A bizarre and beautiful landscape seeped with climbing history makes Joshua Tree a fabulous winter destination, particularly if you trad climb as well as boulder. While the problems are not very concentrated they tend to be of very high quality. Be forewarned that the grades are stiff and highballs abound. Classic problems include Gunsmoke, White Rastafarian, Stem Gem and A Streetcar Named Desire. Don’t miss the Hobbit Hole Offwidth, probably the hardest V0- you will ever climb.
The bouldering in Joshua Tree is located in the National Park and a $15 per week or $30 per year entrance fee is required. Desert soils are particularly sensitive, so stay on established climber trails. Dogs must be kept on a leash and never more than 100’ from a road, picnic area or campground.
While conditions in the fall and spring are tolerable, it can get pretty hot. Bouldering conditions are best in the winter.
There are 9 campgrounds in the park. The most popular climber campground is Hidden Valley; rates are $10 per night and stays are limited to 14 days. There is no water available in the park so bring large jugs and guard them from the ground squirrels. Jugs can be filled at any park entrance station. Firewood gathering is not permitted in the park and must be purchased in town. Pay showers ($3/7min) and WiFi are available at Coyote Corner in the town of Joshua Tree. If camping is not your thing, there are motels in both Twenty-nine Palms and Yucca.
Depending on where you’re staying in the park, the nearest full grocery stores are in either Yucca or Twentynine Palms. The nearest restaurants can be found in Joshua Tree. Crossroads Café and Royal Siam (Thai) are particularly good.
The rock formations are quartz monzonite and formed 100 million years ago from the cooling of magma beneath the surface. The rock is crystaline and a bit hard on the tips.
The park is also a great place to go hiking and exploring. Keep and eye out for native pictographs.
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