Conan’s Corridor is my favorite Joshua Tree National Park climbing destination. Not only does it feature one of the finest 5.9 crack climbs in the park, Colorado Crack (featured in Robert Miramontes’ “Terrific Trad Moderates” list) along with several other decent routes of varying grades, but it’s quiet, scenic and remote atmosphere is second to none in Joshua Tree. The short slot canyon used on approach to enter the amphitheater like corridor is icing on the cake.
Boulder Dice, 5.10b
Besides Colorado Crack at 100’ tall, Conan’s Corridor features two interesting 5.8 climbs, Gem which is a great warm up (hand crack) to Colorado and Fool’s Gold which involves a couple of interesting slab moves as its crux. A sport pitch, Boulderado (5.10d) is featured as a full page photograph in Miramontes’ guide book on page 343. Spiderman (5.10a) is another stellar crack climb just to the left of Colorado Crack. There use to be a bolted station above Colorado Crack and is marked as still being in existence in Miramontes’s guide book, but it has been dismantled as of 2012. And that makes sense. All the routes are single pitch and can be walked off in either direction relatively quickly in climbing shoes. The (climbers) right version is easier, but the left is a bit quicker, albeit a bit more down climbing involved, if climbing the two most left routes.
Park across from the Jumbo Rocks campground at a pullout. Follow a well-established hiking trail as it heads northeast. When it cuts due north (approximately 300 yards), cut left off of the trail to enter a bush filled wash. Follow the wash until you can make a right turn through a short slot canyon and into Conan’s Corridor which opens up into a beautiful private amphitheater typically void of other folks.
Colorado, Crack, 5.9
Fools Gold, 5.8
Routes Listed Left to Right as you Face the Wall
Fool’s Gold- 5.8/*
This is a fun route, but not that sustained at the grade once you get through the first couple of slab moves up the water runnel. It is protected with a couple of pockets then opens up to easy crack climbing above. I prefer the left walk off from this route which requires a bit of down climbing before re-entering the slot canyon. Dow
Song of the Siren- 5.10cR/
Green Hornet- 5.10a/**
Very good route and protects well. A must do with Colorado Crack. Has two notable cruxes. The small bulge to pull via fingers at the start. And then the entry into the off width portion. Good finger crack works you in the middle as you find feet out right. One C4 #5 works. Maybe two 5's or one 5 and one 6 to avoid walking a piece. Sustained pitch. Rap Boulderado. Dow
Colorado Crack- 5.9/****
This is a must do moderate crack climb at Jtree. Easy climbing enters the finger/hand crack where you can place gear at will. Crux might be just over half way up where it is a bit thin. Then finishes easy with a large gear belay. Return climbers right via a short bit of down climbing. Dow
Boulder Dice- 5.10b/**
True Dice- 5.10aR/*
If not for it being a bit short (60’), this crack would be a three or four star route for the grade. A great "true" hands crack warm up for Colorado Crack. Return climbers right. Dow
""You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.""