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Winter Holidays in Joshua Tree
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Partner missedyno


Sep 7, 2004, 6:50 AM
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Registered: Nov 21, 2001
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Winter Holidays in Joshua Tree  (North_America: United_States: California: Joshua_Tree_National_Park: _Joshua_Tree_National_Park_Overview_)
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Oh man, I hate to start a new post about this since I'm sure this has been discussed at least once a year.
But the Forum search function isn't working, and there aren't any threads about this previously linked via the routes database to the Joshua Tree section.


Due to limited funds and an increase in the ticket price to el Potrero by almost 50%, I'm seriously considering a trip to J-Tree over the winter holidays. I've been doing my research, but I have some beta-related questions.

I'm flying into Ontario airport, I know that it will be freaking cold there at night, and i'm used to/okay with that. Here are my big questions:


Renting a Car.
I'm going to have to rent a car just to get to the park from the airport. I'm not too crazy on being dependent on the other climber/campers there to travel to get food and groceries. I'm REALLY not crazy about renting a car for two weeks (close to $1K CAD) ...Unless someone tells me that it really is THAT easy to get to town w/o a car rental. Opinions? Experiences? Any locals want to help us out? eh? eh?


Camping.
Ah, Hidden Valley campground - first come first serve! How scared should I be? I know I know, I'll be visiting at such a busy time, but it's my tough luck as these are my holidays. If I show up on Christmas Day I'm assuming that there will be no sites available. I'm looking at showing up a week before christmas though - will that make any difference?

Thanks in advance - please post up or fire me off a PM.


simplistic


Sep 7, 2004, 8:08 AM
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Registered: Jan 15, 2004
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Re: Winter Holidays in Joshua Tree [In reply to]
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howdy, i too am a canadian and visitied J-tree last christmas time, here is a recount of my expereimce. I rented a car in the states, it was a neccesity due to the parks proximity to neighbouring communities and due to the distances between campsites and crags. Hidden valley was first come first serve but stuff opened up and even without it the park is so great that one loses nothing by camping elsewhere. Great climbing, great people, oh and it gets freakin cold at night in the desert. have fun.


hangerlessbolt


Sep 7, 2004, 8:27 AM
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Registered: Dec 2, 2001
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In reply to:
Oh man, I hate to start a new post about this since I'm sure this has been discussed at least once a year.
But the Forum search function isn't working, and there aren't any threads about this previously linked via the routes database to the Joshua Tree section.


Due to limited funds and an increase in the ticket price to el Potrero by almost 50%, I'm seriously considering a trip to J-Tree over the winter holidays. I've been doing my research, but I have some beta-related questions.

I'm flying into Ontario airport, I know that it will be freaking cold there at night, and i'm used to/okay with that. Here are my big questions:


Renting a Car.
I'm going to have to rent a car just to get to the park from the airport. I'm not too crazy on being dependent on the other climber/campers there to travel to get food and groceries. I'm REALLY not crazy about renting a car for two weeks (close to $1K CAD) ...Unless someone tells me that it really is THAT easy to get to town w/o a car rental. Opinions? Experiences? Any locals want to help us out? eh? eh?


Camping.
Ah, Hidden Valley campground - first come first serve! How scared should I be? I know I know, I'll be visiting at such a busy time, but it's my tough luck as these are my holidays. If I show up on Christmas Day I'm assuming that there will be no sites available. I'm looking at showing up a week before christmas though - will that make any difference?

Thanks in advance - please post up or fire me off a PM.

Can't believe you didn't send me a PM on this!

Oh, HI! btw

Rent a car...yes, it sucks...the crags that you'll want to visit can be quite a ways from your campsite...even if they're not (say you actually secure a spot at HV) you don't want to be pegeon-holed to one group of areas.

Yes, it gets COLD in Josh. upper teens, lower 20's...many days don't see temps higher than 40 or 50...it's the only place outside of the cascades that I've had to climb with a down jacket.

You're going to fall in love with the place...gauranteed.

Let me know when you're thinking about heading out...we may make a run down that way as well.

If we don't make it...I know quite a few people who can show you around

Hit me up for more info


jt512


Sep 7, 2004, 8:41 AM
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Registered: Apr 11, 2001
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Re: Winter Holidays in Joshua Tree [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Renting a Car.
I'm going to have to rent a car just to get to the park from the airport. I'm not too crazy on being dependent on the other climber/campers there to travel to get food and groceries. I'm REALLY not crazy about renting a car for two weeks (close to $1K CAD) ...Unless someone tells me that it really is THAT easy to get to town w/o a car rental. Opinions? Experiences? Any locals want to help us out? eh? eh?

