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The Red Obelisk

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Red Obelisk (aka Boogers on a Lampshade), The T 
Red Obelisk Arete S 

The Red Obelisk Rock Climbing 

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Location: 34.04385, -116.14306 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Craig Clarence on Mar 12, 2003
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Mike standing on the chickenhead contemplating the...


This free-standing pinnacle currently has 3 bolted face routes. Maybe 25 feet tall, the rock's west face has a distinctive reddish patina which gives the formation its name.

The obelisk is steep on all sides and overhanging on its north side, where it is very undercut and rotten. Definitely a candidate for most likely to topple in the next earthquake!

The easiest way up is via the 5.10b route The Red Obelisk (AKA "Boogers on a Lampshade" in the Bartlett guide). Two new routes have recently been put up on this rock: a 3-bolt route ascending the arete to the left of Boogers, and a traversing 5 bolt route on the south face to the right of Boogers.

We thought the new arete route was 5.11+, maybe harder. The new route on the south face involved so much loose grain that we didn't finish it. The Boogers route is very fun and worth doing, however.

Rap chains on top get you off.

Getting There 

The trailhead for this rock is the dirt parking lot for Uncle Willie's Health Food Store. There are really good maps in the Vogel guide p. 281 and 296, which will get you right to the rock. Following is a rough description of the approach:

Drive past the turnoff to Barker Dam and take the next left on the dirt road. Park at the lot at the end of this road, and start walking up an old dirt road which has a wire blocking vehicle access. A few hundred feet up this road there is an obvious trail to the left - take this trail. After this turn you walk up a wash, passing Uncle Willie's (a ruined brick building), and continue almost directly north for about a mile. You will pass many climbs on either side of the wash, and the Astro Domes will soon become obvious to your left.

After you pass the Freak Brothers Dome (very obvious - long dome with 3 obvious rounded aretes facing west) you turn right into another big wash and head straight east. The Red Dihedral will soon come into view. The walk takes about 45 minutes from the car.

Climbing Season

Weather station 7.9 miles from here

2 Total Climbing Routes

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

Featured Route For The Red Obelisk
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike standing on the chickenhead contemplating the...

The Red Obelisk (aka Boogers on a Lampshade) 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b  California : Joshua Tree National Park : ... : The Red Obelisk
This route climbs the right side of the west face of the Obelisk (it's the dashed line in the picture). A nice fat bolt has taken the place of a nest of knifeblades which once protected the crux. The start is a bit bouldery, with an unprotected mantel onto a sloping ledge, but it's not too hard.The route ends with typical grainy Josh slab, and I was happy I took the time to sling the chickenhead above the 2nd bolt.Short route, fun moves - definitely worth doing....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of The Red Obelisk Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Red Obelisk, Joshua Tree NP
The Red Obelisk, Joshua Tree NP
Rock Climbing Photo: The Red Obelisk and Pea Brain, Joshua Tree NP
The Red Obelisk and Pea Brain, Joshua Tree NP
Rock Climbing Photo: The Red Obelisk
BETA PHOTO: The Red Obelisk

Comments on The Red Obelisk Add Comment
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By C Miller
From: CA
Jan 20, 2010
The lengthy discussion regarding The Red Obelisk has been moved to forum.

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