Joshua Tree welcomes climbers, boulderers and highliners from around the world. This high desert monzogranite climbing mecca is famous for its traditional-style crack, slab, and steep face climbing. Joshua Tree offers challenges for all ability levels with more than 8,000 climbing routes, 2,000 boulder problems, and hundreds of natural gaps to choose from. It is truly a world-class climbing destination.
If you are learning to climb or are looking to expand your climbing skills, a guided day or class could be of interest to you. When hiring a climbing guide, make sure that they are permitted to work in Joshua Tree National Park. Before getting a permit each guide is required to have the highest levels of rock guiding certifications through the PCGI, AMGA, or similar organizations. They are also required to be certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR; and they must carry insurance. These requirements protect both the guide and the climber making your day safer.
You may wish to purchase a climbing guide or hiking map if you are unfamiliar with the park. They are available at park visitor centers and at outdoor shops in the surrounding communities.
Fifty years ago, the impact of rock climbers at Joshua Tree was minimal, but today the park hosts hundreds of climbers and boulderers on a busy weekend. Learning about and practicing Leave No Trace principles is an important way all visitors can help protect this fragile desert environment, lest it cease to be a viable habitat for plants and animals, a valuable research area for scientists, and a welcoming place for climbers to enjoy.
The National Park Service does not inspect, maintain, or repair bolts and other climbing equipment anywhere in the park. The placement, replacement, and removal of fixed anchors requires a permit in all circumstances. The park retains the right to remove bolts in prohibited zones without further notice. The park is actively working on a Climbing Management Plan that could impact bolting regulations. Please contact Bernadette Regan, Joshua Tree National Park Climbing Ranger, if you have questions about fixed anchor permits.
Last updated: December 10, 2022