Rock Climbing at Joshua Tree National Park
Welcome to Joshua Tree climbing if you have been to Joshua Tree and know of any recent changes or updates please let us know. This will allow us to keep everyone as up to date as possible.
Joshua Tree National Park is located in South-Eastern California.
Joshua Tree is easily the best traditional winter climbing destination in the U.S., thousands of climbers from all over the world come to J-tree every year. While summer temperatures can reach over 120 degrees, spring and fall are definitely ideal times to visit this beautiful rock climbing destination.
Sport climbing does exist at J-tree. However, Joshua Tree is famous for its traditional-style crack, slab, and steep-face climbing.
The routes are typically short, the rocks being rarely more than 70 m (230 ft) in height (bring your 60m rope), but access is usually a short, easy walk through the desert. The rocks are all composed of quartz monzonite, a very rough type of granite made even more so as there is no snow or ice to polish it as in places like Yosemite. So bring some tape for those tips and hands.
Joshua Tree climbing areas have over 7,000 established routes. With so many routes you’ll want pick up a guide book at REI Climbing be sure to search ‘joshua tree’. Even with this many routes there are still many routes that can be developed. As far as bouldering goes there is enough rock that you could boulder for several lifetimes.
Joshua Tree climbing areas offer challenging climbs for all levels of climbing ability.
It is truly a world-class rock climbing destination.
Important Joshua Tree is rich in cultural history and protects significant artifacts.
Note that climbing within 50 feet of rock art is prohibited. Pictographs (paintings) and petroglyphs (carvings) are easily damaged and should not be touched. Please be respectful of this.
Camping at Joshua Tree
Hidden Valley Campground is the first campground encountered on the drive in from the West Entrance. Its popularity often makes it hard to find a campsite. The atmosphere at Hidden Valley is often similar to Camp 4 in Yosemite – very festive with lots of colorful characters; don’t be surprised to see climbers campfire-hopping to keep up on the social scene. Rangers frequently offer Climbers’ Coffee on Saturday mornings at 8 AM here to go over access issues as well as answer questions.
Rock Climbing For Life, Jumbo Rocks, Belle and White Tank are all alternative campgrounds to be considered if Hidden Valley is full, or if you plan on climbing in those other parts of the Park.
Indian Cove Campground, with its lower elevation, is usually about 10 degrees warmer and less windy than the main side of the Park. Group campsites are also reservable at Indian Cove, and at Sheep Pass.
Parking is limited to TWO vehicles per each of the individual campsites, with picnic table and fire ring. Pit toilets are scattered throughout the campgrounds and at most of the main day-use parking areas.
No portable water inside the park. Nearest sources are at the entrance stations. No cell reception inside the Park either, though some services do get intermittent signals at isolated spots. Gathering for firewood is prohibited inside the Park you can pick some up in town. In the cold winter nights, a big warm fire would definitely draw a crowd, and climbing partners if you need.
Do not attempt to camp outside of established campsites in the Park – you will be ticketed by the rangers as well as upset climber relations with the Park Service.
Dogs must be on leash and remain within 100 yards of pavement. Be careful rangers will ticket you for violations.
When you get hungry you can head in town, Royal Siam offers an all-you-can-eat Thai buffet, The Beatnick Cafe has sandwiches, beer and live music on weekends, Crossroads Cafe offers everything from morning espresso to late night brews as well as great food, and lastly The Country Kitchen is a great place for a hearty breakfast before a day of pulling.
All of these restaurants are located off Hwy 62 in the town of Joshua Tree just west of Park Blvd. Note Beatnick and Jeremy’s also offer internet access, which is always a plus.
Gear and other needs While rock climbing at Joshua Tree if you need any gear you can pick it up at:
Coyote Corner 6535 Park Blvd Joshua Tree, CA 92252 760.366.9683
Nomad Ventures 61795 29-Palms Highway Joshua Tree, CA 92252 760.366.4684
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