|Note: Joshua Tree National Park is tremendously large and includes thousands of rock formations. The purpose of this page is to bring some sense of organization to many "Mountain & Rock" pages I have posted for the past two years. This particular page may be considered as a mini "Area & Range" page that will be attached to the main Joshua Tree page as a child.|
Directions to Hidden Valley Campground Formations
The Old Woman sits at the gateway to Hidden Valley Campground and it's the most prominent member of the group of formations that surround this area. To get to this famous campground from the western entrance to Joshua Tree National Park, drive on Park Boulevard, formerly known as Quail Springs Road, for about nine miles to a major rock formation called “Intersection Rock.” Intersection Rock is a major landmark on the north side of Park Boulevard with ample parking for visitors and climbers alike. This rock, true to its name, sit at the cross roads to Hidden Valley Campground, Barker Dam Road and the road to Day use and picnic area. The Old Woman formation is located across the parking lot from Intersection Rock and right next to Hidden Valley Campground.
Intersection RockIntersection Rock
If you stop and ask any climber in Joshua Tree to name two rock formations very quickly, the chances are that the answer would include “Intersection Rock.” Clearly, Intersection Rock is one of the most famous, most sought-after, and the best looking of all Joshua Tree formations. It sits at the cross roads to many famous areas, and it’s the most recognizable rock you come to when you reach the main climbing area in Joshua Tree. Intersection Rock is only a hundred yards from “Hidden Valley” campground, and this campground is where most climbers try to get a campsite. It’s where people gather to talk to each other, make plans, run into old buddies and leave notes for each other.
The Old WomanOld Woman
Chimney RockChimney Rock
Chimney Rock received its befitting name from its most prominent feature which is a very large chimney splitting this formation into two parts. This rock is located on the east side of the most popular and oldest campground in all of Joshua Tree, Hidden Valley Campground. The visitors entering the park from the west enterance cannot miss this impressive formation as it’s located just across the parking lot from the well known Intersection Rock and The Old Woman.
The history of rock climbing on Chimney Rock dates back to the latter part of the sixties when climbers such as T. Higgins, J . Wolfe and R. James were establishing routes on this formation using a certain amount of direct aid. In the early to mid seventies a group of young and talented climbers, such as Tobin Sorenson and John Long, who had just discovered their calling for rock climbing, walked into the Joshua Tree scene. The infusion of this new blood resulted in climbing all of the established routes free and without the use of direct aid.
The following ten years brought many advances in route development on Chimney Rock such as the establishment of the first 5.11 route called “Loose Lips.” At the present time there are a number of 5.11 routes such as “Twisted Crystals” and even one 5.12 “Camouflage” on the east face, not covered in this page.
Another very prominent feature of Chimney Rock is a cavity/hole clearly visible from the parking lot. This hole is called “Space Station 27,” and it seems to attract visitors with climbing shoes and steady nerves.