Joshua Tree National Park

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This truly world class climbing destination is an absolute must visit for anyone and everyone, especially climbing enthusiasts.

Written by

Taylor Reilly


0.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

113.3 miles


4 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

1 days

1-7 Days


Spring, Fall, and Winter

Dog Friendly


Must be on leash at all times and can never be more than 100 feet from a road, picnic area, or campground. They are never allowed to be unattended, not even in a vehicle.

Fees Permits


$15 7-day Vehicle Admission

Topographical Map

Joshua Tree National Park Map



Joshua Tree National Park, located in the Mojave Desert, is over 2.5 hours away from LA, so it's not exactly in the Los Angeles area, but plenty of people from the city still unsurprisingly make the trip on a regular basis. Not only is this National Park a world-class climbing destination, featuring hard granite and lots of routes, but it's also a really great place to spend a weekend backpacking and camping. 

What Makes It Great

There are several campgrounds spread throughout the park. "Hidden Valley" campground is perhaps the most popular for climbers, as it's surrounded by plenty of routes only steps away from your tent. Backcountry camping is allowed, but permits must be attained at the Park's Headquarters. Be aware that summer months can often be unbearably hot, so maybe consider a fall, spring, or winter camping trip. 

Now let's get to the good stuff... the climbing opportunities at Joshua Tree! There are literally thousands of routes, which make this destination a central hub for climbers from all over the world. The rock here features slabs, faces, cracks, and mixed climbing routes of all shapes and sizes. There are endless amounts of traditional style climbing opportunities. The sport routes are generally classically bolted, which means there are a minimum amount of bolts for protection of the rock, but this is one of the special characteristics of J-Tree.

And the bouldering options go on forever, and it's quite feasible that you could spend multiple lifetimes trying to attempt them all. There are some 2 to 3 pitch routes, but most fall around the 1 pitch spectrum. One thing to keep in mind is that Joshua Tree is known for being under-graded for travelers from afar, primarily due to the classic style routes and hard-to-climb granite. 

Top Ten Routes

1) SW Corner 5.6 (Sheep Pass Area: Ryan Campground: Headstone Rock) Trad-1 pitch

2) Double Cross 5.7 (Hidden Valley Campground: The Old Woman: West Face) Trad-1 pitch

3) Walk on the Wild Side 5.8 (Sheep Pass Area: Saddle Rocks-Skirt) Trad-3 pitches

4) Dappled Mare 5.8 (Lost Horse Area: Freeway Wall-Upper Wall) Trad-4 pitches

5) Canadian Driftwood 5.9 (Indian Cove: Rattlesnake Canyon: Upper Dodge City) Trad-2 pitches

6) Carlos Danger 5.9 (Stirrup Tank: Stirrup Rock-South Face) Sport-1 pitch

7) Spiderman 5.10a (Jumbo Rocks Area: Conan’s Corridor) Trad-1 pitch

8) Black President 5.11a (Wonderland of Rocks: Elephant Arches) Trad- 1 pitch

9) Black and Blue 5.11c (Wonderland of Rocks: Afro Blues Wall-North Face) Sport- 1 pitch

10) The Little Big Horn 5.12a (Indian Cove: Rattlesnake Canyon: Indian Country) Trad- 1 pitch

Who is Going to Love It

This National Park is a climber's dream come true, and will remain Southern California's most classic climbing area for years to come.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

There are 3 entrances to the park:

The West Entrance: 5 miles south of the junction of Hwy 62 and Park Boulevard.

The North Entrance: 3 miles south of the junction of Hwy 62 and Utah Trail (in Twentynine Palms).

The South Entrance: There is an entry point near Cottonwood Spring along the 10 (25 miles east of Indio).

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Joshua Tree National Park

74485 National Park Dr
Twenty Nine Palms, CA, 92277
34.093545, -116.26556

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