Giant Rock. Photo by Blitzo.
Located near Landers California, Giant Rock has always been a place of interest. It is thought to be the world's largest freestanding boulder. Approximately seventy feet high and covering 5,800 feet of ground, it dwarfs the famous Peabody Boulders of the Buttermilks.
Giant Rock itself has several old bolt ladders. Lots of bouldering can be found and good bolted routes exist at a nearby area known as The DMZ.
Known as a sacred area to the Native Americans. Native people would journey across the Southwest deserts of America and gather, hundreds of years before the early settlers. They would celebrate the coming seasons and shaman would bring strength from the earth, for the tribes.
Historically, people have been drawn here for spiritual energy. A vortex has drawn scientists, UFO enthusiasts and other cosmic schmosics from around the world.
Do you feel the vortex? I sure don't, but with a few hits of acid, several beers and bong loads, I might!
Charlie Reche homesteaded in what's now Landers and was privileged to meet the local Indian Tribes. The Van Tassel Integratron now sits on a portion of this homestead.
In the early 1930s Frank Critzer, a German prospector staked claim in the Giant Rock area. He built a one-room subterranean home and storage room under the rock. He excavated a 400 square foot cavern beneath the rock and lived in it. He also constructed an airstrip. Local folks avoided him thinking he was nuts. During WWII, Critzer was suspected of being a Nazi spy and was killed in a law enforcement raid in 1942.
George Van Tassel had an interest in airplanes. He quit school and became a pilot, soon earning a name for himself as a flight test engineer. He worked for Lockeed and Douglas Aircraft in the 1930s. He also flew with Howard Hughes in WWII. He met Critzer in Santa Monica and was invited to visit the Giant Rock dwelling.
Van Tassel took his family on vacation to Giant Rock and later leased the land from the BLM. In 1947 he and his family moved to the area. He reopened the airstrip and built a cafe. Howard Hughes would fly there just for a slice of pie.
The Van Tassels held 17 UFO conventions. In 1959, 11,000 people visited these conventions. Van Tassel led weekly meditations in the excavated room under Giant Rock from the 1950s to the 1970s. He claimed this led to UFO contacts. His dream was the Integratron, a 35 foot high, 55 foot diameter, non-metallic structure used as a rejuvenation and time machine. Construction started in 1957, but was not complete in 1978, at the time of Van Tassels Death.
Today, Giant Rock is a place, popular with ATVers and dirt bikers. Graffiti is everywhere.
The excavated dwelling has been filled in and all that remains of the restaurant is a concrete slab.
Giant rock can be reached from Yucca Valley. Take Hwy. 247 north, to Reche Road in Landers. Turn right and follow Reche Road to Belflower Rd. Turn left on Belflower and follow it to the Integratron. Turn right on a dirt road then a left on a graded dirt road. Follow this for a couple miles until reaching a rocky hillside. Continue past this until Giant Rock comes into View.
Climbing Season For the High Desert area.
Weather station 12.0 miles from here
8 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Giant Rock
Penny Lane 5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c California
: High Desert
: ... : Spartan's Head
This route was named after my niece who was born November 21, 2016. She was being delivered as I was working this project. Just a few days later, November 26, 2016 it was done free by Isamer Bilog. This is a very bouldery style climb. Powerful moves off the deck. Lead to a cruxy, flaring crack. Several moves later you are over the business and bust up to the slabbed out finish....[more] Browse More Classics in California
Jul 12, 2015
Has anyone soloed this?