Hall of Horrors, west Face of the West Wall

Hall of Horrors, west Face of the West Wall

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 34.00084°N / 116.14695°W
Additional Information County: Riverside
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 4300 ft / 1311 m
Sign the Climber's Log


West Face of the West Wall/Buckets To Burbank Rock
Joshua Tree landscape

Commonly known as Buckets To Burbank, the west face of the west wall in the Hall of Horrors area, is a rock formation in Joshua Tree National Park, California.

This paragraph may sound more like a "mini Trip Report" than introduction to a Mountain And Rock page, but I'm hoping my SP friends forgive me for that. The important thing is to provide information, and I hope this page will do just that.
Buckets to Burbank is actually the name of one of the routes on this rock, but I find it much easier to refer to the entire formation by this name. The first time I heard this name was on a tired-of-driving afternoon when I was looking for something easy and no-risk to climb. My friend, Jeff, suggested Buckets to Burbank. "Buckets to Where?" I asked. I had climbed in Joshua Tree for many years without ever coming across this formation. Low and behold, there was nobody there at "Buckets to Burbank," just us two. That was an experience I came to appreciate in the following ten years. I've been to this crag a number of times since and have seen anywhere from four to twenty four climbers playing on it, and never again completely available. I hope you will have better luck than I.

Buckets to Burbank/west face of the west wall at Hall Of Horrors is actually a fun formation to spend sometime climbing and having fun on. The rock is steep, heavily bucketed and not very high, probably about forty five feet. This formation, however, is long and holds a number of enjoyable routes. There are two horizontal and parallel crack systems dividing this formation into three separate tiers. you can spot one or two bolts on two of the routes, but most visitors opt for top roping the rock.

The easiest route, "Holds To Hollywood", rated 5.4, is on the left hand side and wanders wildly from left to right and then left again to reach the top. Use your own imagination here. The next climb is to the right of the last route is " Ledges to Laundale", rated 10a, probably the best route on the entire formation. If you are not sure where this route is, look for two bolts midway up the rock. The next route is "Buckets To Burbank," rated 5.8. You have ample bucket size handholds on a steep rock for this classic climb. The next route on the right side and hardly ever done on lead is "Pullups To Passadena," rated 10c. Getting to the top to set up top rope is fairly easy , and it's done by scrambling up on low angle rocks on the left side, north end of the west face.

Routes Topo

North end shoulder/Descent route
north end/descent shoulder
Routes of west face of the west wall
Routes Topo
Climber on Buckets to Burbank
climber on Buckets to Burbank

List of the routes

Route of the West Wall of Hall of Horrors, west face
AHolds To Hollywood, 5.4
BLedges To Laundale, 10a
CBuckets to Burbank, 5.8
DPullups To Pasadena, 10c

How to get there

Distant view from the southwest
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. To reach the west face of the west wall you can take the trail that goes around these from the left or from the right. I found the trail that goes around from the right much more straight forward. Walk past all the formations and gullies to the last formation and go left to see the west face of the west wall.

Camping, Noise considerations, Environmental concerns, fees & Food

Joshua Tree landscape
Typical 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.


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.