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.
Kelby Burnham on The Wild Goose.
Visitor Information 760-367-5500
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.
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
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
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..
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. :-)