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Climbers have flocked to the otherworldly landscape of Joshua Tree National Park since the 1940’s. Thousands of routes for complete beginners to expert climbers can be found on the solid, granite rock formations scattered throughout the park. While Joshua Tree is known for its impeccable friction climbing, that’s not the only style in the area. Whether you’re looking for splitter cracks, funky face climbs, or adventure routes, this park has it all, at every level of difficulty. And the setting is hard to beat. Take in expansive views of the Mojave Desert or try to spot the elusive desert tortoise while relaxing between climbs.
Guided climbing and instruction are available for climbers of all skill levels, from first-time beginners to intermediate and advanced climbers. All of our guides are trained by the AMGA or PCGI and are experts at finding the right climbs for you. In order to make sure everyone gets exactly what they need, we’ll focus on Intro instruction designed for those who have never climbed before, Intermediate instruction for climbers wanting to climb in the 5.5-5.9 range (best for those who have some experience, but perhaps have never climbed outside), and Advanced for climbers wanting to join our guides on more difficult routes.
We do not allow lead climbing at this retreat. Please read our FAQ below for our explanation.
Yoga is one of the most accessible ways to improve at rock climbing. It increases flexibility, builds strength, promotes balance, and helps calm the mind. We will be offering an hour and a half yoga class after climbing Friday and Saturday. All yoga instructors we partner with are familiar with climbing and will focus on a practice designed to restore and bring balance to the body after a full day of climbing.
We love to eat! And we love supporting local businesses. At each retreat we work with local restaurants to provide the best tasting food the high desert has to offer. Some of our favorites include Middle Eastern food from Yucca Kabob and brick oven pizza from 2 Guys Pies. We’ll make sure you’re well fed with Yucca Valley’s best. And don’t worry - we can accommodate those with food restrictions.*
We provide a simple breakfast of bagels and cream cheese (GF and vegan options provided), eggs, gluten free granola and oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, and nuts. For lunch we will be making sandwiches and will provide a variety of snacks and bars.
*Read our FAQ at the bottom of this page for more information on dietary accommodations.
Nestled in a grove of Joshua Trees, Black Rock Canyon Campground will be our basecamp for the retreat. Black Rock is conveniently located just ten minutes south of the town of Yucca Valley, a great place to grab last minute supplies or post-climbing treats. It’s also one of the only campgrounds within the National Park that has reliable cell service. With plenty of accessible hiking trails nearby and epic sunsets, Black Rock is our favorite spot to host in Joshua Tree.
We provide tents, sleeping bags, and a twin size air mattress for a small fee, with individual tents for each camper. Participants are welcome to bring their own camping gear as well, and we do ask folks to bring their own pillows if desired.
By chasing shade or seeking sun, it’s possible to climb comfortably in Joshua Tree from September through May. The Southern California desert receives very little precipitation, and the granite rock typically dries out immediately after rain. Late fall and early spring are prime times in the park, with typical day time temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees. Strong winds can be a factor, but there are tons of sheltered pockets of climbing among the rock formations.
The desert can feel like the land of extremes, and we joke that you should pack clothes for summer and winter on a camping trip in Joshua Tree. Though the sunny days are usually balmy, overnight lows can drop quickly, so it’s nice to have some layers for bundling up. We always build a cozy fire to keep us warm (and to roast s’mores!) during our evening hangs.
(SOLD OUT) March 16th - 19th, 2023 | March 23rd - 26th, 2023 | (SOLD OUT) March 30th - April 2nd, 2023
November 2nd - 5th, 2023 | November 9th - 12th, 2023 | November 16th - 19th, 2023
Here is a link to our cancellation policy. We strongly suggest purchasing trip protection to protect your investment as we will not modify our cancellation policy under any circumstance.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
GETTING TO JOSHUA TREE:
We will host this retreat rain or shine. If the weather is poor we will propose alternative activities such as technical skills lessons (anchor building, self-rescue, multi-pitch) or hiking. If poor weather would make you want to cancel we recommend looking into Cancel For Any Reason.
The majority of women come to our retreats alone - somewhere around 90%. If you are hesitating to join because you would be coming solo, please know that we expect a majority of our participants to be joining by themselves, seeking community.
We generally have a wide range of ages at our retreats. The average tends to fall anywhere between the ages of 28 to 45. But we have had quite a few women in their 60's join as well. It really is up to the attitude and physical ability of the participant.
ABSOLUTELY. We will have at least 4 instructors at the retreat so that we can accommodate a wide range of abilities. In fact, teaching people the basics of rock climbing is what we do best. The entire ethos of She Moves Mountains guiding is to remember what it felt like to try climbing for the first time. It's intimidating, but we will be with you ever step of the way.
Yes, we have two types of payment plans available.
Payment Plan 1 (Two Payments): This plan requires a 50% deposit, of which 10% of the total cost of the trip is non-refundable. Apply the discount code "retreatdeposit" at checkout. Full payment will be required three months prior to the retreat start date.
Payment Plan 2 (Monthly Payments):
This option is only available if the retreat is 4 or more months away. This plan requires a 10% deposit, of which 10% of the total cost of the trip is non-refundable. Apply the discount code "paymentplan" at checkout to take advantage of this option. We will split the remaining payment into subsequent monthly payments. Full payment will be required two weeks before the retreat start date. We charge $50 to utilize this option as it requires much more work for our team to manage.
We have a very strict cancellation policy. Please review it before committing to this retreat.
We will not modify our cancellation policy under any circumstances (if you get sick, injured, or have an emergency). For this reason we highly recommend purchasing trip protection. HERE is a great article by Forbes that covers their favorite plans.
This must be purchased through a trip insurance agency.
We know you love your fur babies but unfortunately, we cannot allow pets on any of our group trips or clinics.
Due to the nature of the climbing in Joshua Tree we do not allow participants to lead on this trip. The majority of the routes we will be climbing are trad routes and often in Joshua Tree there are sustained sections without opportunities for protection.
In order to mitigate risk, we cannot permit climbers to lead without a guide on a rope next to them which is not possible with the climber to guide ratio at these retreats.
All of our retreats are rain or snow or smoke or shine. We do our best to choose dates where this won't be an issue, but it's always a possibility. Even more so with the changing climate. If poor weather occurs we will propose alternative activities such as movement skills at the climbing gym, technical skills lessons such as anchor building or multi-pitch clinics, or hiking.
If poor weather will ruin your experience we suggest that you purchase "cancel for any reason" trip protection as we will not be providing any refunds due to weather related issues.
We aren't experts in this area as this is not the lived experience of our current instructor team. But we want you here and we are committed to making your experience a positive one.
If you can:
CLIMBING IS FOR YOU!
Currently the most limiting factor is the ability to fit into a harness. We have harnesses that can accommodate up to a 56inch waist. We are looking into getting a fleet of fully adjustable harnesses before next season starts.
If you want to learn more from plus sized climbers I highly recommend looking into Climb Big. Climb Big is an organization with a mission to "Make climbing more accessible for fat folx."