North ♦ Lost Horse Valley 2

Lost Horse Road Area

Filipino Wall and Hemingway DSCF7645

Lost Horse Valley 13h Filipino Wall DSCF7645

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

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On this page

  • Granny Goose
  • Left Hand of Darkness (part of Granny Goose)
  • Ken Black Memorial Dome • Mindless Mound
  • Banana Cracks Formation • Filipino Wall

Trek dates: 2013 Feb 6 and Oct 23; 2015 Jan 2; 2016 May 28

Lost Horse Valley 13g Google Lost Horse Road

THE NUMBER OF ROCKY HILLS increases markedly once you reach the junction of Park Boulevard and Lost Horse Road, on your arrival from the park’s West Entrance. A graded dirt road heads west toward the park Ranger Station situated at the base of the hills. You are deep in the western outskirts of Wonderland of Rocks, which the Park service dubs Joshua Tree’s ‘Crown Jewel.’ And what a Crown Jewel! Photo opportunities everywhere. A 360° wonderland surrounds you.

Lost Horse Road Parking Lot DSCF7652You will find a substantial parking lot just past Roadside Rock, with restroom facility, though no running water. The formations along the eastern side of Park Boulevard—visible in the background from the gravel parking lot—are a part of the Cohn Ranch private property. No Trespassing allowed. Please observe the posted signs if you wander across the road in your peregrinations.

Smack in front of you looms The Left Hand of Darkness formation (see map), sometimes called “Granny Goose” in rock climbing guides.

Granny Goose and Left Hand of Darkness, west side

Mindless Mound and Hemingway Buttress

Mindless Mound and Hemingway Buttress

Further down Lost Horse Road road are three turnouts each with room for several vehicles. On busy weekends, however, these fill quickly since the area comprises numerous and fairly awe-inspiring rock climbing faces, a long canyon leading into The Land That Time Forgot and eventually reaching Hidden Valley, plus several box canyons and a small cattleman’s dam.

Ken Black Memorial Dome

Ken Black Memorial Dome

A few hundred yards after passing the west end of Left Hand of Darkness you enter an open space where you are greeted by Mindless Mound, Hemingway Buttress, and Filipino Wall. On one trip, I chanced to visit the site at the Golden Hour, where the setting sun highlighted the western faces of these majestic granite formations.

To reach Ken Black Memorial Dome from the Lost Horse Road parking lot, walk back to Park Blvd. and go around to your right, where the prominent Memorial Dome face towers above you. Here is a shot of my friend Dennis Nowicki—proprietor of Studium Magazine website—directing viewers of this fine, authoritative Joshua 3D page to gaze upon Ken Black Memorial Dome. Believe me when I say the Dome is much larger in real life than it seems in the picture. His hand isn’t that big. Friends tell me that Dennis is an optical illusion, and never better illustrated than here. (I purposely lined up the trunk of the Joshua Tree to be growing out of his skull, the second one sprouting from his arm. No doubt it will amuse him seeing this. Olé!)

Granny Goose & Left Hand of Darkness, North and East Faces

Granny Goose is easily approached and is situated at the SW corner of the large car lot mentioned above. Granny climbing routes can be found on both the west side and east faces. For those eager beavers who wish knowing these things (1 out of every 153,972 Joshua Tree NP visitors by my estimation, but 99.9 out of every 100 rock climbers) the east face routes include: “Mother Goose,” “Granny Goose,” “Grandpa Goose,” “Pump Up the Volume,” “Bryant Gumbel,” and five others, but I won’t mention them because I need to rest my typing fingers. East side climbs are 30ft to 70ft.

Left Hand of Darkness is located behind and left of the Granny Goose face as a 50ft tall stand-alone formation, mainly shaded because of it is secluded between Granny and Ken Black. Miramontes describes seven routes on the east side, of which a sampling are “The Uhh Cult,” “The Right Route,” and “The Left Route.”

Ken Black Memorial Dome, Northeast Side

Ken Black Memorial Dome is immediately left (south) of Left Hand of Darkness. It has numerous climbs, several on the northeast side (which I have illustrated in the following two shots—note several youthful climbers beginning their ascent through the base rubble pile in order to reach the climbing face up top). More routes can be found on the west side of the dome as well. Several of these show route names as follows: “”Powdered Toast Man,” “Fryer Flyers,” “Poultry Pilots,” “Chicken Mechanics,” “My Friends Treat Me Like a Mushroom,” “Blackjack,” “Blackout,” “Baby Huey Smokes an Anti-Pipeload,” “Anti-Gravity Boots,” and “Potato Masher.”

In the following set, my friend Dennis Nowicki, points at nothing in particular a few hundred yards south of the Ken Black Memorial Dome.

(Hover mouse over these to view captions)

Additional images, the one of me, your inveterate banana-nut-bread Murbachi photographer, where I am standing before Banana Cracks Formation. This is the southern extension—okay, backside—of Mindless Mound in the former shot above, right. Rock climbers, clever blokes and very inventive, have the following named-routes, all of them middling-to-difficult except for “Baby Banana”: “Papaya Crack,” “Left Banana Crack,” “Right Banana Crack,” “Banana Peel,” and “Tails of Poodles”—they cannot seem to escape the Poodle references, wherever you go in JTree, you find mindless Poodle climbs—continuing, we have, “Rotten Banana,” “Barfing at Zeldas,” and “Red Bull.” On to the 3D Galleries…


  • 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.


3D Half Side-by-Side Gallery

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


DSCF0927Thank you for enjoying the Lost Horse Road gallery. You did enjoy it, I hope? A fascinating area of the park. Sadly, most tourists drive straight by it oblivious to its secrets.

John Murbach

Temple City, California


Posted 2016 Jan 24

Updated 2017 Nov 6