Climbing Joshua Tree National Park

Head out to the Galapagos!
By Jonathan Copp
  |  Gorp.com

Just as the name implies, this beautiful area is "out there." Investigating the famous moderates hiding amongst this quiet island of formations makes the Galapagos a rewarding outing. Since the area requires a healthy jaunt to access, other parties are seldom seen here. There are two possible approaches: one takes off on the dusty Geology Tour road. After rolling across the washboard for a few miles, park at the fifth pullout, near Jerry's Quarry, then hike 2.5 miles to the west. The alternate approach begins easily in Ryan Campground. Hike 2.5 miles along the Ryan Campground trail to Queen Valley. When the trail jogs abruptly to the northeast, continue straight instead for approximately 0.3 miles to land on the sandy shores of the Galapagos. A detailed map will be present in the guidebook on page 396. Grab the equipment and begin research.

Warm up on Elementary Jamming, a great 5.5 hand crack on the Tortuga rock. (For the beginner crack climber, taping up the hands for this route may inspire confidence.) From here, head south to the Darwin Dome and enjoy Lust in the Love Den, a 5.6 route up an exotic flake/crack on the northeast face. When exploring this wall on a cold winter day, a jacket can be appropriate. If you are ready to cool down, move over to Construction Blues at the far right end of this same face. Climbing past one bolt will get you to the top. Breathe it in and study the landscape, an ideal place to ponder the theory of evolution. (Vogel p. 405)


Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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