Type: Trad, 80 ft
FA: John Long, Richard Harrison and Ging Gingrich, February 1973 FFA: John Bachar, 1979
Page Views: 10,501 total · 51/month
Shared By: C Miller on Jul 17, 2002
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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There are two starts to the climb - 1) climb the seam directly with no protection, or 2) climb past a bolt just right of the seam. Either way thin and delicate slab moves gain a stance where you can get some gear in. From here lieback and jam up a thin crack (crux) to a horizontal, after which the crack widens and enjoyable jamming past a steep bulge leads to the top. Descend by walking down the south shoulder (climber's right).

A true Josh classic with varied, interesting moves up a clean face.


Hot Rocks is the masterpiece of this wall and climbs a line just right of center identified as a seam that higher widens and forms a crack. Just left of this route is the thin and technical Stand and Deliver (aka Spanish Bombs) while further left is the widening crack of Looney Tunes.


1 bolt (1/2"), gear to 3"
Bart Fay
Redlands, California
Bart Fay   Redlands, California
Bold, delicate, burley, clean.Also part of Vogel's solo circuit, this really is a nice line. With so many routes at JTree, I'm not sure that any are 'Easily' in the Top Ten. Aug 8, 2002
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
The route seems to be on the easier side of 5.11, not the harder side, the crux being a switching sides layback or a thin fingerlock on a bad foothold (2 hard moves total). I TR'd it though, so maybe the ease of that brought the route down. As for soloing it, it seemed to me that the move was more 'low percentage' than it was hard, and the trick was simply not to slip off on the bad foot. Which is to say... I wouldn't solo it. Of course, I'm not a local and J-tree friction is not automatically programmed for me. Really fun route! Once the crux is over, the climb goes to a well-protected 5.10a that is still super-fun. Jan 7, 2004
Josh Beck
Josh Beck  
If you're taller the crux is certainly easier. I don't know off the top of my head how tall Randy or John are. On a gear note, it's easy to put gear where you need to put your feet on this route.

One of the best routes I've done in the park, ranks w/ O'Kelley Crack, Left Ski Track, Illusion Dweller, Clean and Jerk and the like for me. Jan 8, 2004
armand rollice
rancho cucamonga
armand rollice   rancho cucamonga
Hotrocks is such a beautiful line and one of the best that I have done in Joshua Tree. The crux move after the bolt was very hard, I took several falls on a #4 TCu (Metolius). After pulling the crux at the bottom the climb was still a challenge. What a memorable day it was. Thank you Jeff for the belay and catching me when I fell. Thank you Sean for taking photos and Lee for the spot at the start! And you guys that solo this route, hats off to you! Armando Apr 7, 2008
Incredible route. Some care is required on this one to ensure that you have gear at the crux. On my first lead I recall missing some placements that would have made it much safer. Nov 9, 2008
Nate R
Boulder, CO
Nate R   Boulder, CO
Not runout at all. You can sew it up every 5 feet with totally bomber gear. Nov 12, 2008
John Long
Venice, CA
John Long   Venice, CA
We first did this route on aid to learn how to place copperheads. A few years later, Bachar and I did the first free ascent on a TR, and despite it being quite grainy at the time, the moves were so suave we lapped it several times. Later that day, Bachar went over and soloed it. It's just the one body length down low but at that time climbing this cordless was a revolution. Jul 21, 2011
...and still is, I would say, a bold statement! Dec 21, 2012
Broomfield, CO
pkeds   Broomfield, CO
  • *Gear betas**
grey DMM offset nut just below the crux is super easy to place and super bomber. Dec 23, 2014
Vancouver, BC
npaolini   Vancouver, BC
Tricky gear in the finger crack, not a "plug in and gun for the hand jams" kind of scenario. I spent a bit of time fiddling before I found pro I was comfortable with. Jan 30, 2018