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Joshua Tree National Park

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*Joshua Tree Bouldering* 
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OZ Area 
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Joshua Tree National Park  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 4,200'
Location: 34.0122, -116.168 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 9,974,730
Administrators: C Miller, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: M.Morley on Jan 1, 2001






You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [35 people like this page.]

2 New Important Updates!! MORE INFO >>>


Joshua Tree is a world famous area with thousands of routes, countless boulder problems and a very limited number of campsites. Long popular as a winter destination, it's appeal has only grown throughout the years as climbers of all abilities have discovered the mild temperatures, grippy rock and surreal landscape which make it a must visit area on any climber's list.

Todayís park visitor comes from around the globe, with some here to climb and others simply here to gaze at the wonder. Looky-loos can crowd some areas during the weekends, but thatís part of the parkís mission allowing everyone the opportunity to enjoy the park.

That said, sometimes Joshua Tree's popularity outgrows its carrying capacity, and is often the case, overnight camping can become very scarce, very fast. While the park service has made strides to expand the number of campsites, it has strengthened its rules about the number of campers per site, along with the number of vehicles per site. Current prices of overnight camping can be found here, along with other specific campground information. Other overnight options are listed below.

The fee to enter Joshua Tree is currently $15 per vehicle, which is good for 7 days from the date on the receipt. When time permits, the rangers will check the out-going traffic for valid receipts. An annual pass is also available, and at $30, stands as an excellent value for those visiting the park more often. Both are purchased at the check stations at the entrances to the park. Cash and credit cards are accepted.

The rock itself is quartz monzonite and tends to be fairly solid, but the less traveled and/or newer routes can have the dreaded "ball bearings underfoot syndrome" making those friction moves a tad more dicey. The best rock sports a coating of "desert varnish" or patina which darkens and solidifies the rock appreciably.

Kudos to this page's founding father M.Morley. In June 2002 the website "climbingjtree" went online.

Visitor Information 760-367-5500

Christine Hoenigmann climbing  TG
Christine Hoenigmann climbing


Matt Segal leads Acid Crack (5.12d)  Photo credit ...
Matt Segal leads Acid Crack (5.12d)

Photo credit from Leavittator 2015


There is no running water in the Park. Come prepared with a 5-gallon or more jug if planning on staying more than a day.

  • BLM land for the squeeze.
  • Hipcamp has a great directory of the campgrounds, and for some of them you can even check availability and book them online.

The rarely deserted Indian Cove Campground.
The rarely deserted Indian Cove Campground.

BLM overflow camping sites, Joshua Tree NP
BLM overflow camping sites, Joshua Tree NP


Weekends are crowded during peak season! With its proximity to Los Angeles and San Diego, the Park draws more than 1 million visitors annually. Plan accordingly and have a backup plan if the campgrounds are full. There are numerous inexpensive motels in the nearby towns of Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, and 29 Palms.
Lodging Overview


  • The Integratron - "a one-of-a-kind building designed as a rejuvenation and time machine"
  • 29 Palms Murals - A collection of 20 murals scattered throughout this desert town.



  • Just down the road in Yucca Valley, one can find most any service and supply necessary; from major grocery stores and ubiquitous fast food joints, to auto lube and tunes.

  • Nomad Ventures is the local place to get climbing gear, guidebooks and information about the climbing in Joshua Tree. The folks are friendly and very knowledgeable.

  • Guide books for the area range from the no frills Bartlett guides to the fairly exhaustive Vogel guides as well as a couple of bouldering specific guides. All have something that the other doesn't.

  • Nearest hospital is the High Desert Medical Center in the town of Joshua Tree. Cell phone coverage in the park IS SPOTTY AT BEST to NONEXISTENT AT WORST. There is an emergency phone in near the restrooms in Hidden Valley Campground/Intersection Rock. Use only in an emergency.


  • From Palm Springs Airport (PSP) to the West Entrance is 43.6 miles
  • From Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the West Entrance is 148 miles
  • From Las Vegas International Airport (LAS) to the North Entrance is 225 miles
  • From Phoenix International Airport (PHX) through the South Entrance to Belle Campground is 259 miles

Other Interesting Stuff 

What makes the largest variety of Yucca special? See here

Some formations are in designated Wilderness Areas, while others are not? Which is where?

Sport climbs of Joshua Tree 


Erik on "Is that a Munchkin in your Pocket&qu...
Erik on "Is that a Munchkin in your Pocket".
Photo by Blitzo.

