Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 34.01823°N / 116.16652°W
County: Riverside
Activities: Trad Climbing
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Elevation: 4000 ft / 1219 m


Grain Surgery Wall
Night falls on Joshua Tree
Left side
Left Side

Grain Surgery Wall is a rock formations in the Steve Canyon area of Joshua Tree National Park, California.

True to its name Grain Surgery Wall is grainy and it looks like a wall, a broken one at that. This formation constitutes a section of the north side of Steve Canyon and just past Sidewinder Rock. Looking up from the mouth of the Steve Canyon and viewed from the side, this formation resembles a line of soldiers standing at attention. This is due to a number of crack and chimney systems that run pretty much up and down the rock.

Being southwest facing, Grain Surgery Wall gets plenty of sun during the day time hours. In the late afternoon, however, it receives the shadow of The Hot Tub and Watanobe Wall located on the opposite side of Steve Canyon from this formation.

The northeast face of Grain Surgery Wall is convoluted, broken up and not very attractive, hence most of the routes are located on the Steve Canyon side. To descend from the top you can rappel from the rap stations or down climb the low angle north end of the formation.

Select Routes

Select Routes
Right side

The easiest, but not the most enjoyable, route on Grain Surgery Wall is up a prominent chimney that divides the wall into two halves. The most popular route is located on the left half, and it's the climb that the formation was named after. This route is named Grain Surgery, rated 10b. This route offers the two mediums you need to be good at to climb in Joshua Tree- Crack climbing and face climbing. Another route that is highly recommended is located on the right half of this formation. This route is called The Decompensator of Lhasa, rated 10c. This route also starts on a crack for the first half of the route then transitions to bolt protected face climbing to reach the top. If you are not into leading 5.10s, there is a fun easy route for you. This route, Deflowered, rated 5.6, follows a wide crack/chimney located a few feet to the right of the central chimney.

List of the select routes

Select Routes of Grain Surgery Wall
AGrain Surgery, 10b, standard rack, anchor
BFist Full of Crystals, 10c, Standard Rack
CDeflowered, 5.6, Standard Rack, several big pros,
DThe Decompensator of Lhasa, 10c, standard rack, anchor

How to Get There

Looking up Steve Canyon
Sidewinder Rock is seen on the right, Grain Surgery Wall is seen just beyond
North Face of Sidewinder Rock
Looking down Steve Canyon

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 and head for Steve Canyon. Sidewinder Rock is to your right and sits at the entrance to Steve Canyon. Grain Surgery Wall is just beyond Sidewinder Rock.

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 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.