Separated by a chimney from Echo Cove, North Wall, Left side
, is another part of the same very long formation, Echo Cove, North Wall, Right Side. This entire formation is a part of Echo Rock
area of Joshua Tree National Park
Somewhat different from the left formation, the right side is generally steeper and holds a much greater variety of routes which are more difficult than the routes of the left side. This general area draws a great number of climbers because of the fact that it offers routes of various difficulty levels. Two extreme examples may be Helix, rated 5.2 on the left formation and Porky Pig, rated 11b, on the right side. On the right formation there are three routes with moderate difficulty levels, from left to right, Tofu The Dwarf, 5.9, Palm-U-Granite, 5.7 and Hang Ten, 5.8 on the far right. These three alone can keep you busy for a couple hours. If you are looking for a greater challenge, move even further to the right and climb a thin bolted face called "Santa's Little Helpers," rated 11a, not shown on the list of select climbs.
Just to the right of the descent chimney, you will find a smooth slab with a thin crack that slowly widens as it gets closer to the top. This is a route called Pinky Lee, rated 10d. This, along with a few other thin cracks in this area, may be what the sign at the entrance to Echo Cove refers to. The sign reads "Thin Crack," as if the name of the entire area was Thin Crack. I personally prefer the name Echo Cove
for this area. I consider this area as a little hidden treasure in all of Joshua Tree. Located to the left of Pinky Lee and to the right of the descent chimney is arguably the best route on the entire formation. This is a bolted face called RAF, rated 5.9. If you expect this to be a sport route, you would be disappointed. This, like most bolted faces in Joshua Tree, is more sporty than sport.
Select routes of Echo Cove, North Wall, Right side
|RAF, 5.9, bolts
|Pinky Lee, 10d, standard rack, pro thin to 1.5"
|Tofu The Dwarf, 5.9, standard rack, standard rack
|Palm-U-Granite, 5.7, standard rack
|Hang Ten, 5.9, standard rack
The north wall of Echo Cove seen from the entrance to Echo Cove area
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 Quail Springs Road 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.
Just past Intersection Rock
, take the road to Barker Dam for a short distance. Shortly after getting on this road you’ll see a sign for “Key’s Ranch” Road. Take this dirt road to a large parking area on the right. Just beyond the parking area there is a sign for “Key’s Ranch Guided Tours.” You can drive further on this road to access several other climbing formations, but you will run into a locked gate for “Key’s Ranch.” Walk along the dirt road and within less than a minute the South Face Of Echo Cove will be on your right, and right next to the road. Continue walking along the road to the end of the south face where you will see another small parking area. In front of the parking area there is a sign reading "Thin Crack" pointing you into the gully/cove. The North Wall of Echo Cove, left side, is immediately to your left. Walk past a prominent chimney and you will be on the base of The North Wall, Right Side.
Camping, Environmental concerns, noise considerations, Fees, Food
Typical Joshua Tree landscape
protecting native plants
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
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.