In general, the "Group Campsites" at Indian Cove do not offer up stellar climbing relative to Joshua Tree. But obviously if you are camped there it makes sense to get on some of the formations. Hodgepodge Rock sits right in front of a campsite on the south side of the road, just meters from parking. Its north face faces the road and its south face faces a group campsite. Most of the climbing is at easy grades and uneventful. The formation itself is maybe 50' tall at its highest point. There is a ton of fixed hardwear relative to the climbing, some even chopped, and particularly on top of the formation where it is used for gang banging the routes no doubt, resulting in several fixed raps for easy descent. Group Camp No. 8 Wall sits just to the west. It faces mostly northwest and offers up only two routes, however, one of those routes is better than any climb on Hodgepodge Rock, the Portal, 5.9*.
The namesake route, 5.4R*, is an easy solo up dished rock to the top of the formation on the north wall. Ligamentor Seconds in Vans, 5.7*, is a spur off of the Hodgepodge route via a horizontal crack out right. It is actually a heady lead for the grade. Morning Star, 5.9R* and Hot Tub Honey, 5.8*, had short sections at the grade and if they were on any other wall in the park, they would not get a recommendation in the local guides. Hot Tub Honey is a bolted route up the right side arête and is the best of this north face group. Bakersfield Bomb, 5.8*, and Briar Rabbit, 5.7, were unimpressive routes on the south wall. Short Crack, 5.4, is actually a fun solo at the grade up twin cracks at the right side of the south wall. As before mentioned, I have thrown in the two Group Camp No 8 climbs with the Hodgepodge routes. The Portal is an outstanding 5.9 trad lead via a steep and fun crack on excellent rock.
Turn right onto the group campground road before entering Indian Cove proper. Pass the first two large campgrounds on the left and park in front of the north face of Hodgepodge which sports a significant overhang on its left side.
My Wife is an Alien- 40’-5.12a*/
Hodgepodge- 40’-5.4R*/ Listed as a top rope route in the guide. Easy solo up large dishes and jugs to a fixed rap. Dow
Ligamentor Seconds in Vans- 45’-5.7*/ Does not deserve the recommendation in the guide. You are just climbing Hodgepodge and then traversing a finger to foot rail up and right joining Morning Star. A few small pieces. Dow
Morning Star- 45’-5.9R*/ Nothing overly memorable, dishy face to a thin crack, one bolt, one or two pieces of gear. There are several top rope bolts and fixed raps atop this formation. Dow
Hot Tub Honey- 45’-5.8*/Three bolts up the right side of the wall. Again, just not much overly memorable about it. These routes seemed a bit contrived. Dow
Locknoob Monster- 35’-5.7/
Bakersfield Bomb- 40’-5.8*/ Not worth the guidebook recommendation. Climb up the easy left to right ramp in the center of the wall and slab climb left of a crack (Briar Rabbit) through two bolts to a myriad of fixed anchors. Dow
Briar Rabbit- 40’-5.7/ Not much better than Bakersfield, except all crack. The crack up top is shallow. Dow
Short Crack- 30’-5.4/ Does not get recommended in Miramontes guide but way better than the Hodgepodge route on the other side which is at the same grade. Secure solo up twin cracks on the right side of the wall. Tons of descent options. Dow
The Far Side- 50’-5.4*/ A secure solo up blocks and a well featured finger crack to the top of the wall. Dow
Portal- 50’-5.9*/ Could easily compete for the best 5.9 trad route in Indian Cove. Make a fun dyno for a jug off the deck and continue up a well varnished thin crack that goes to off width near the top where you can employ a chicken wing. It is steep and fun and takes all the gear you want but a competent leader at the grade would not need wide gear. Walk off back and climbers left. Dow