It is safe to say that every climber who has set foot in the pristine wilderness of Queen Mtn. would agree that the area comprising Walt's Rocks features some of the very best crack, face, and mixed pro climbs in Joshua Tree. With more than 20 multi-star routes to choose from at Walt's Rocks alone, Queen Mtn. beckons the adventurous climber for multiple encounters.
An excellent description to access the parking area near the southern portion of Queen Mtn. is given in Randy's guide book. From the parking lot, follow the dirt road toward the large mountainous area. Where the dirt road ends, a trail veers in an easterly direction to a steep north / south running gully. Follow the trail up the gully until a plateau is reached. The Pearls are visible to the north and Cirque of the Climbables are east and below the plateau. Veer northwest until you reach a crest where Walt's Rocks will be visible on a ridge to the north. Follow a well marked trail with cairns over rocky terrain to a large east to west running drainage. Upper Walt's Rocks are on the eastern end of the area and Lower Walt's Rocks are located towards the west end. Allow 45 minutes to an hour from the car.
White Rain is a fantastic mixed pro climb; one of the few to get 5 stars in Randy's guide book. The route begins on a large boulder uphill from Mojave Queen (5.11a). It is prudent to stick clip the first bolt before stepping onto the steep face. Sustained face climbing past six bolts on fine patina brings the climber to cruxy moves that gain the short finger/hand crack. A few challenging moves in the crack lead to the top....[more]Browse More Classics in CA
Realistically, allow about 1.5 hours to reach the crag. If you have been here before, have the approach dialed and are fit, you could certainly do it faster. It is about 2.1 miles from the car to the base of Walt's Rocks over sometimes rough terrain.
If you get off route, you could easily take longer.
Somehow we managed to nail the correct trail first go, but even so, it still took us 1:45 minutes to get to Lower Walts. A couple things to watch for on your way in:
1) The approach gully is pretty obvious from the road you walk in on. When you near the top of the gully and right before you actually crest the top of the ridge, there will be two large cairns sitting ~7ft apart from each other. Take a SHARP left here even though the trail is not very obvious. If you were to continue going straight, you may be suckered by other cairns and views of large chunks of rock to the northeast. I have no idea what they are, but they are the wrong direction. Once you have made the sharp left, continue towards a small hill (which you will skirt on the left), picking up a good trail with cairns that crest a second ridge. From this ridge you can easily see Walts. 2) After the second ridge crest, on the way into the valley in front of Walts, be sure to stay on the well-traveled, well-cairned trail that dips into the valley and back up to Walts. We tried not to lose elevation in the valley by heading right along the hillside, following the occasional faint trail or cairn but the extra bushwacking time was not worth it. 3) The climbs here are worth the hike!
In hindsight, Dan's point #1 above is extremely important (and well explained). If you miss this turn, you will happily continue on a well-traveled, frequently cairned trail that takes you out of your way. Miramontes has a good picture in his bouldering book (probably in his roped climb book too).
Took us 3 hours going in "the long way" with bonus scrambling, and less than 2 hours at a leisurely pace in the dark on the way out.