Bathwater, Pinto Basin TG
Bathwater, Pinto Basin

Current Weather 

Climbing Season

Weather station 10.4 miles from here

5,161 Total Routes

['4 Stars',117],['3 Stars',685],['2 Stars',1887],['1 Star',2236],['Bomb',103]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Joshua Tree National Park:
White Rastafarian   V1+ 5 R     Boulder, 20'   Outback Bouldering : White Rastafarian Boulder
Gunsmoke   V3 6A     Boulder, 80'   Gunsmoke Area : Gunsmoke Wall
Right On   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13     Trad, 4 pitches, 350'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
SW Corner   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Ryan Campground : Headstone Rock
Mental Physics   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   West Wonderland Valley : Lenticular Dome
Double Cross   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 95'   The Old Woman : The Old Woman - West Face
Sail Away   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Real Hidden Valley : Hidden Tower
Dappled Mare   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 4 pitches, 300'   Lost Horse Wall : Lost Horse Wall - Right Sid...
Walk on the Wild Side   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Pope's Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Echo Rock : Echo Rock - South Face
Touch and Go   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Echo Rock Area : Touch and Go Face
Bird of Fire   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Split Rocks : Isles in the Sky
Illusion Dweller   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   The Sentinel : The Sentinel - West Face
Figures on a Landscape (aka Monkey on My Back)   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   North Astro Dome : North Astro Dome - Northeas...
O'Kelley's Crack   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Echo Rock Area : Rusty Wall
Rubicon   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Split Rocks : Rubicon Formation
Clean and Jerk   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Sports Challenge Rock : Sports Challenge Rock - Eas...
Coarse and Buggy   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Roadside Rocks : Dihedral Rock
Leave it to Beaver (aka The Beaver)   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Sports Challenge Rock : Sports Challenge Rock - Eas...
Equinox   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Jerry's Quarry and Lost Pen... : Jerry's Quarry
Browse More Classics in Joshua Tree National Park

Featured Route For Joshua Tree National Park
Looking right at The Living Conjunction

The Living Conjunction 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a  CA : Joshua Tree National Park : ... : Roof Rock
Once described as sporting the "single finest move in Josh", this gem of a route gets little play. It has a few things going against it: It is not on the best rock. It is a bit of a circus trying to get the thing set up so you can try it and live to tell about it.It has defeated some of the mightiest climbers of the day.It is particularly good at draining blood from its suitors.But... it is hard. It is funky, and it is a big roof. What more do you need?...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Joshua Tree National Park Slideshow Add Photo
A true fixture in the Park. earthworksimagery.com
A true fixture in the Park. earthworksimagery.com
The rarely deserted Indian Cove Campground.
The rarely deserted Indian Cove Campground.
Night Sky. Photo by Blitzo.
Night Sky. Photo by Blitzo.
Saddle Rocks at sunset. Photo by Blitzo.
Saddle Rocks at sunset. Photo by Blitzo.
This is my favorite reason to be in Jtree.
This is my favorite reason to be in Jtree.
I beg to differ.
I beg to differ.
A hopping roadrunner. Photo by Blitzo.
A hopping roadrunner. Photo by Blitzo.
Bird and Brodie launching the Space Pod. Photo: Er...
Bird and Brodie launching the Space Pod. Photo: Er...
Bob Cat. Photo by Blitzo.
Bob Cat. Photo by Blitzo.
One of my bros...  Barker Dam area
One of my bros... Barker Dam area
Headstone Rock
Headstone Rock
Joshua Tree sunset. Photo by Blitzo.
Joshua Tree sunset. Photo by Blitzo.
The first sunset of 2010, Joshua Tree NP
The first sunset of 2010, Joshua Tree NP
whitetank campground jt ca
whitetank campground jt ca
Desert Lily at sunset. Photo by Blitzo.
Desert Lily at sunset. Photo by Blitzo.
Quite the sunset
Quite the sunset
One of the many cool things about this park...  Ma...
One of the many cool things about this park... Ma...
Below Loose Lady (10a).
Below Loose Lady (10a).
Joshua Tree, the early days-1974
Joshua Tree, the early days-1974
scrap metal welded together, including rebar rope
scrap metal welded together, including rebar rope
Hummingbird and Ocotillo, Joshua Tree NP
Hummingbird and Ocotillo, Joshua Tree NP
Horny Toad. Photo by Blitzo.
Horny Toad. Photo by Blitzo.
Datura blossom
Datura blossom

