West ♦ Lost Horse Valley 1

Houser Buttress to Arid Piles

Zombie Woof

Return to Lost Horse Valley Main Index

On This Page

  • Houser Buttress
  • Zombie Woof
  • 1932 Vintage Cattleman’s Dam
  • Miles of Piles
  • Blue Nubian Wall
  • Arid Piles
  • Small arch/hole-in-the-rock Oddities

(2D first. 3D Galleries follow and will require redcyan glasses to see the full 3D effect. Click Photos to Enlarge.)

Lost Horse Valley, West Side

Lost Horse Valley 13b West Side


Lost Horse Valley 10a West Zombie Area DSCF7585

FROM HIDDEN VALLEY PICNIC AREA, a dirt trail leads west along the outer perimeter of the valley. The first feature you will come to in Lost Horse Valley is a ridge of rocks and buttresses known as the Houser Buttress Area. Behind you, an ever shrinking Turtle Rock and the Pillars of Pain/Cluster group. Included in this first rock-climber’s gift from heaven are Houser Gully, the aforementioned Houser Buttress, Houser Block, and Dodo Buttress.

Zombie Woof area. Tumbling Rainbow, center of hill, Houser Buttress on right base

Zombie Woof area. Tumbling Rainbow, top of hill, Houser Buttress on right base

2D Galleries

Houser Buttress Area

Zombie Woof area cave DSCF7349

Zombie Woof area cave

Houser Buttress hosts many mid-difficulty to very challenging climbs for those who get their jollies defying gravity scrambling up monoliths of granite. Two are 90ft high. A few memorable names you can select to reach the top: “Armageden Tired,” “Snap on Demand,” “Hidden Arch,” “Loose Lady,” “Puss n’ Boots,” “Dummy’s Delight,” “Delightful Lady,” “Lucky Lady,” “Dodo’s Delight,” and “Herbie’s Hideaway.”

Continuing further, you round the bend to discover a whole new fantasy land of varied and intriguing piles stretching across the plain, with nooks and crannies galore to explore. There is even a small, multi-part cattleman’s dam built in 1932 that lies hidden within the rocks at Zombie Woof and Miles of Piles (see location above, and several images of the dam immediately below).

Old Cattleman’s Dam

(Still maintained by the Park Service)

Zombie Woof area; glimpse of Hidden Valley beyond

Zombie Woof area; glimpse of Hidden Valley beyond

The stubby Zombie Woof pinnacle used to be open to rock climbing, back in the day. Climbers had staked out three named routes: “Poodle Woof,” “Zombie Woof,” and “Woof Woof.” However, due to cultural significance, this rock is now permanently closed to climbing. Be sure to visit friend Elliot Koeppel’s Zombie Woof page HERE.

Zombie Woof Rock

Leaving Zombie Woof and Miles of Piles, The Blue Nubian Wall greets you. This lies at the base of a ridge of rocks about 250 yards northwest of the Zombie rocks, on the east margin of the open plains to the west. A flat-faced granite wall, Blue Nubian sports vertical crack systems and horizontal bands. Three named routes are listed in Randy Vogel’s book. If you are hankering to ascend try: “Blue Nubian,” “Conceptual Continuity,” and “Momento Mori.”


Blue Nubian Wall Area

Blue Nubian Wall

Blue Nubian Wall

Further out onto the plain, the western side of Lost Horse Valley continues for the better part of a mile northwest and half a mile west and southwest. The closest of the rock piles is a rather large agglomeration known as Arid Piles. Because of this area’s extent, I am shifting the remaining formations—Jimmy Cliff, Mt. Grossvogel, Poetry Rock, and the Cockroach Crags—to the second West Side Gallery linked to HERE.

Arid Piles, South Side

Lost Horse Valley Joshua Tree NP DSCF4347 Arid Piles south side

Even a casual stroll will uncover lots to see in Lost Horse Valley. Best of all, you are still within spitting distance (as it were) of the Hidden Valley parking lot with its convenient restroom facilities, shade trees, picnic tables, attentive scrub jays, and the mournful kraa of ravens calling to each other.

Enjoy your first venture into Lost Horse Valley, West Side. Few casual tourists or park visitors ever think to explore this charming area on the western edge of Hidden Valley!


2D ♦ Main Attractions

Click to Enlarge. 4K Resolution. Or Windows users, right-click and choose SAVE LINK AS. Hover mouse over images for caption.

2D ♦ Surrounding Area


Small Arch and a Hole-in-the-rock Near Arid Piles

(Hover mouse over for GPS coordinates)


  • Use glasses to view 3D Anaglyphs
  • Click to Enlarge Photos

3D Anaglyph Gallery

Be my guest and download as many of the 3D Anaglyph or 3D Half Side-by-Side photographs as you wish.

Old Cattleman’s Dam

Houser Buttress Area

Houser Buttress 3DA 1080p DSCF7293

Zombie Woof, Arid Piles, and other local scenery

Lost Horse Valley Zombie Woof area 3DA 1080p DSCF4331 panorama

Zombie Woof area

Arid Piles, south side


3D Half Side-by-Side Gallery

Suitable for 3D TV viewing. Half Side-by-Sides avoid the minor Anaglyph anomalies that can occur. Click images to enlarge. 1080p resolution. Or Windows users, right-click and choose SAVE LINK AS.


I do hope that you enjoyed visiting this page of 2D and 3D Joshua Tree pictures whose focus is on the west side of Lost Horse Valley. Please feel free to right click and download any of my photos to use however you will. Credit back to this site would be nice, but it’s not necessary. Please drop by again! Thank you.

John Murbach

Temple City, California


Posted 2015 Dec 11

Updated 2017 Nov 5