Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 34.03926°N / 116.19442°W
Additional Information County: Riverside
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 4200 ft / 1280 m
Sign the Climber's Log


South Face of APFA Rock

APFA Rock is a formation in the Quail Springs area of Joshua Tree National Park, California.

Not much different than Baskerville Rock and Hound Rock, AFPA Rock is yet another example of a formation with much to offer, but it has gone without a great deal of attention. This lack of attention, in a great measure, has to do with its proximity to Trashcan Rock. In the case of Trashcan Rock you see people gathering to grab the best lines early in the morning and the activity still continues after sunset. AFPA Rock only couple hundred yards away, however, hardly ever attracts the crowds. On Trashcan Rock you see chalk marks all over the rock; in contrast, the faces and cracks of AFPA Rock are clean and free of chalk marks. If this sounds like a good rock to visit, well, it is.

AFPA Rock was noticed and climbed early in the history of Joshua Tree climbing dating back to the early 1970s when Andromeda Strain and Which Witch were established. Andromeda Strain, even to this day, stays the most popular route on AFPA Rock. New route development extended into the late 1990s and beyond when half a dozen routes of the early days expanded to nearly twenty lines today. Most of the lines on AFPA Rock are moderate. Getting to the top is done via the right side or left side. Most of the routes are located on the south face with a great flat base. Even though the south face of AFPA Rock faces the Park Boulevard, it's far enough not to get the full impact of the traffic noise.

Select Routes Topo

Left side
Left side
Routes of APFA Rock
Routes Topo
Right side
Right side

List of the select routes

Select Routes of AFPA Rock, south face
ABitch, Bitch, 5.7, standard rack, pro to 2.5 inches
BWhich Bitch, 5.8, standard rack, pro to 2.5 inches
CAndromeda Strain, 5.7, standard rack, pro to 2.5 inches
DRequest Chimney, 5.7, standard rack, pro to 4 inches
ERip Off, 5.6, standard rack, pro to 3 inches
FWhich Witch, 5.8, standard rack, pro to 2.5 inches

Getting there

Joshua Tree at dusk
Road sign to the crag

From the west entrance to Joshua Tree National Park drive about 5.8 miles on Park Boulevard. You will see a sign indicating "Quail Springs." This is your parking. There is ample parking, bathrooms and picnic benches. Walk back to the boulevard and head east toward Intersection Rock and Hidden Valley Campground. AFPA Rock will be on your left and only two hundred yards from Quail Springs parking.

Camping, noise considerations, Environmental concerns, Fees & Food

Joshua Tree landscape
Typical Joshua Tree landscape

Desert Flowers near...
Desert Flowers

Please tread lightly. The Access Fund has gone to great lengths posting trail marker for approaches to many of the more popular crags. Do your best to stay on these trails, and where you are forced to use a different path, choose the ones that rain can mend in time. Drainages make for good trails where there are no established trails.
Avoid stepping on native and fragile plants, and do not feed the coyotes. Coyotes are very much used to people and often hang around picnic areas and camp grounds in hopes of getting a hand out. It’s better to let them live their natural life.


There are nine campgrounds in Joshua Tree National Park. At the entrance to the park you are always asked if you would care to have a map and a brochure. The brochure will have plenty of information on the campgrounds and the map will guide you to many of the pleasant hikes throughout the park. You may even get the latest information as to availability of campsites. During the peak season (mid winter through spring) finding a campsite may become a major task. It is highly recommended to use the following link to get more information in advance.

Joshua Tree Camping

Noise considerations

When you are camping with friends and sitting around the fire, it is easy to forget that there are other people trying to sleep in the nearby campsites. It is important to put yourself in their shoes. Keep the noise and music to a minimum and certainly not too much past 10 p.m. Your neighbors will smile at you in the morning instead of giving you dirty looks.

Fees and Food

Entrance station...
The best Thai food...

My wife and I have had Thai food in many different restaurants and cities. This Thai place beats them all. In November when the number of visitors to Joshua Tree reaches its peak, this restaurant puts on a Thai buffet, all you can eat for 10.95$/person. But, you must get there early, or be prepared to wait by the door for a table. The latest information indicates that the buffet style will be terminated by the end of February and will resume in November of 2010.



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.