Hall of Horrors Formations

Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 33.99750°N / 116.146°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 4000 ft / 1219 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Note: Joshua Tree National Park is tremendously large and includes thousands of rock formations. The purpose of this page is to bring some sense of organization to many "Mountain & Rock" pages I have posted for the past two years. This particular page may be considered as a mini "Area & Range" page that will be attached to the main Joshua Tree page as a child.

Directions to Hall of Horrors:

Hall of Horrors Area
Joshua Tree on the way to Buckets To Burbank

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. Continue driving past Intersection rock to Ryan Campground clearly marked.

Hall of Horrors is a grouping of rock formations approximately one mile northwest of the Ryan Campground turn off on Park Boulevard. Use the same parking as for Saddle Rocks. There are ample parking, bathrooms and marked trails leading to different formations. Looking in the westerly direction from the parking lot you will see several rock formations. This area is known as Hall of Horrors.

North and South Horror Rocks

Hall of Horrors, North and South Horror Rocks
Hall of Horrors seen...
Joshua Tree sunrise
Dog Day Afternoon, 10b

West Wall, East Face

Hall of Horrors, West Wall, East Face

Select routes

The east face of the west wall at Hall of Horrors is generally short in height and bolted. Typical to Joshua Tree face routes, don't expect to find a bolt every four or five feet. These routes are more sporty than sport. There is one easy route in the middle of the face. This is known as Jessica's Crack, rated 5.6 established in the mid 1970s where as the more difficult bolted face routes began to appear in the past twenty five years.

Jessica's Crack provides an easy access to the top of the formation where you can find a number of double bolt anchors. These anchors provide a good way to top rope some of the more difficult routes on either side of Jessica's Crack. For those looking for face routes reaching the extremes, they can try Avant Chain, rated 12a. For a more moderate, still pretty challenging face route, try Read My Flips, rated 11a.

On the right side and somewhat separated from the rest, you can find a rather convoluted route which requires gear placement as well as bolts to reach the top. This is Read My Lips, rated 11a, and it weaves around a few overhangs to reach the bolt protected upper face and the two-bolt anchor on the top.

Exorcist Area by Dow Williams

Hall of Horrors, Exorcist Area
Exorcist Area
Exorcist, 10a, shown with red arrow
Nurn s Rump, 5.8, shown with a green arrow

West Wall, West Face

Hall of Horrors, West Wall, West Face

North end shoulder/Descent routenorth end/descent shoulder
Routes of west face of the west wallRoutes Topo
Climber on Buckets to Burbankclimber on Buckets to Burbank

Saddle Rocks

Saddle Rocks

Note: Saddle Rocks are not generally known as part of Hall of Horrors. They are, however, very close to this area and I have chosen to include them in this "Area" page.

Select Routes
Distant View of Saddle Rocks

The most popular routes lie on the low angle lower summit of Saddle Rocks. A number of face routes have been done on this face, but the easiest route, Walk on The Wild Side remains the most sought after. The biggest problem on these face routes is shortage of protection. For example, the route just to the left of Walk on The Wild Side, Harlequin, rated 10c R, has long stretches of rock between bolts. This is totally understandable considering the ethics of the first ascent party that included Herb Laeger. They did the routes ground up and drilled for bolts from stances, when they could. This route is recommended for competent climbers solid on upper limits of 5.10 difficulty range. These routes are NOT sport climbs by any stretch of imagination.

If you are looking for easy to moderate crack routes, you will find two highly recommended ones located on the north end of the west face slab on the lower summit. These two crack systems are Orange Flake, rated 5.8 and Right On, rated 5.5. There are no easy walk off from the top of these two routes, but you will find anchor bolts to rappel off of to the base.



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.



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.