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Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag

Joshua Tree National Park

Western Sonoran + Colorado Desert, California

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Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag

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  • A full view of Intersection Rock's north face.- Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag
  • Upper Right Ski Track on Intersection Rock's north face. - Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag
  • Left Ski Track and Upper Right Ski Track on Intersection Rock's north face. - Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag
  • Intersection Rock's north face with the North Overhang at right.- Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag
  • Climber on Intersection Rock's north face. - Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag
  • Intersection Rock's North Overhang.- Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag
  • A cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) on a Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia) at Intersection Rock.- Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag
  • View of Intersection Rock's west face.- Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag
  • Climbers hunkered down at the base of the Upper Right Ski Track.- Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag
  • A climber makes his way up Beginner's Three on Intersection Rock's south face.- Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag
  • Climber rappelling down Huevos on Intersection Rock's north face.- Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag
  • Intersection Rock's south face.- Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag
  • Climbers take in the view atop Intersection Rock's North Overhang.- Intersection Rock - Climbing Crag
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Most iconic crag in Joshua Tree National Park. Various routes ranging 5.3-5.12b
Cons: 
Very heavily used. Intense afternoon heat and sun exposure.
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Region:
Western Sonoran + Colorado Desert, CA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Recommended Equipment:
Harness / rope / anchors, Helmets
Alpine climbing NCCS rating: 
Grade V
Net Elevation Gain: 
150.00 ft (45.72 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
0.00 mi (0.00 km)
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,200.00 ft (1,280.16 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Located in the heart of Joshua Tree National Park, Intersection Rock is a prominent 150-foot tall monzonite monolith that is distinctly recognized as the birthplace of climbing in Joshua Tree.

Joshua Tree was popular among climbers through the 1950s and 1960s, but it was considered a practice area for "better" climbing areas sprinkled through out the U.S. West and in California itself. All changed in 1968, when Tom Higgins, a Yosemite regular, ventured into Joshua Tree and made a first ascent up what is now known as Left Ski Track. The route had far more vertical rise and was more technical than anything that had been summited in Joshua Tree. The first climber's guidebook was published in 1970, co-authored by John Wolfe, member of a group of climbers known as the Desert Rats. According to the National Park Service, this book started a climbing tradition: "Classic lines like Intersection Rock's North Overhang, Upper Ski Track and Left Ski Track were made widely known, and the Joshua Tree climbing boom began."

Today, Joshua Tree National Park is just as synonymous with rock climbing as Yosemite National Park, albeit quite different in nature. It is difficult to deny how mythical Joshua Tree has become among climbers. So, whether you've climbed Intersection Rock for years, or this is your first time visiting the monolith and park itself, it is worth a pause to acknowledge the significance of Intersection Rock. As the National Parks Service says, it "marks an intersection in climbing history."

​Note: Power drilling for bolt placement is strictly prohibited without a permit. Bolts must be 3/8" or 1/2" stainless steel. All hangers and anchors must be colored to match rock.

North Face​

Routes on the north face of Intersection Rock.
  • 1. Kool Aid: 5.10d A4, 150 ft.
  • 2. Ignorant Photons from Pluto: 5.11a, 150 ft.
  • 3. Left Ski Track: 5.11a, 150 ft., 1 bolt
  • 4. Trapeze Left: 5.12b, 150 ft., 6 bolts
  • 5. Trapeze Center: 5.12a, 150 ft., 5 bolts
  • 6. Trapeze: 5.11d, 150 ft., 4 bolts
  • 7. Fast Track: 5.11c, 70 ft., 1 bolt
  • 8. Upper Right Ski Track: 5.3, 70 ft.. Lower Right Ski Track: 5.10b, 70 ft.
  • 9. Huevos: 5.11d, 80 ft., 7 bolts
  • 10. Unknown
  • 11. Intersection Traverse, V1, 30 ft.
  • 12. Knuckle Cracker, V0, 20 ft.
  • 13. Reider Problem, V4, 20 ft.

West Face

Routes on the west face of Intersection Rock.
  • 14. North Overhang: 5.9, 90 ft., 1 bolt
  • 15. Underpass: 5.6, 120 ft.
  • 16. Overhang Bypass: 5.7, 150 ft., 1 bolt

​South Face

Routes on the south face of Intersection Rock.
  • 18. Overpass: 5.6, 120 ft.
  • 19. When Sheep Ran Scared: 5.10c, 120 ft., 2 bolts
  • 20. The Flake: 5.8, 140 ft., 2 bolts
  • 21. West Chimney: 5.6, 150 ft.
  • 22. Shovlin-Cole: 5.10b, 160 ft.
  • 23. Billabong: 5.10c, 160 ft.
  • 24. Sympathy to the Devil: 5.10b, 160 ft., 1 bolt
  • 25. Bat Crack: 5.5, 160 ft.
  • 26. Pinnacle Stand: 5.7, 160 ft.
  • 27. Filet of Sole: 5.11d, 160 ft., 4 bolts
  • 28. Drawstring: 5.7, 160 ft., 1 bolt

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(36 within a 30 mile radius)

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