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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: 19,356
Administrators: C Miller, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Randy on Mar 9, 2003


67° | 51°

70° | 54°

71° | 53°

74° | 56°

77° | 58°
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Jeff Gicklhorn leading Satanic Mechanic.


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]

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
Sexy Sadye   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Turtle Rock - South 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
Integrity, 5.14a

Integrity 5.14a 8b+ 32 X+ 32 E8 7a  CA : Joshua Tree National Park : ... : Turtle Rock - South Face
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

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. Photo by Blitzo.
The "So High" boulder. Photo by Blitzo.
Turtle Rock
BETA PHOTO: Turtle Rock
Turtle Rock. 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. 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.
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