If you stop and ask any climber in Joshua Tree to name two rock formations very quickly, the chances are that the answer would include “Intersection Rock.”
Clearly, Intersection Rock is one of the most famous, most sought-after, and the best looking of all Joshua Tree formations. It sits at the cross roads to many famous areas, and it’s the most recognizable rock you come to when you reach the main climbing area in Joshua Tree. Intersection Rock is only a hundred yards from “Hidden Valley” campground, and this campground is where most climbers try to get a campsite. It’s where people gather to talk to each other, make plans, run into old buddies and leave notes for each other.
Starting with the first light in the morning, you see climbers getting on their favorite climbs, solo climbers doing their morning routine, boulderers warming up on many possible traverses and boulder moves. And, don’t be surprised to see people still climbing in the dark. Of all the times I have been to Joshua Tree only once did I see no one on Intersection Rock. That was a cold and rainy winter day.
Intersection Rock sports a number of super classic climbs such as “The Flake, 5.8”, “North Overhang, 5.9” and”Left Ski Track, 11a.” Most climbs can be done in one pitch, but I found it safer and more practical to do many of the climbs in two pitches. This way you are closer to your second, and you will have much less rope-drag to deal with. There are well placed rappel anchors that you cannot miss.
Hidden Valley Campground
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 make reservations in advance.
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.
For current Campground information please see the link bellow:
Joshua Tree Camping
Please tread lightly. The Access Fund has gone to great lengths posting trail marker for approaches to many of the more popular crags. Do you 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.
How To Get There
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.
There are no permits required to climb or hike in Joshua Tree National Park. However, there are fee requirements for entering and camping within the park boundaries.
7-Day pass for each passenger car---$15
7-Day pass on foot, bicycle or motor cycle ---$5
Joshua Tree Annual Pass/non transferable---$30
Interagency Annual Pass---$80
Campsite fees are $15/night for Black Rock, Cottonwood and Indian Cove campgrounds.
The fees for the remaining campgrounds are $10/ night.