Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 34.01660°N / 116.16364°W
Additional Information County: Riverside
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Sign the Climber's Log


Picture a young aspiring climber scrambling up a steep slope to get advice on how to become a great climber from the wise old woman of the mountains. But when the young climber gets there he/she is awe struck by the beauty of the old woman. The old woman asks the young climber to sit down and listen; you master leading every climb in my bckyard and you will be ready to climb thousands of rocks in my mountain.
West Face of Old Woman

Aside from fiction, “Old Woman” is undoubtedly one of the two most famous rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park. If you are an aspiring climber, Old Woman puts you through elementary school, high school and college in rock climbing. Thousands of climbers, including myself, trace their roots of leading climbs in Joshua Tree to the “Old Woman.”

No need to climb great mountains to find the Old Woman. She is the most accessible rock formation in Joshua Tree National Park. She sits across the parking lot from Intersection Rock and right next to Hidden Valley Campground.

East Face of Old Woman

East Face of  Old Woman

Most climbs on the Old Woman are done in one pitch and have double bolt anchors for belaying and rappeling. On the Old Woman you will find such classic climbs as {Double Cross, 5.7} ,
{Dog Leg, 5.8} , {Orphan, 5.9} , {Dandelion, 10a}, {Bearded Cabbage, 10c} and { Spider Line, 11c}.
E. Face of  Old Woman

a-Toe Jam, 5.7
b-Bearded Cabbage, 10c
c-Spider Line, 11c
d-Deviate, 10a
e-Dynamic Panic, 11d

Southwest Face of Old Woman

Old Woman
Southwest Face of Old Woman

Dandelion, 10a
Dandelion, 10a
Orphan. 5.9
Orphan, 5.9

Most of the popular and moderate climbs on Old Woman are located on the southwest face. Besides "Double Cross, 5.7+" that is the most popular, you will find {Dog Leg. 5.8}, {Orphan, 5.9} and {Dandelion, 10a} on this face.

Camping and Noise Considerations

Joshua Tree

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.

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.

For camping and general information on Joshua Tree refer to the following link:

Joshua Tree Camping

Environmental Considerations

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.

Red Tape

5.16 speed climber
5.16 speed climber
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.

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 Park Boulevard 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. Old Woman formation is located across the parking lot from Intersection Rock and right next to Hidden Valley Campground.



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.