Double Cross, 5.7+

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 34.01660°N / 116.16364°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.7+
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.7 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 1
Additional Information Grade: I
Sign the Climber's Log


Topo of the route
Old Woman formation with Double Cross

Double Cross is the name of a route located on The Old Woman formation in Joshua Tree National Park, California.

I cannot think of another route in Joshua Tree as famous, or as sought after, as Double Cross. Not much different from the easier lead routes on Quail Springs/Trashcan Rock, Double Cross has been for decades where new climbers test their ability to lead a route in Joshua Tree. For many joshua Tree climbers, including yours truly, this is their first lead, and if done correctly, they have walked away with a feeling of accomplishment and good memory. Unfortunately, the fame and accessibility of Double Cross has resulted in many climbing accidents due to many unprepared climbers attempting to lead it.

Important Note: Be sure to know how to deal with cracks of varying size before trying to lead this route.

Double Cross is a crack system in the middle of the southwest face of The Old Woman formation. The first part of the climb is a low angle white rock to a seam heading up and left. This section is unprotected and leads to the main crack. The next few moves are the crux of the route. The crack is wide and it feels awkward. Make sure to protect this section well before committing to the moves. Once your feet are above the wide part of the crack, the climb becomes much easier. There are many hidden holds inside of the crack as you move past two horizontal cracks, hence the name Double Cross. A beautiful ledge with a bolt anchor on top will greet you. Enjoy the view before rappelling to the base.

Essential Equipment: one 60 meter rope, Standard rack with at least two 3" cams, slings, a good and watchful belayer.

Getting There

Joshua Tree
Climber just past the cruxJust past the crux

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. Old Woman formation is located across the parking lot from Intersection Rock and right next to Hidden Valley Campground.

Camping, Noise considerations, Environmental concerns,

Joshua TreesTypical 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.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Old WomanRoutes