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Isles in the Sky

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Agoraphobia T 
Bee Gees T 
Bee's Knees, The S 
Bird of Fire T 
Celebrated Beast T 
Dead Bees S 
Dolphin T 
Don's Crack T 
Metabolic Frolic T 
Naked and Afraid S 
Nectar T 
Pinky and the Brain S 
Raven, The S 
Rites of Spring T 
Route 1202 T 
Safety Dance TR 
Save the Last Stance for Me T 
Slam Dance T 
Solar Oven T 
Wedlock T 
White Mamba S 
Wings of Steel TR 
Young Guns T 
Unsorted Routes:

Isles in the Sky Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 4,200'
Location: 34.0045, -116.0584 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 24,151
Administrators: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: M. Morley on Jun 19, 2002
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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John Dubrawski on Bird of Fire. Photo: David Gasto...


Isles In The Sky is the foreboding-looking formation southwest of the Split Rocks parking area. The slightly overhanging Bird Of Fire (5.10a) is the prime line here.

Northeast exposure makes this a good choice for late afternoon climbing on hot days.

Getting There 

From the Split Rocks parking area, hike SW along trail for approximately 3/4 mile. The Isles in the Sky formation is the largest of the formations and lies west of Rubicon. Some 3rd/4th class scrambling is involved in getting to the large ledge at the base of the routes.

Climbing Season

Weather station 8.9 miles from here

23 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',9],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Isles in the Sky

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Isles in the Sky:
Nectar   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
Dolphin   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
Rites of Spring   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Bird of Fire   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Naked and Afraid   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Wedlock   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Young Guns   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Isles in the Sky

Featured Route For Isles in the Sky
Rock Climbing Photo: At the jug. Photo: Simon Hatfield

Bird of Fire 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  California : Joshua Tree National Park : ... : Isles in the Sky
Climb the stellar finger-small hands crack to the slightly bulging finish. Nice ledge just below the final 8 feet or so to rest on and get psyched out. You can see the big chalk mark from the ground. Throw in some good pro here and fire it up.There is a 2 bolt anchor/rap (3/8") located just right of the top of this climb. Rap back to base w/one rope (70')....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Isles in the Sky Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt, chillen, somewhere near the Isle.
Matt, chillen, somewhere near the Isle.
Rock Climbing Photo: Isle in the sky
Isle in the sky
Rock Climbing Photo: Isles In The Sky. Photo by Blitzo.
BETA PHOTO: Isles In The Sky. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Isles In The Sky formation
BETA PHOTO: The Isles In The Sky formation

Comments on Isles in the Sky Add Comment
Show which comments
By Mike Hack
Feb 24, 2005
Anyone know anything about the routes in the corridor behind Bird of Fire? Crack #n (n=1-whatever)? Some of them get a few stars in Randy's guide . . . anyone climbed any of them?
By C Miller
From: CA
Feb 24, 2005
Some of those routes in the corridor are good, even if they are a little gritty.
By Craig Randleman
From: Phoenix, AZ
Mar 25, 2008
A secure webbing rap station has been added to avoid downclimbing the 4th class from the ledge. Head climber's right about 50 yards of Bird Of Fire. A 60m cord drops you right at the base of the trail.
By Simon Hatfield
From: Oakland, CA
Mar 29, 2011
That webbing is now gone as of March 2011. A good way to get down with an inexperienced party is to set up a rappel 30 yards climber's LEFT of Bird of Fire off of a few cams in a handcrack behind a boulder. Let everyone but the strongest climber rap with the packs, toss the rope, and downclimb the 4th - easy 5th handcrack in the corner.

Make sure to tape up and get on Crack #5 (shaped like a Y), the rock is coarse, but excellent.
By mark felber
From: Wheat Ridge, CO
Apr 8, 2011
We couldn't find a rap off the Bird of Fire ledge, so we continued on the approach to Isles Corridor, went through the Corridor and out the other side and down to the trail. Very adventurous boulder hopping and tuneling.
By nathanael
From: Riverside, CA
Feb 22, 2016
The climbs in the corridor are not to be missed while you're up there, fun, steep splitters. As of Feb 2016 there is new looking rap anchor near the base of Bird of Fire to get you back down the 4th class approach. Also a number of bolted anchors on top of the formation.

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