Echo Rock area, North Face of Echo Cove, east end

Echo Rock area, North Face of Echo Cove, east end

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 34.02431°N / 116.15737°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


Saddle Rock seen from the cove
North Face of Echo Cove, East End
Situated in the Echo Rock area, Echo Cove, East End is a rock formation in Joshua Tree National Park, California.

The convoluted rock formations of the Echo Rock area can be considered as a gift that keep on giving. This is a rich neighborhood that includes formations such as the South Face of Echo Cove, North Face of Echo Cove, Right Side and famous routes such as Big Moe and Heart And Sole. Just when you thought you had ticked off a couple of routes on every rock here and you had seen it all, you find a whole new formation to look at and play on. Although the East End of Echo Cove was explored and climbed as early as the mid 1970s, it seems to be hiding in plain sight even to this day. Most people heading toward this area seem to gravitate to the much bigger Echo Rock itself bypassing this hidden treasure only a few hundred feet away.

Looking toward Echo Rock
The steep north face of the East End of Echo Cove may have gotten past the attention of many climbers' attention, but not Herb Laeger's as he pioneered one of the best routes on this incredible wall. The name of his route is Halfway To Paradise, rated 10a/b. Typical of Herb Laeger's style of establishing routes, you may find yourself having to run it out in between pieces of protection. At the end of the day, the reward will justify the risks.

The original and probably the best route on the North Face of East End of Echo Cove is Effigy Too, rated 10a/b. This route takes a much more direct line up the right side of this formation. The climb begins with steep face moves on rounded holds and side pulls to the beginning of a crack system. This crack is the most enjoyable part of the climb as it shoots straight up to the top of the rock.

In the most recent years two ore routes have been established on this formation. The extreme left one, to the left of Halfway To Paradise is a toprope problem called (The Real McCoy), rated 12b. This route starts on the incipient crack on the left side of the rock to start. Then it weaves a complex set of crimpy moves left and right and finally the top. The other route is to the right of Effigy Too called Misfits, rated 11b. This route follows a set of bolts supplemented by some thin gear to the top of the rock.

List of the routes

Routes of North Face of Echo Cove, East End
AThe Real McCoy, 12b, top rope
BHalf Way To Paradise, 10a/b, bolt and gear
CEffigy Too, 10a/b, gear, standard rack
DMisfits, 11b, bolts and thin gear

Routes topo

Left side
Left side
Routes of Echo Cove, east end
Routes Topo
Right Side
Right side

How to get there

Echo Cove
North end of Echo Cove
Road sign to Barker Dam
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.”
Echo Rock is visible from here and not very far. East End of Echo Cove is a few hundred feet to the southwest of the gully that leads to Echo Rock. Walk toward Echo Rock then take a smaller side trail splitting to left. This will take you into the short East End of Echo Cove.

Camping, Noise Considerations, Environmental Concerns, Fees & Food

Joshua Tree landscape
Typical Joshua Tree landscape

Protecting native plants
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.


Joshua Tree sunset
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.