Climbing Hidden Valley Campground in Joshua Tree National Park

Hey all, I just got back from a pair of trips: a climbing trip to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California; and a long-weekend of ice climbing in Ouray, Colorado.

Words are forthcoming about both ventures, but for now, I just wanted to share some photos my climbing partner Jose took while we were in J-Tree.

I brought all the climbing toys, and Jose brought his photography toys. Let me tell you — it pays to adventure with a professional photographer! It makes a biiiiig difference to have someone who knows what they’re doing along! (and someone who has all the expensive lenses, hehe).

Check out some of his best shots of Hidden Valley Campground, below.

Hidden Valley Campground

Hidden Valley is in the center of Joshua Tree, and it contains a lifetime of climbing. You can walk to all sorts of cool climbs straight from your campsite in Hidden Valley Campground — making it one of the most sought-after Joshua Tree Campsites.

Check out all the rock climbing in Hidden Valley, as well as get a feel for the general vibe of Joshua Tree, below.


This is Joshua Tree: sprawling desert filled with huge boulders, and an endless army of those iconic Joshua Trees.


The rocks aren’t huge (generally single-pitch rock climbs), but the climbers scrambling all over them do help to understand their scale.


The rock in Joshua Tree is SHARP — Jose has captured the texture really well, here.


It rained a lot, but we made due. Good food (carne asada fries 🤤) and a bottle of whisky kept spirits high, even when everything else was damp. 


Although there’s no denying, several consecutive days of rain isn’t fun. We went to the local Starbucks on this day to charge all our devices. Beats sitting in a soggy tent, that’s for sure.


Making the best use of a rainy day with some new friends


Intersection Rock (right formation) is a popular place to watch the sunset. If you look closely, you can see two climbers atop the rock, and one rappelling down the face below them.


Here we are atop Intersection Rock, with two nice Canadian lads. Jose did his first-ever trad lead on the route Upper Right Ski Track (5.3) to get us up there.


The nearly-full moon rising over a Joshua Tree. 

You can follow Jose on Instagram here, at Jos3_619.

Some words about this magical trip, coming next week✌🏽

4 thoughts on “Climbing Hidden Valley Campground in Joshua Tree National Park

  1. One of my most memorable climbing trips was to Joshua Tree for a week over Christmas, it was superb. I hope we can return one day.

    • It’s got a special energy doesn’t it? Good vibes, scary enough, but nothing too committing or serious, if you don’t want it. Plus, you can’t beat that Southern California weather! (Although it seems they do actually get a winter there… who would have known??)

  2. Many fond memories of climbing in JTree and camping at Hidden Valley. Watching the sunset from atop one of the blobs with a few PBR’s before rappelling right down to our campsite fire is not to be missed!

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