Rent a car. It's a 1.5-hr drive from ONT to J Tree, and public transportation is essentially non-existant. In addition, as you say, without a car you'll be dependent on others for getting into town for food, water, etc. Also, the Park is huge, and you'll need a car to get to the routes you'll want to do. You'll also be able to take side trips. New Jack City is about an hour away, if you want to do a little sport climbing. Red Rocks is a few hours drive.

I've rented a zillion cars at ONT, so here's the scoop. You should be able to rent a car at ONT for about US$150/wk. Advantage, Alamo, and Thrifty tend to have the lowest prices. Don't accept any of the stupid insurance options. Car rental rates fluxuate. To get the best rate available, make a reservation early, but check for lower rates every few days and change your reservation if a lower rate pops up.

Consider flying into LAX. You are apt to find both cheaper airfares and car rental rates at LAX compared with ONT. Flying into LAX adds about 1.5-hr drive each way to J Tree, which amortized over a 2-wk trip, isn't such a big deal.

In reply to:
Camping.
Ah, Hidden Valley campground - first come first serve! How scared should I be? I know I know, I'll be visiting at such a busy time, but it's my tough luck as these are my holidays. If I show up on Christmas Day I'm assuming that there will be no sites available. I'm looking at showing up a week before christmas though - will that make any difference?

If you have a car there is no compelling reason to camp at HVC; any of the campgrounds will do. HVC will probably be full if you arrive on the weekend, and will probably not be full if you arrive midweek. The sign seems to always say "full," but don't believe it. Even if you arrive on the weekend, you should be able to get a campsite at one of the other campgrounds, and you can always move to HVC midweek.

-Jay


jklinke


Sep 7, 2004, 8:45 AM
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Registered: Aug 2, 2004
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Hangerlessbolt is right, it can get really cold at JTree, especially over Christmas. Normally, that by itself wouldn't be so bad since you could just climb the south-facing routes. What can make it tough is when it is windy at the same time. If that happens head over to Indian Cove. It's lower in elevation and little less windy than in park.

As for cheap camping, there's always the BLM land off Onaga road, just before you get to the main entrance.


apolobamba


Sep 7, 2004, 9:08 AM
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also, there is no cell phone reception in the park


rjavery10


Sep 7, 2004, 9:33 AM
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Registered: May 24, 2004
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I go to Josh all the time in the winter. I would recommend staying in Ryan campground as it is close to lots of climbing and only a 4 mile drive from some of the best stuff in the park.
Also staying in Ryan gives you a chance to get on some classics on Headstone Rock before everybody and their cousin gets there.
Ryan is often full on weekends and I think it is more popular than HVC some weekends.
Bring gloves and a down jacket for sure as it will be cold.


winglady


Sep 7, 2004, 2:08 PM
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Also, take a look at flying into Las Vegas -- the airfares may be cheaper, and the car rental prices may be better as well. It's about a 3 hour drive from Vegas to JTree.


scubanclimb


Sep 7, 2004, 3:13 PM
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Went out last February - after much trolling on Travelocity, Expedia, etc. I found that Orange County (airport code: SNA) was cheaper for both airfare and car rental - rented a midsize for 19.95 $US / day. Same car at LAX was 42.00 $US / day. The distance to J-Tree is about the same as from LAX.


micronut


Sep 7, 2004, 4:03 PM
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What they said,................ that's one school of thought.................


or......................................

You could fly in with no car and arrange for some R.C. comer to pick you up in ONT., swing by Trader Joe's in Upland, then take you out to the park. Then, you could ditch him and the car and just bivy around the HVC area. And since you won't be encumbered by a car, you don't have to worry such much about actually having an official site. If you're cool, people will let you hang around their site, but car space is a premium. Also, you can easily spend a whole week just climbing routes within walking distance of HVC, as well as hook up with tons of partners with cars who will totally shuttle. And since you did such good shopping an TJ's, you won't need to go to town. But you'll proabally get invited out to a veggie burger and beer and the Crossroads and you'll want to go anyway.

The ride back to the airport is the only iffy part. But by that time, you might not want to ever leave.


boltdude


Sep 7, 2004, 4:23 PM
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If you like micronut's plan, also grab a huge water jug (a 5 gallon one is nice) at some discount store, fill it up at Coyote Corner, and bring it. It's easy to run out of water up there even in the winter.


pheenixx


Sep 7, 2004, 4:24 PM
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Registered: May 22, 2004
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Although I haven't had any personal info. I have heard good things about this place.

http://www.joshuatreeclimbing.com/climbers_ranch/climbers_ranch.htm

Contact them and maybe they have some additional "local" connections for ya...

Cheers ~

~phx~


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