The rock in Joshua Tree, like the rock in the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, consists of granite batholiths — stacks of giant boulders and single-pitch crags. The main difference is the presence of mutant yucca plants called Joshua “trees”:
There are also aggressive and hyper-vigilant rangers. The Swiss couple in the next campsite were repeatedly threatened for having their generally harmless dog either off a leash or outside the dog-approved zone (evidently dogs are allowed, but only within 100 feet of roads and campsites). A ranger also creepily searched their campsite late at night, possibly looking for uncollected turds.
Me-on-a-rope is still me: solid on 5.6, not falling on 5.7, hit-or-miss above 5.9, and even on 5.8 that requires forearm strength or pure hand jams. There was much flailing and loss of skin. But since me-on-a-rope is a rare thing, here is a photo of one of the less embarrassing moments:
I also did another sport route and some top-roping, making use of my found rope and puny collection of trad gear to build anchors.
Me sans rope is more common. Since I’m still figuring out how J-tree rock works and how the ratings compare to elsewhere, I limited myself to low 5th class routes. I did three 5.2-5.4 routes on Cap Rock, then did the eye on Cyclops, rated between 5.1 and 5.4. The popular ones were a bit greasy, but none were too taxing. One, the “Aiguille de Joshua Tree,” even looked kind of cool: