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Thrill

from Oregon to J-Tree

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Ok for those of you that are regulars at Joshua Tree, I was wondering certain specifics:

 

What’s the best way to travel there from Portland?

How long does it take?

Most inexpensive?

Must see?

 

Thanks

bigdrink.gif

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If your time is worth nothing, you can drive it. It's a long way (ca 1400 miles) but if your car gets good mileage, it's abt $100 in gas one way; less, obviously, if you share. Flying is probably better; you can sometimes find RTs via Ontario for under $200 and it only takes a couple of hrs. But then you are renting a car for perhaps $25-30/day... It's 2+ hrs from Ontario airport to HV Campground.

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"What’s the best way to travel there from Portland?"

 

Might consider driving thru. Vegas and checking out Red Rocks along the way - you might not even want to continue once you get a taste of those grade III and up sandstone beauties smile.gif If you leave after work say 6pm from PDX, push it into the evening hours to southern Idaho, it's easy enough to finish the drive to Las Vegas by early afternoon the next day (depending on time of the year, might be able to squeeze in a warm-up pitch still). From Vegas to JT is about 3-4 hours if I remember right (nice drive too).

 

If you're thinking of flying there, again, think about flying to LV (can get some cheap deals for direct flights from PDX on Alaska or America West) and car rentals in LV are dirt cheap compared to other places.

 

One time we tried JT, we hit reall sh.t weather and did not climb anything so can't help you with other questions.

 

PS are you really set on JT? there's better places to escape the wet portland weather with less driving and for finer climbing IMHO. Thinking Moab here. Only 14 hrs (950 miles). Camping is free.

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thanks for the tips.. not "set" on J-Tree just want to go somewhere I havent been. been to redrocks.. havent been to Yosimite, J-Tree, City of Rocks, Moab, ok pretty much nowhere! I've been to BC a ton, all over Oregon and Washington. just want to take a week off and see something new.

thanks

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Camping on the weekend in Joshua Tree is a hassle. If you're arriving on the weekend, you might want to plan on camping in the backcountry. You just need to hike a mile from the road, and like 500 feet off the trail, or something like that. That's what I did last year and I enjoyed getting away from the crowds. But it's not very convenient for climbing.

 

It seems like now would be a good time to go. I was there in April and it was already ridiculously hot.

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If we're brainstorming here, think about Dragoon Mountains/Cochise Stronghold in SE Arizona. It's just about the same drive as to JT (c. 1400 miles) but w/o the hassles of JT. Camping is at large (real nice) and free. Beautiful granite climbing up to about 6-8 pitches in length. Good weather (as good as JT at least I'd think). Been there twice so could tell you whatever I remember about the place if you decide to go there.

Post on what you decide.

 

PS As you can tell, I need to do a road trip (getting way into this smile.gif )

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since you've been to all these which would YOU prefer to go to and why?

this great.. learning of some new spots. thanks a ton

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Driving PDX to J-Tree takes about 17 hours. Driving straight thru is a problem if you arrive at there at night and can't find a camping place. I have gone at the end of March, and we camp south of Sacramento just east of I-5 (George Hatfield SRA). This place is practically deserted, so it is not hard to find a camping spot even at night. Then, if you leave early, you can get to J-Tree in the early afternoon, find a place to stay, and do some climbing in the afternoon. I have found temps at the end of March to be wonderful, 65 to 80 degrees. check out <http://climbingjtree.com>

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Weekend car rentals are cheap. $100 total for 4 days at LAX last year. Flying is quick and Cheap (~$200 roundtrips on Southwest) - you don't lose a whole day of your life to a boring ass drive. Fly. Leave PDX after work on Thursday, get back late Monday, and climb for 4 days.

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Go for Moab. You feel like cragging, you can hit Indian Creek (haven't been there) for example. You feel in the mood for some adventure, you bag a tower. Aid, free, easy, hard - anything can be found there.

 

Delta has direct connection to SLC (closest big airport) and they had these 50% off deals recently if you want to fly (about $150/person rt used to be). Or better yet, go with my driving plan above and you can still bag something short the afternoon you get there(Ancient Art/Stolen Chimney is a nice 2 hr climb, 20 minutes form the car and considered a NA Classic to give you an example). One place you can camp is in Castle Valley (TH for Castleton area). There might be other, better places to camp. If weather there turns to crap, head to Red Rocks.

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What time of year are you thinking? I've been there a couple of times in December and climbed in t-shirts. Cold at night though. I know this year it has been relitively wet and cold. The first time I went down the traveling sucked. 4 people with 2 weeks worth of camping crap in a handa civic. We took I5 and cut over at bakersfield. Robertjoy said 17 hours. I think he may have been driving a little fast. I think it took us closer to 19 but I could be wrong. The other time I flew into Palm Springs on Alaska Airlines for about 200 bones RT. The price was about the same as all the other airports in the area. The airport is much smaller and less of a hassel. From there it is only about an hour drive. I'm thinking about heading that direction in May. If I do I will probably go down the on the east side of the seirras and take my time. There are a ton of cool things to do and see on that route.

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ok so we got the buzz going.. were thinking closer like Moab, city of rocks, etc. thanks a ton for the suggestions. peace

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COR is at about 6500' above sea level, so it's pretty chilly right now (highs mid-30s, lows in the teens). I dunno when you were planning on going, but I don't think it's a good choice for winter.

 

The cracks at Indian Creek are incredible (I've only sampled a small bit) but there isn't a whole lot there <5.10, so keep that in mind. The towers look cool, but I wouldn't go to Moab for cragging if you ain't up to 5.10 cracks.

 

Johsua Tree and Red Rocks are fantastic winter climbing destinations. You can't go wrong with one of those.

 

Have fun and post a TR when you get back!

 

wave.gif

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Yeah, COR is not a good winter/early spring destination IMHO. Drove by there 1.5 weeks ago and the general area was kind of nasty - fog and freezing cold. 2 yrs. ago went out there in mid-April and it was nice in the sun. Would not go want to go there earlier than mid to late April (but if you're heading down to Moab, you can pass by on the way).

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Delta has direct connection to SLC (closest big airport) and they had these 50% off deals recently if you want to fly (about $150/person rt used to be). Or better yet, go with my driving plan above and you can still bag something short the afternoon you get there(Ancient Art/Stolen Chimney is a nice 2 hr climb, 20 minutes form the car and considered a NA Classic to give you an example). One place you can camp is in Castle Valley (TH for Castleton area). There might be other, better places to camp. If weather there turns to crap, head to Red Rocks.

Southwest is cheaper - $100 (including taxes) rt to SLC from PDX. Better flight times. Depending on snow the drive can suck to Moab - I had snow for 100 miles on I70 in the rental car. Even on the way back it was 4 hrs. If your flying & driving it's no closer than Joshua Tree.

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As a drive, Josh (or Red Rocks) is pretty much grade V-, and most parties will bivy. For my ability, Bishop is pretty much the limit as a grade IV: strong parties can do it in a day but some may bivouac. Cochise, several hours past Tucson, bumps things pretty well up into grade VI, and all but the most driven will spend two nights on the route. One day ascents will require a jet aircraft, which as an old school type I would consider ethically tainted and not a valid road trip.

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I'm personally a big Jtree fan although I haven't been to Red Rocks. The first time I went down from the Pacific Northwest I took the I5 all the way to LA and then went east to Palm Spring and up the Twentynine Palms Highway. I THOUGHT this was the fastest route because I missed the rush hour the first time I went through. However, I found out the hard way this year that the LA rush hour starts early. Made it to LA at 6am and hit the rush hour bang on. I'll never go through LA again. Head off the I5 at Bakersfield and head to Barstow. From there you can take some back roads directly to Jtree. thumbs_up.gif

 

Camp at Real Hidden Valley, Ryan, or Sheep Pass. bigdrink.gif

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"Josh (or Red Rocks) is pretty much grade V-"

Nice!!! smile.gif

 

Though I'd give JT a full grade V.

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All of the climbing areas listed above ARE great.. but joshua tree is the mecca and should not be missed by any self respecting climber. Don't let people freak you out about the camping, if you any ounce of social skills you can always find a place to camp!! Hit Bishop and it's myriad of hotsprings on the way down, if you do it right you can hit a hit a natural hot spring every day in a three day drive, and boulder in Bishop to break up the drive..

 

Check joshuatreeclimb.com for a lot of history and recommended route info and a lot of NEW! route info...

buy the Randy Vogel Falcon guide before you go!

~i

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