Community meeting tonite, Thursday 3/31- Lend Your Voice!

March 31, 2016 · Posted in Call To Action, Climber Alert, Events, General, News · Comments Off on Community meeting tonite, Thursday 3/31- Lend Your Voice! 

Get involved and stay connected. The County of San Bernardino is updating Joshua Tree’s Community Plan and invites you to a series of workshops to learn what is going on, ask questions, take surveys and voice your opinions. If you are passionate about recreation opportunities and a healthy rec environment in and around Joshua Tree, lend your voice!


Joshua Tree CP | 03/31/16 Workshop #2: Our Roadmap



How does Search & Rescue work, anyway?

March 8, 2016 · Posted in Archives, Call To Action, Climber Alert, Events, General, News · Comments Off on How does Search & Rescue work, anyway? 

Friends Of Joshua Tree supports JOSAR (the volunteer Search & Rescue in JTNP) very actively… but you might ask ‘What Does SAR do’? and ‘How do they do it’? Or maybe ‘How might I Get Involved’?

JOSAR performs a crucial function in and around the Park performing searches, evacuations, and treatment on site of lost and injured park-goers. It doesn’t matter if they are hikers, bird-watchers, backpackers, climbers, or campers. JOSAR is there for the entire community. Without this mission-critical service that works in close partnership with Park management, the vast majority of lost and injured park users would be in much worse condition (including losing their lives). We have a lot to be grateful for in Joshua Tree’s JOSAR group; they train hard every month, and have achieved a level of respect and notoriety in the region, setting a high bar for the mountain and urban rescue groups that operate in San Bernardino County, Imperial County, and Riverside County.

Here is an interesting article from Outside Magazine on how SAR works in a general sense using examples from other National Parks.

and this shot, from Joshua Tree National Park taken by JOSAR member, of JOSAR members training. Guess where?

benchmark studios photo

benchmark studios photo


New National Monuments to flank JTNP- Thanks, Obama!

February 13, 2016 · Posted in Archives, Climber Alert, Events, General, News · Comments Off on New National Monuments to flank JTNP- Thanks, Obama! 

Through executive order, President Obama has brought to reality the multi-year dream of Senator Dianne Feinstein and the conservation community in California by proclaiming not one but THREE new National Monuments, all in the greater Mojave Desert ecosystem. Friends Of Joshua Tree, along with a cadre of other key conservation-minded organizations throughout California (like the California Wilderness Coalition) were asked to endorse this legislation during the spring of 2015. We’re excited to see it finally push through, with the POTUS’s help.

The Sand to Snow NM, Castle Mountains NM, and Mojave Trails NM are unique, culturally and recreationally significant areas in the high desert biome of Southern California. With the National Monument designation, they will be protected from high impact human activities while enhancing responsible recreation activities like hiking, biking and climbing.

The maps shown below depict an overview of the region, the Castle Mountains NM area within the Mojave National Preserve, and the Sand To Snow NM area directly adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park.

Screen-Shot-2016-02-12-at-10.34.16-PM Screen-Shot-2016-02-12-at-10.51.17-PM Screen-Shot-2016-02-12-at-11.12.05-PM

Chicks With Nuts Coming to JTree Feb. 5-7?

January 21, 2016 · Posted in Call To Action, Climber Alert, Events, General · Comments Off on Chicks With Nuts Coming to JTree Feb. 5-7? 

February 5-7, 2016, a women’s-specific climbing course focused on trad techniques is being brought to Joshua Tree in a collaboration with the good folks at Cliffhanger Guides. From their site you’ll see this is one group that celebrates and educates around multi-pitch trad climbing with and for Women. They do have a funny name… but they take their climbing education seriously!

Check out this fun, short clip of a CWN event at Seneca Rocks (gorgeous!) and enjoy some good time music from the Allman Bros. too. If you are interested to learn more go to and go to ‘Events Out West’. or just email . Ladies Only! Sorry guys…


Chicks With Nuts – Motion Photography from Brendan Mulhern on Vimeo.



Climb Smart 2015 – check it out!

October 20, 2015 · Posted in Archives, Climber Alert, Events, General, News · Comments Off on Climb Smart 2015 – check it out! 

Climb Smart 2015 happened under dramatic skies in and around Joshua Tree National Park this past weekend (October 16-18, 2015) with education as the centerpiece of a festival that brought together 200+ climbers from around the Western U.S. to kick off the season. Staged with lightning flashing in the night sky, thunder rolling nearby but clear skies and perfect weather for climbing, clinicing, stewarding, star gazing and celebrating in the high desert.

The festival was held again at the Joshua Tree Lake Campground, along with the upgraded Desert Astronomy Theater for the evening feature events.

Here are some images to share, and hopefully you can share more with us via our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Friends Of Joshua Tree on facebook, JTreeFriends on Twitter. Use #ClimbSmart2015 to share it far and wide…

Joshua Tree Lake Campground, the Desert Video Astronomy Theater, and the National Park itself were great partners of the event, as well as many sponsors, individuals and other like-minded organizations like the Access Fund, Southern California Mountaineers Association and JOSAR, the search and rescue organization serving Joshua Tree. Volunteers from accredited climbing schools like Cliffhanger Guides, Joshua Tree Guides, PCGI and The Climbing Life were anchors of the event, along with volunteers from Adventure 16, Gear Coop, Nomad Ventures and other event sponsors.