Show All 189 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Joshua Tree National Park Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 8, 2015
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Oct 13, 2008
Average temps

By Brad "Stonyman" Killough
From: Alabama
Dec 5, 2008
Such an awesome place!!! Great pictures...!
By C Miller
Nov 4, 2009
A recent article on obscure Joshua Tree routes - climbing.com/travel/jtree_gems....
By C Miller
Dec 21, 2009
Top 5 climbs in Joshua Tree?
By J.J
Dec 31, 2009
Just to let everyone know, there is a CHP station a few miles from the entrance to the West Entrance, and they're tricky ones those CHP officers!
By Adam Stackhouse
Jan 3, 2010
Michael Reardon ripping up Josh, solo style...

By Chris Leitz
Nov 23, 2013
I was just in Jtree with my family, wife and two boys, 5 and 6 who love to climb and we wanted to get on some easier routes for them. Is it common practice here to have top ropes hanging on every climb at a crag and not let anyone else climb? I have climbed extensively throughout the west (colorado, utah, california), and even at places like potash road in Maob I have never ever seen this type of behavior. I had to listen to my sons asking "daddy, are we going to climb? why are those people not letting us climb?" This is a disgraceful practice, and next time I am just going to start pulling ropes! These routes sat there while groups had lunch with no one climbing them!!!! and we were told we could not climb. I did not want to make a scene in front of my kids and this happened at 3 crags! as I said, next time, I am just going to pull ropes, if you don't have anyone in your group that can lead a 5.5/5.6 then too bad. I guess I am just venting, would be interested in others feedback on this.
By toddgordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
Nov 24, 2013
Chris L. Sorry that this situation happened to you. I live in Joshua Tree and I rarely see this happen. You would not be out of line at all to ask these groups to share the crags or their ropes or whatever. Most people I meet go out of their way to share and accomodate. Next time, politely voice your concerns and see what happens;...it's worth a try anyways..
By David Carrera
Nov 24, 2013
Chris, that sucks. I say pull the ropes.
Was it guides or some meet-up group?
Also, so I know what areas to avoid, what were the 3 areas?
Nov 25, 2013
What? Seriously? I'm in the car right now headed to Jtree from Vegas. If I see anyone doing that crap, ropes will be pulled and defacated upon. My first time back in the park in over 15 years. I hope erosion hasn't made too many of the classics harder since then. :-)
By burlap submariner
Dec 14, 2013
How is josh in april? was looking to spend a week there towards the end of the month.

Essentially looking for the following.

-how cold is it?

-If quite cold are there certain aspects that face the sun for tolerable climbing conditons....and if so is it worth coming for 7 days to do so....

By C Miller
Dec 16, 2013
Average temperatures
Average temperatures

Note that the elevation for the given temperatures is slightly under 2000 feet while Hidden Valley Campground is over 4000 feet which will mean slightly cooler temperatures.

There are scads of fun and enjoyable routes facing every direction of the compass, even south for when it's cold, so head out and climb for as long as your fingertips can take it!
By Brad Alexander
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Dec 17, 2013
By Casey Andrews
From: Dana Point, CA
Nov 12, 2014
I'm trying to find some climbing partners to climb Josh over the next couple weeks preferably during week days. I will be around until December and climb mostly trad. If anyone out there needs a partner, I would love to tick off as many classics as possible in the 5.7-5.10 range. Feel free to email me at caandrews@csumb.edu. Happy Climbing!!
Jan 3, 2015
Is the Pit still an option for camping?
By LLubchenco
From: GWS, CO
Feb 8, 2015
I would also love to know if the pit is an option. Guessing by the dates on the website that it's not but figured it was worth seconding the last question just in case. Thanks
By Russ Walling
From: www.FishProducts.com
Feb 8, 2015
Pit is open. Don't bring a circus.
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Feb 8, 2015
I'll expand on Russ comment...

The Pit is open but park low down in the ditch (left as you pull in), not to the right as vehicles are seen from the road/neighbors. Even if it's busy and you pull in late, park down out of sight or you likely (and should be) rousted & schooled in the morning by Pit Residents.

Pack your trash out. Just like your mother should have taught you, leave a place in better condition in which you found it.

Hold your solid-waste business for town or the Park potties.

If one of the pit watchers asks you to do something, listen - don't argue.

Read this: climbersranch.com/#ranch_rules

Feeling generous, like you should be doing something for your community in exchange for this cushy bivy without the $15 per night fee? Buy some Wag or ReStop bags, use them or donate some to others.

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