Baskerville Rock is a rock formation in the Quail Springs area of Joshua Tree National Park, California.
Due to their proximity, Baskerville Rock
along with Hound Rock
, White Cliffs of Dover
, Quail Springs Rock/Trashcan Rock
and a few other minor formations may be considered as members of a family of rocks to the south of Park Boulevard some 5.9 miles from the west entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. Although Baskerville Rock was explored and climbed in the 1970s, only a handful of climbers bothered to make the one half mile hike from the road to climb on this formation.
On a page on Quail Springs Rock/Trashcan Rock I wrote in some detail about the popularity of this rock and how it seems to have stolen the lion’s share of attention. This phenomenon is easy to understand. Trashcan Rock has a huge parking lot, it has many easy routes, it has access to the top for setting up top rope, etc, etc, etc. To get to Baskerville Rock, however, you need to hike at least one half mile without certainty of getting a good workout. But, have no doubt, Baskerville Rock will give you the little workout you are looking for. Baskerville Rock isn't the highest rock in Joshua Tree, but the cracks are solid and of high quality granite. On my last visit to Baskerville Rock, I noticed a reasonable and easy to follow trail leading to this formation. It seems that the popularity game has changed for this formation.
Select Routes of Baskerville Rock
Those who take the time to do the hike to Baskerville Rock are rewarded with one of the best crack climbs in Joshua Tree. The Right Baskerville Crack is the prize of the entire formation and definitely worth the hike. This crack is thin, but too thin for your fingers. It climbs straight up from bottom to top on face moves at first, then it turns into the most geometric finger crack in Joshua Tree. Being northeast facing, this crack stays in the shade for most of the day. In fact, I think half of the footprints you see on the approach trail are made by climbers coming to do the Right Baskerville Crack, rated 10a. Needless to mention, there are other routes on Baskerville Rock though not as sought after as the Right Baskervill Crack.
To get to Baskerville Rock
drive 5.9 miles from the west entrance to Joshua Tree to Quail Springs parking lot. This is a huge parking lot with picnic tables and bathrooms that you can use before the start of your hike. Just across the parking lot from the west face of Quail Springs/Trashcan Rock look in the direction of the southwest to see Baskerville Rock some one half mile away. There is an unmarked trail sign. Start from this sign and hike to a rise. On the other side of the rise the trail drops down and crosses a wash. Another short hike beyond the wash, the first rock formation you come to is Baskerville Rock.
List of the select routes
Select Routes of Baskerville Rock
|A||Weathering Frights, 5.9, Runout, standard rack, pro to 3.5 inches|
|B||Sound Asleep, 10b, standard rack, pro to 3.5 inches|
|C||Left Baskerville Crack, 10b, Runout, standard rack, pro, very wide to 5 inches|
|D||Right Baskerville Crack, 10a, standard rack, pro, many small to 2 inches|
Environmental Concerns, camping and noise considerations
Typical Joshua Tree landscape
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.
protecting native plants
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
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
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.