Indian Cove Rock Climbing

srvr Indian Cove Rock Climbing

It’s March 2011 and there are only a few weeks left before the rocks get too hot to climb at Joshua Tree National Park in California.  Not to mention the most campsites in the park are booked months in advance, so where do you go?

You go to a place where the beer flows like wine.  No, not aspen a little place called Indian Cove.  About 10 miles past the main entrance to Joshua Tree and 10 miles from 29 Palms is Indian Cove Campground.  The campground has about 100 campsites, an amphitheater and some of the best rock climbing in Southern California.  The best part is the climbing is right in camp, all around the campsites, so you don’t have to venture too far for all kinds of great climbs.  From 5-6 and 5-7’s all the way up to 5-11 and 5-12’s, Indian cove has something for everyone of every skill level, including bouldering.

The next climbs we headed over to were a set of big slabs.  It’s always amazing to me how sheer of a rock face you can climb without a decent handhold when your out at Joshua Tree.  You just have to learn to trust your shoes and you can literally scale vertical walls of “Quartz Monzonite,” that make up the rock formations in and around Joshua Tree National Park.  This quartz is a form of very rough granite that is phenomenal for grips with climbing shoes, but can eat through the skin on your hands pretty quick.

P3053560 1024x768 Indian Cove Rock Climbing

P3053543 1024x768 Indian Cove Rock Climbing

The campsites are all pretty decent, but some are most certainly better than others, I much prefer one further back from the road and surrounded by rock.  The way the bonfire dances on the rock walls at night is something to be seen.

P3053567 1024x768 Indian Cove Rock Climbing

P3053570 1024x768 Indian Cove Rock Climbing

So if your ever in the area and the main park is packed full or your just looking to climb some new routes, head on over to Indian Cove. Stay for a few nights, scout some new routes and who knows, you may even see one of the giant tortoises that roam the campground sometimes.


Filed under Backpacking/Hiking, Climbing, Extreme Sport, Travels · Tagged with ,

Written By :

A former Inc. 100 corporate finance manager turned Adventure Capitalist, Mat now travels the world in search of warm water, big waves and powder snow. A firm believer in one's ability to change their reality, only several years ago, Mat found himself burnt out in the business world at a young age. Although successful, he remained unsatisfied. He left his... Read More

has written 70 articles

4 Responses to “Indian Cove Rock Climbing”

  1. Indian Cove is a popular place to climb for a number of reasons. It is located at a lower elevation than the main part of the park, which makes it warmer on those cold winter days. There are many climbs which are very close to the roads in the campground, and the campground is rather large . Some of the Canyons (Johnson Canyon and Rattlesnake Canyon) are some of the most beautiful canyons in the Park. Many of these climbs listed in this web-guide are not found in any guidebooks.

    • Indian cove is beautiful!!!!! Glad you had such a great experience there!!!!!! Many “climbers” over look the cover, poor choice……… Big fun to be had there!!!!!! beat the crowds and winter chill!!!!!!


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] posted here: Rock Climbing Indian Cove in Joshua Tree National Park Posted in General Tags: indian, indian-cove, joshua, joshua-tree, national, national-park, video […]

Leave A Comment