The Outback Area Formations

Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 34.02127°N / 116.16296°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 4000 ft / 1219 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Note: Joshua Tree National Park is tremendously large and includes thousands of rock formations. The purpose of this page is to bring some sense of organization to many "Mountain & Rock" pages I have posted for the past two years. This particular page may be considered as a mini "Area & Range" page that will be attached to the main Joshua Tree page as a child.

Getting There

Rock Hudson...

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. Park your car here, and walk into Hidden Valley Campground. Walk all the way to the far end of the campground on a paved road. Leave the paved road at this point and follow a trail past the left side of “The Wall,” and “Outhouse” formations. Rock Hudson is the next large formation less than a quarter of a mile from here. The approach to Peyote Cracks and John Bachar Top Rope Wall is done from the Echo Cove area.

Rock Hudson

Rock Hudson
Routes topo
Yucca plant on the way to...

Peyote Cracks

Peyote Cracks
Routes of the west face

The name Peyote Cracks evokes scenarios as to why this formation was named as such. Feel free to let your imagination run wild. In any event, I cannot think of any area in the U.S.A. that offers such a vast variety of rock formations as Joshua Tree National Park. You can find face climbs and crack climbs for all abilities with the easiest approaches. Peyote Cracks is one such case. Although the climbs here are not for the very beginners, they are well within the reach of most climbers. And, if you are good enough to think that the climbs of the west face are too boring, all you need to do is to go around to back side of the same rock and knock yourself out.

This formation, simply known as Peyote Cracks, is a single pitch height rock that is long and narrow with, more or less, north south orientation. The west face offers several crack systems ranging in difficulty levels from 5.8 to 10a. There is one route on the extreme left side by the name,Button Soup, that wanders up the rock with a much lower difficulty rating of 5.2. There are also some poorly protected face routes on the right side of the west face that offer a greater challenge for better climbers. To the right of the Right Peyote Crack there is a face route, Face It, rated 10a that has long been a top rope problem. If you feel comfortable on clipping only one bolt and running it out, you can try leading it. I prefer to top rope this one. There is another well-bolted route to the right and around the corner from Face It. Unfortunately, I have no information on the name or the difficulty of this climb.

Outhouse Rock

Outhouse Rock
Routes of the north face

Select climbs of Outhouse Rock
AOut For a Bite, 10d, TR
BDiagonal Chimney, 5.6, Standard Rack, pro to 3.5"
CStrawberry Jam, 5.9, The best climb on the formation, Standard Rack, pro to 3"
DThe Loo Sanction, 10a, bolts and pro to 3"
EStraight Flush, 5.8 Standard Rack, pro to 3"
FWise Crack, 5.9, standard rack, pro to 3"

John Bachar Toprope Wall

John Bachar Toprope Wall

Left Side
Routes of the East Face of Peyote Cracks
Right side



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.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.