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Turtle Rock

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Turtle Rock - East Face 
Turtle Rock - South Face 

Turtle Rock  


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Elevation: 4,200'
Location: 34.0104, -116.1666 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 14,739
Administrators: C Miller, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Randy on Mar 9, 2003
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Jeff Gicklhorn leading Satanic Mechanic.

Description 

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.


Getting There 

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.


Climbing Season



Weather station 10.5 miles from here

18 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',5],['5.7',1],['5.8',1],['5.9',2],['5.10',5],['5.11',0],['5.12',2],['5.13',1],['>=5.14',1],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Turtle Rock:
Easy Day   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   Turtle Rock - East Face
Satanic Mechanic   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Turtle Rock - South Face
Desert Shield   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Turtle Rock - South Face
Browse More Classics in Turtle Rock

Featured Route For Turtle Rock
Bolt topo for Desert Shield

Desert Shield 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c  CA : Joshua Tree National Park : ... : Turtle Rock - South Face
This is a powerful, endurance route, with some pretty hard moves. With the exception of a knee bar near the beginning of the route, there are no rests to speak of. The technical crux is near the bottom (this has gotten harder since part of a rail broke a few years back); though just linking all the moves together to the final jug is the real test. This is not a soft 5.13a. It might seem harder if you climb in areas like Red Rocks, but more in line if you climb in places like Rifle. It...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Turtle Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Turtle Rock by low light. Photo by Tony Bubb, 1/04.
Turtle Rock by low light. Photo by Tony Bubb, 1/04...
The "So High" boulder. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
The "So High" boulder. Photo by Blitzo.
Turtle Rock
BETA PHOTO: Turtle Rock
Turtle Rock. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Turtle Rock. Photo by Blitzo.
Mixing it up and having fun on Turtle Rock
Mixing it up and having fun on Turtle Rock
Some random route at Turtle Rock. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Some random route at Turtle Rock. Photo by Blitzo.

Comments on Turtle Rock Add Comment
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By joe-boo-boo
Mar 20, 2007
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.