 bouldering routes in the park!
The weekend we arrived at HP40 they were hosting the CukoRakko Music and Arts Festival! We thought we would just boulder and camp. We almost turned back, but we are SO glad we didn’t!
An amazing weekend was had by all! 2 nights of camping, 3 days of exploring and bouldering, great live music and tons of local beer!
We rented a crash pad and a guidebook from the country store. We packed the little ones “rescue pack” and grabbed our climbing shoes. We headed to the rocks after breakfast. It took a minute to navigate the huge park, but once we had our baring, we hit the wall.
The little one watched, tried and pretended to have her toys climb as well. She enjoyed her snacks and dug in the dirt; picked flowers and grabbed sticks.
The weather was perfect, even a little chilly but nothing we weren’t prepared for. The concerts at night sang us to sleep, and the morning sun warmed the people doing yoga in the open field.
A few food trucks were on site, along with a beer truck complete with multiple taps on the outside of the truck. Hot coffee was served from another vendor, along with roasted corn!
Our campsite didn’t have access to a fire pit, so there were no smores for us, but we did enjoy the smell of campfires from the other sites near us. We hung our ENO hammock and at night before bed the little one would swing in it with her daddy and look at the stars while rocking to the music.
It was a perfect weekend. We are very glad we attended and will definitely be back throughout the year!