Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 34.01966°N / 116.1681°W
Additional Information County: Riverside
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 4000 ft / 1219 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Right formation

Cereal Rock is a formation in the Steve Canyon Area of Joshua Tree National Park, California.

Viewed from a distance, Cereal Rock appears as an insignificant pile of boulders stacked on top of one another. Upon closer look, however, the jumble of rocks turns into a conglomerate grouping of formations worthy of climbing and spending some time on. Although the name is singular, there are two major formations and a minor one that are closely connected in what we refer to as Cereal Rock. This grouping lies on the western-most end of a chain of formations located near the entrance to Steve Canyon, and it includes Watanobe Wall and The Hot Tub. There is an unnamed jumble of rocks with some toproping potential separating The Hot Tub from Cereal Rock.

Considering the much more impressive looking formations such as Sidewinder Rock and Grain Surgery in this area, it should come as no surprise that Cereal Rock went without much attention and activity for a number of decades. Being within a few minutes walking distance of Park Boulevard, however, had to catch someone's eye and it finally did in the early 1990s when several routes on this formation were established.


Cereal Rock Formations
Night falls on Joshua Tree
The Hot Tub area seen from the road

Select Routes

Select routes of the left formation
Left Formation
select route on the right formation
Right Formation

The nature of Cereal Rock is blocky with tier system. There are wide horizontal crack systems separating the short faces and some discontinuous vertical cracks. On the left formation, the routes follow these short faces and sections of cracks. The best and more continuous cracks are found on the middle formation to the right of the prominent chimney/gully and on the right side/northern formation. There are a few more difficult routes in the 5.11 range on Cereal Rock, but the majority of the route are more moderate in the 5.7 to low 5.10 difficulty range. Two of the best routes, Alfalfa, rated 5.8 and Quaking Oats, rated 10a are located on the middle section of Cereal Rock.


Select routes of Cereal Rock, West Face
AThe Oat Route, 5.8, standard rack
BRaising Bran, 5.8 standard rack
CAlfalfa, 5.8, standard rack
DQuaking Oats, 10a, standard rack
EMorning Chunder, 5.7, Standard Rack

How to get there

Cereal Rock Formations

To get to Cereal Rock area from the west entrance to Joshua Tree National Park, drive 8.3 miles on Park Boulevard to a turnout about quarter of a mile before reaching Intersection Rock parking lot. Looking on the opposite side of the road, in the northeasterly direction, you will see Watanobe Wall to the west of the narrow and steep Steve Canyon. Park in the turnout and follow the signs to the base of Watanobe Wall. The Hot Tub formation is across the descent gully/entrance to Steve Canyon fromSidewinder Rock. Cereal Rock is separated from The Hot Tub by a jumble of boulders and it's to the south of it.

Camping, Noise Considerations, Environmental Concerns,

Joshua Tree landscape
Typical Joshua Tree landscape

Entrance station...

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.


Joshua Tree at dusk
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.