Professional athletes Daniel Woods (The North Face) and Jess Roskelley (adidas Outdoor) presented inspiring multimedia shows and shared their formidable skills in the Park with clinic attendees, and a dozen Climb Smart participants worked with JTNP on a special service project in the Hall of Horrors area.

Thanks to all involved for participating and contributing to an excellent climbing community event, and mark the dates for 2016 (tentatively OCTOBER 14-16) for CLIMB SMART 2016.


Board of FOJT


Climb Smart 2015 – still time to Register!

October 2, 2015 · Posted in Archives, Call To Action, Climber Alert, Events, General, News · Comments Off on Climb Smart 2015 – still time to Register! 

One of the most critical components of Climb Smart events is the support we get from local and regional organizations… this support stretches from guiding organizations and certified guides to organizations connecting climbers in the region. In a few weeks we will come together once again (October 16-18 weekend) to kick off the climbing season with celebration, education, stewardship and plain old fun.

One of the most relied on and valuable partners of Climb Smart is the SCMA (Southern California Mountaineers Association). This group anchors the kitchen setup, along with JOSAR, and brings the amazing breakfast to life on Saturday and Sunday of Climb Smart weekend. For a requested donation of $5, Climb Smart attendees enjoy a morning feast to power their days in the Park, learning and reinforcing technique and skills for adventure climbing in Joshua Tree. (Dinners are already included in the Registration, FYI).

Here’s a link to an article and images from past Climb Smart events… give them a visit and make sure to say THANKS when you see them on site later this month!

Thanks to all of you supporting Climb Smart 2015. The event is going to be amazing… if you need to register still, now is the Time! (It’s filling up quickly, and it’s limited space)


SCMA at Climb Smart

SCMA at Climb Smart! A stalwart partner in gathering, educating and inspiring the Climbing Community. Oh, And Feeding it!

Climb Smart 2015 – Still space available

July 8, 2015 · Posted in Archives, Call To Action, Climber Alert, Events, General, News · Comments Off on Climb Smart 2015 – Still space available 

OCTOBER 16-18… This year’s CLIMB SMART will be the 18th annual event that leads into the Centennial year of the National Parks in the USA. This will be among the best events to attend of the season! TNF’s Daniel Woods is a feature athlete offering insight and inspiration!

JUST ADDED – Jess Roskelley (adidas Outdoor athlete)… many more will gather with us again next month… YOU can be there.

Kick off the climbing season with us and our awesome partner organizations in service to the Park, to our great climbing community and learn/refresh skills while building a network of passionate and diverse climbers from different disciplines, skill levels and meet a few legends too. And then, there’s always the swag and feature entertainment in the evenings that are just plain fun and worthwhile by themselves. See pics of Climb Smart events from the past below. And videos here!

In all, Climb Smart represents the best of what the climbing community has to offer.



WHAT? ONLY $109?

REGISTER NOW and join the climbing community in Josh.


spring cling 14 5

mini-clinic session on anchors CS12

mini-clinic session on anchors CS12




Encouraging diversity in our Park

May 19, 2015 · Posted in Archives, Climber Alert, Events, General, News · Comments Off on Encouraging diversity in our Park 

In April, some Friends of Joshua Tree board members, along with two different youth groups and staff of JTNP (even the Superintendent and his children) joined together to recreate, celebrate and educate in the Park over a weekend. These youth had never been to any national park, and most had never camped. They were from Agape International and Walt Whitman School in the Los Angeles area, and the outing was organized by Medicines Global Outdoor Youth Ambassador program. Thanks to Janice and Johanna Belson for spearheading this opportunity for these teen Angelenos to experience the Park and it’s wonders of tranquility, flora, fauna and the magical Mojave/Sonoran desert landscape that is uniquely Joshua Tree. We used several sites in Blackrock Campground; can you imagine if they had woken up in Hidden Valley or Ryan? Nevertheless the beauty of the high desert was ubiquitous and amazing, including just a little bit of rain and wind.

IMG_0268_1We took the kids (and their accompanying adult chaperons, many of which were newbie campers and climbers too) out and helped them set up camp, cook meals, get comfy and led a few hikes and a climbing experience that was, of course, the highlight. Of course hacky sack and some hiking to see the Barker Dam area were included.

Introducing people to the wonders of Joshua Tree is one of the great privileges of being part of the climbing community, and FOJT.

The more we can educate and introduce the natural places of our state and country to those in the urban environment, the more we will see

an embrace of the wild character we want to protect.

Who have you introduced to JTree recently? Got any pics? Share ’em up here (you have to join our gallery first, but it’s easy).


A picture gallery (worth a few thousand words) below, plus a bonus short video of our shared adventure here 


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Friends of Joshua Tree