Lizard's Hangout

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Trad Climbing
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
4000 ft / 1219 m
2752 Hits
84.82% Score
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Lizard's Hangout
Created On: Nov 27, 2011
Last Edited On: Mar 8, 2016


South face of Lizard s Hangout

Lizard's Hangout is the name of a rock formation in Joshua Tree National Park, California.

Most visitors to Joshua Tree enter the park from the western entrance. The first few miles of the drive is typical Joshua Tree landscape. If the visitor is non climber, they begin to enjoy the park immediately. But, for the first time to Joshua Tree climber things are quite different. They cannot wait to get to the biggest and the most famous formations such as Intersection Rock and The Old Woman. In the process, they miss a great number of smaller, unimportant-looking formations along the road. Lizard's Hangout qualifies as one such case.

Lizard's Hangout is a close neighbor to Roadside Rock, but with several great advantages. In contrast to Roadside Rock, it sits a few hundred feet off the main road, it faces away from the traffic and it sports several great routes. Best of all, it stays sunny all day long making it an ideal place to hangout on a cold winter day.

Left side
left side
Right side
middle section
Middle section
Right side
Extreme right side
Extreme Right side

Select Routes

Select routes
Back side/descent side
Descent side

It is surprising that this small formation, about thirty feet high, was mostly overlooked by the climbing pioneers to Joshua Tree for decades. The most inviting cracks in the middle of the face didn't get led until the late 1980s. Nowadays, however, Lizard's Hangout gets regular visits by climbers looking for several moderate crack routes very close together. Many parties don't bother leading these short pitches and they opt for top-roping the routes. It is very easy to scramble to the top from the backside and find many cracks and features for setting up anchors. In addition to the cracks and the face routes, Lizard's Hangout offers a number of traverses and boulder problems that can be found to the left of the south face. This is an enjoyable area to get a little workout if you are looking for an easy day not too far from the road.

To get to Lizard's Hangout, drive 7.1 miles from the west entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. This rock formation is just before you reach Roadside Rock and “Lost Horse Road.” You can park in a small pullout by the road or park by the bathrooms on Lost Horse Road and walk back about 250 yards to the rock. If you go as far as Hemingway Buttress parking, you have gone too far.

List of the select routes

select routes of Lizard's Hangout
ALizard Breath, 5.5, Standard Rack, extra big pros
BProgressive Lizard, 5.9, Standard Rack,
CLeft Lizard Crack, 10d, Standard Rack
DRight Lizard Crack, 5.9, Standard Rack
ELizard Skin, 5.8, Standard Rack
FPoodle Lizard, 5.7, face, Standard Rack

Camping, Environmental concerns, noise considerations,

Joshua Tree landscape
Typical Joshua Tree landscape

Entrance station...

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 at dusk
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.