The Hot Tub is a rock formation in the Steve Canyon
area of Joshua Tree National Park
Considering the rich neighborhood The Hot Tub is located in, it should come as no surprise that this formation was neglected for decades. Even to this day you are hard pressed to see much activity on it. The Hot Tub is only a hundred feet across the descent gully from the very popular formation Watanobe Wall
. It is also the west face of the formation whose east face constitutes The Super Roof Wall
. This formation faces Park Boulevard, the main east west artery through the park, and within a mere minute walking distance from it.
Being southwest facing, The Hot Tub stays in the sun for most of the day. It's about a quarter of a mile from Hidden Valley Campground with all of its popular formations such as The Old Woman
, The Blob
, The Wall
and, not to forget the crown jewel of the entire area, Intersection Rock
. No need to park very far to climb on The Hot Tub. There are pull-outs on both sides of the road.
The routes on the west face, left side as viewed from the base, of The Hot Tub are mostly crack systems, therefore gear protected. To descend these routes walk left, south, on low angle ledges and around boulders to the base. The routes of the right side, south face, of this formation, on the other hand, are mostly on a face protected by a few bolts supplemented by gear. They all reach a two bolt anchor for belaying or to rappel from.
One of the best routes on The Hot Tub is Elixir
, rated 10a, which reaches a great ledge with an anchor. This route starts to the right of a block and follows a line of three bolts past some horizontal cracks. It's best to supplement the bolts with your own protection. A bolt anchor on a big ledge will welcome your arrival at the end of the climb.
To the right of Elixir, you will find a wide crack, The Dharama Bums, rated 5.8, requiring large cams for protection. This is not the most enjoyable route on the formation. Immediately to the right of this route, you will find the best route on The Hot Tub. This route is named Amanda
, rated 10a. Amanda follows a line of bolts past a few horizontal cracks. Take a standard rack to include some small to 2.5 inches to supplement the bolts. This route has its own anchor high up on the face to rappel from. Going to the very top is optional.
List of the select routes
Select routes of The Hot Tub
|A||From Here to Infirmary, 5.9, standard rack|
|B||Hot Tubs to Hell, 5.9, standard rack|
|C||Jacuzzi of No Return, 10b, standard rack|
|D||Hot Tub of Death, 10a, standard rack|
|E||Elixir, 10a, bolts, anchor, supplemental rack|
|F||The Dharma Bums, 5.8, standard rack, wide pro, anchor|
|G||Amanda, 10a, bolts, anchor, supplemental rack|
The Hot Tub and Watanobe Wall seen from the road
To get to The Hot Tub formation
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 follow the signs to the base of Watanobe Wall. The Hot Tub formation is across the descent gully, and to the left of, Watanobe Wall.
Camping, Noise Considerations, Environmental Concerns, Fees & Food
Typical Joshua Tree landscape
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.
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
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
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 a very reasonable price per 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.