This very large formation lies south of the large Real Hidden Valley parking lot and immediately adjacent to (south of) the picnic areas. It features routes of the widest possible variance in grade of any formation in the Park (from 5.3 to 5.14a).
The Northeast face is somewhat broken and features a number of popular 1 and 2 pitch easy to moderate climbs. These include Bisk (5.4); Blistering (5.5); Wandering Tortoise (5.3); Easy Day (5.4) and Luminous Breast (5.8).
The South face lies in a sheltered corridor and is generally overhanging, with rock that ranges from good to poor. All routes are hard (5.12 to 5.14) sport routes. Satanic Mechanic (5.12a/b) and Desert Shield (5.13a) are the best known and most sought after routes. Integrity (5.14a) is the hardest route on this wall, involving a long traversing section.
To reach the Northeast and Southeast faces, walk left around the rock (Northeast face) and continue left, scrambling up boulders (Southeast face).
To reach the South face. walk around the far right side of the rock (right of the Pillars of Pain), then turn left at the So High Boulder and then cut slightly left through boulders to reach the corridor along the base of the South face. Routes are encountered in the following order Abandoned Project; Desert Shield; Integrity; Jesus Lives; and Santanic Mechanic.
After using the Desert Shield as a work out, I spent more and more time in the corridor trying to find the next line. But every route I checked out never really worked out, as again the quality of the rock. I had gotten so much flak for reinforcing some holds on Desert Shield with glue, I wanted to prove I could find a climb without the such requirements, after many failed starts, I found a line that started and ended on different feature, but followed the desert varnish the entire way. It reall...[more]Browse More Classics in CA
To get down walk to the climbers left, go down a few "levels" , then turn right and walk around to face the Hidden Valley parking. Once you see a pine look for a black streak. Don't cross the gully, go down the slab towards the prking area.