We all have to start somewhere. Even the best rock climbers in the world started out not knowing where to begin. While most managed to learn the in and outs of the sport through experience, a Joshua Tree first time climber will benefit from having a brief guide on where to start.
Joshua Tree First Time Climber Guide to Getting There
Before you start taking your first actual Joshua Tree rock climbing experience, you need to get there first. And for many novices, the journey usually ends here unless they have someone knowledgeable leading the way.
Getting there is actually rather simple (though not necessarily fast), the directions are:
- 140 miles east of Los Angeles, 175 milesn northeast of San Diego, 215 miles, southwest of Las Vegas
- People coming from LA or the western side of the Joshua Tree National Park can go via Interstate 10, which brings you to the park near Indio
- From points east, you can enter through the roads intersecting highway 62 (or what is more commonly known as Twentynine Palms Highway)
- The park has three entrances: the west entrance, which comes in through the village of Joshua Tree, the north entrance at Twentynine Palms, and the south entrance at Cottonwood Spring
When You Get There: Finding a Site
There’s always be a point to be made about cost-efficiency, but don’t expect to have an enjoyable experience as a Joshua Tree first time climber without spending a single dime. Finding a site to camp on will cost – the camping and even the park access itself will involve fees.
Once you got that out of the way, you will be glad to know that the park has numerous campgrounds all situated within the park boundaries. The most favoured one among climbers is the Hidden Valley Campground. Try this site if you are a first time climber, mainly because it is only walking distance away from many classic routes.
If you are scouting for a camp site, pick one that is nestled within the various rock formations. This will give you some privacy and protection from the wind. If you are going in solo, you can find other solo campers that would be happy to team up. But it is perhaps safest (and most productive) to hire a climbing guide. Uprising Adventure Guides has plenty of expert, fun-loving climbing instructors who will be glad to accompany you. Check them out by clicking here.
Gear and Food
Ideally, you should already have your gear when you visit the park. But if you forgot something (or basically need a full set), there are climbing stores all over the park including Nomad Ventures, Coyote Corner, and Jtree Outfitters. Don’t be afraid to ask around if you need directions. The staff of these climbing stores are also knowledgeable about the place, and wouldn’t mind answering a few questions or providing advice to a customer.
One thing must be made clear: bring lots of water. Because you won’t find any within the park. The closest sources of water will be at the West Entrance, the Twentynine Palms entrance, and the Indian Cove Ranger Station. This is one thing that you should not neglect. If you are serious about rock climbing, you will want to stay hydrated. A good rule of thumb is to refull any time you pass by the town. It doesn’t matter if your bottles and jugs are not yet empty. Fill them to the brim every chance you get.
Food is in the same situation. You won’t find any food in the park proper, so you have to bring and prepare your own. In a worst case scenario, you can visit other people’s campfires and see if they can spare any. Or you can the trip back to town where you will find grocery stores.
Lastly, the importance of having a guide if you are a Joshua Tree first time climber can’t be stressed enough. Contact Uprising Adventure Guides now and we’ll be happy to pair you up with one of our expert climbing guides.