Playhouse Rock sits near and to the south of Hemingway Buttress. It faces east and is one of the more popular formations in the park with numerous routes of varying difficulty on the east side. There are at least two sets of rappel anchors on top and down climbing is easy off the southeast end. It's an excellent formation for working with novice climbers: A 5.4, a couple of sixes and numerous sevens; good quality rock; most routes are easily protected and all the routes are one pitch. Further, there are excellent eights and nines. A couple of the nines, I believe, are underrated by a point.
Playhouse sits a short distance to the south of Hemingway Buttress. You can now park at the lot used for Hemingway or the pullout a few yards further up the road. The approach is no more than ten minutes.
14 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',9],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Playhouse Rock:
Featured Route For Playhouse Rock
Beck's Bear 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b CA
: Joshua Tree National Park
: ... : Playhouse Rock
Shade in late summer afternoons. Page 132 in Randys guide as are all of Playhouse routes. Easy approach from parking lot right after Lost Horse turn off if going toward Hidden Valley from Jtree. The climb has some pretty good moves in the crux area that make it worth a shot. Many other easy to moderate climbs in the area. Great for beginning leaders or if you simply want to do some easier climbing with a relatively short approach....[more] Browse More Classics in CA
News and Events For Playhouse Rock
Latest Regional Forum Messages
Photo by Blitzo.
BETA PHOTO: Playhouse Rock formation
Looking South from the top of Playhouse Rock.
Looking Southeast from the top of Beck's Bear/Lead...
|Comments on Playhouse Rock
|By jt kalnay|
Mar 18, 2003
I agree whole-heartedly with the initial description of Playhouse Rock as a good place for beginners. I had a very enjoyable guided trip to Playhouse Rock as a beginner (thanks Mark Joliff "speedy Mark"), and then a couple of fun, self-guided, trips. Next time to JTree, I'll take photos of various routes and get them into the system.
Aug 22, 2004
Is it true there are no climbs harder than 5.9 on Playhouse rock? ..... We think we found one today !!!!
|By C Miller|
Aug 27, 2004
Not true, Hi Desert Playhouse (5.10d) is found on Playhouse Rock.
From: Westminster, CO
Mar 6, 2005
the anchors on top no more! The anchors that I think were placed by a local Climbing School for convienence no longer exist. They have been removed and patched decently at least.
From: Rancho Mirage, CA
Mar 7, 2005
It probably took as much time to rap off the former anchors as it takes to do the simple down-climb.
I also noticed that the chopper did a good job of patching.
|By Chris D|
From: the couch
Mar 22, 2010
This formation has an easy, fun downclimb, and a pair of quick-links you can rap off of at the top of The Irritators.
Don't rap directly on the bolt hangers at the top of Psycho Groove. We saw no fewer than three groups use these standard bolt hangers as rap rings today. Have to assume they were sport climbers who haven't ever seen an anchor setup not designed for rappelling. Bad form
From: West Jordan
Mar 22, 2010
Playhouse Rock is great! We were headed for Dairy Queen but could see climbers waiting in line for every route we wanted to try so we kept walking to Playhouse. The grading on everything was in such a great range we were able to skip the guide book all together and just pick out cracks and routes of our own and climb anywhere we wanted. We ended up climbing more than any other day that week. Everything felt to be in the 5.7 - 5.9 range but who knows what they were. It didn't hurt that we had the whole thing to ourselves all day. A bunch of 5-fun routes to me was better than sitting on my butt watching others climb.