Section Six - Joshua Tree


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Trad climber
los angeles
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 10, 2012 - 03:55am PT
So since I moved to Joshua Tree I've spent some time exploring the area off Onaga Trail, which I've come to find out is called Section Six. For me, it still takes about 30 minutes total from my front door to get to Gunsmoke for an after work workout. This area however is like 4 minutes from my door. Hoping to get a little circuit going here for those times when I want some quick climbing action without going all the way into the park. The only info I've found on the place is here:

Doesn't seem like the area is exactly a secret but it's also not really well know either. From the above thread I've learned that you REALLY shouldn't camp there and, like all places, show respect for the area by leaving no trace and not trampling bushes etc.

Anywho, I was wondering if anyone had some good info on the bouldering or climbing out there? Most specifically though, I want to know what's up with this one boulder problem I found. It's not hard to find and I'm certainly not claiming to have discovered it. It just looks so rad and is on perfect rock. I could barely pull off the ground, yes I am weak. Wondering if anyone knows anything about this problem? Other info on Section Six would be cool too.

What is this problem?
What is this problem?
Credit: Cole
I was able to pull off the ground for about .0000001 seconds.
I was able to pull off the ground for about .0000001 seconds.
Credit: Cole

Some other shots

Pano from Section Six
Pano from Section Six
Credit: Cole
Credit: Cole
Credit: Cole


Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Oct 10, 2012 - 04:57am PT

In season it's a nice place to bivy without going to the pit.

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Oct 10, 2012 - 05:53am PT
Your best bet would be to talk with Donny Reid or Steve Gerberdine. They have done a bunch of stuff out there over the years.


Oct 10, 2012 - 06:16am PT
Section 6, otherwise known as the Desert View Conservation Area is managed by Frank Haggard with San Bernardino County. He is also responsible for dealing with illegal camping on the parcel and with keeping it clean. Tasks that they have pursued quite effectively. The Joshua Tree Clean Team scheduled a work party for that area a few weeks ago. I was very impressed with the amount of care the area has been receiving. Compared to most areas, both in the desert and out of the desert, it is spotless.

If it is going to become a bouldering area its users might consider keeping it undiminished by chalk. It would be very good to have at least one area that feels natural. That alone would make Section 6 a very special area.


Oct 10, 2012 - 09:23am PT
We seem to be in agreement. Will be very sad to see it become just another chalk sewer.

Social climber
Oct 10, 2012 - 10:42am PT
Talk to Ben Shackleford, if you can. He used to work at Nomad Ventures in Joshua Tree and Idyllwild and frequents those areas a bit, he probably has done or seen a bulk of the routes, spent a few winters in Section 6.

If you want good bouldering close to home, no need to drive to Gunsmoke. There is a new guidebook out by Robert Miramontes that does a good job of pointing out less-traveled areas, and a few are literally the first turn in the park past the kiosk. If it's four minutes to Section six, you can be on some great problems in 15 that are alraedy established and IN the park.

I have no opinion on climbing on Section 6 myself, having never done it and being ignorant of the legalities.

Happy climbs brother

Trad climber
Oct 10, 2012 - 11:26am PT
"Future of wildlands mile up in the air … still"

It was acquired by the Recreation & Parks District from the Bureau of Land Management in 1964 with the understanding it would be developed into a municipal park. Millington explained that at various times in its history, a lake and campgrounds have been proposed for construction there.

Current authorized uses of the area include hiking, rock climbing, bird watching, picnicking, photography and horseback riding on established trails. The area is open from dawn to dusk.

Oct 10, 2012 - 11:35am PT
Section Six does not exist. Move on.

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Oct 10, 2012 - 12:04pm PT

Did you have your coffie this morning???

Cole just wishes to know some info....

You guys are funny sometimes.

Shhhheeeessss ..... no talking at all about any place......secret

Boulder climber
Gilbert, AZ
Oct 10, 2012 - 12:31pm PT
It's section 6, not area 51.

There is some good and interesting climbing in section 6 - and it became even more interesting in 1995 when the budget impasse caused the federal government shut down all national parks and monuments. As others have pointed out, climbing has been going on there at least since 1982 which is when I bought my first house in J.T.

I don't believe anything is documented (i.e. guidebook-wise) so just head out there and get on something that looks interesting.


Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Oct 10, 2012 - 12:36pm PT
"Doesn't seem like the area is exactly a secret but it's also not really well know either."

Threads like this are gonna make it awful public, awful fast....

This place needs to remain on the DL....

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 10, 2012 - 01:02pm PT
Slight thread drift: so the Chinese can send a man to the moon but they
can't make colored chalk?

Trad climber
Oct 10, 2012 - 01:02pm PT
I think that people will in general continue to drive right by on the way to the 7000 plus climbs, in the park...

I tend to agree with that. The majority of people who visit a major destination want to be able to tick classic lines and talk with their friends about common routes that are well known and documented. They also want to have a written guide so they know they're in the right spot....

We have a perfect example here in the Gunks - people who even want to toprope will ignore the Peterskill section which is a single pitch, easy walk up area in favor of being in the more famous Trapps. They'll go to the Trapps over the Near Trapps for the same reason

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Oct 10, 2012 - 01:09pm PT

Did you have your coffie this morning???"...

You think that because I am suggesting that someone actually go out and just EXPLORE without prior knowledge means I am being a DICKWAD???...


Okie dokie!!!...

I GUESS yer right!!!...


I guess I didn't put any smiles after statement.... sorry.

Pleas don't get your thong in a bunch.

Cole is and has been Exploring, almost everyday.

So when he finds something he likes and thinks is cool, he just wishes to know about it.

He comes on the TACO to get really good info from the seasoned veteran climbers who hang here, and he gets some brush off.....

Where should he go????



Just saying.

Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oct 10, 2012 - 01:14pm PT
Could someone please post up a complete list of all the unknown areas, with maps, route descriptions, ratings and first ascentionists. I do not want to go to a known area.

[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things that, we now know we don't know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know. ”
—United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld


Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Oct 10, 2012 - 01:17pm PT
Travel WEST, turn right at the milestone... that will get you there.

Locker... I guess it was all the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had a boss who would do that to ME.....

And I dont think i missed any point.....

Exploring is a good thing for sure.

I do it almost every weekend...

Good Day
ana dablam

mother earth
Oct 10, 2012 - 01:44pm PT
Walk the canyon below sect. Six that parallels park hundreds of petroglyphs

(Coyote hole)

Trad climber
los angeles
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 10, 2012 - 01:58pm PT
Well I figured this post had potential for some pantie bunching, but actually not as bas as I might have expected. Thanks for the info though guys. I'll just keep exploring and asking around in person.

Really want to know what's up with that one boulder problem I posted though. It's just sooooo rad! Thing is, I doubt I'll ever be able to do it, would just love to know if other people have.


Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Oct 10, 2012 - 02:02pm PT
"pantie bunching"

That's your cue, Locker...

Trad climber
under the sea
Oct 10, 2012 - 02:13pm PT
Freeball it......nothing to bunch up

Trad climber
los angeles
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 10, 2012 - 02:14pm PT
hahah awesome!

Ok Locker, YUR RIGHT. I'm just gonna work that thing till it yields to my passing.

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Oct 10, 2012 - 02:29pm PT

Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Oct 10, 2012 - 02:43pm PT
Like the OP said, he just wanted some info, but doing so in such a public forum invites attention. No harm, no foul. Still, I agree with Locker:
Don't ask, "What is it rated"...

Don't do ANYTHING along those lines...

Just go out there and fuking CLIMB and have FUN!!!...
We probably all get enough feedback on the stuff we routinely climb. I for one like to sometimes get out and explore and not worry about ratings. Have fun exploring. It's not everyday we get to stumble upon an area that feels so new.

Oct 11, 2012 - 11:53am PT
I have bouldered section 6 a few times and found the place to be small and somewhat limited - there is a short writeup about it in the new guide, but no specifics.

There is another small area that is even closer to town, called Coyote Hole or something like that - talk to Dino, he's the man!

Big Wall climber
Oct 11, 2012 - 12:02pm PT
cole becareful when exploring the desert u might run into some military trash!
nice post up!
i've never even heard of section 6.

Trad climber
Oct 11, 2012 - 08:05pm PT
There's some fun stuff to be had. Yes it's a nice place for a quickie.... (bouldering)

Amazing large boulder with a west facing thin finger to wide fist overhanging crack, also some other good problems on it
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