Lost Horse Wall and Vicinity
On this page
- Lost Horse Wall
- Freeway Wall
- Rock Garden Valley • Swiss Cheese Wall
- Old Cattleman’s Dam, c.1930s
- Filipino Wall
- Imaginary Voyage
Trek dates: 2014 Nov 4; 2015 Jan 2; and 2016 Feb 24 & 29, Oct 3
LOST HORSE WALL AT JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK is the main focus of this Gallery, a 250ft high massif of light-colored White Tank monzogranite. Up close, its size overwhelms. Rock climbers have staked out routes on the north end nearest Lost Horse Ranger Station Road. But the main attraction is the broad, sloping south end pictured at left. On my second visit to the site, with some residual snow still dotting the landscape, my friend Elliot Koeppel drove.
We hiked into the narrowing valley up a sandy, boulder-embedded wash, where we saw that there were more than a dozen climbers on the south-end routes. Like slow moving chuckwallas sunning themselves while creeping up toward their goal at the top, unseen due to the angle of the cliff-face. There were already two or three climbers walking along the crest—and I imagine the view from up there must be spectacular!
Head down Lost Horse Road for about half a mile to Turnouts 5 or 6 depending on space availability. At least 20 climbing routes are recorded on the south (right) face. This west-facing formation doubles as the back side of Rock Garden Valley. The streambed in the middle of this valley can be followed south to The Land That Time Forgot and eventually to Hidden Valley. We saw one or two climbers on the north end that day. Routes here are generally difficult to very difficult and include “Enos Mills Glacier,” “Cretin Bull Dancer,” “Terror in de Skies,” and “Hesitation Blues” to name just some of them.
The broad-faced southern end of Lost Horse Wall includes “Gossamer Wings,”, “Bird on a Wire,” “Dappled Mare,” “Edgar Rice Burros,” “Headbangers’ Ball,” “Hairline Fracture,” and “Lost in Space,” among others.
Between Lost Horse Wall and Freeway Wall area lies Rock Garden Valley, which I visited on my third trip to the area, Feb 2016. There are climbing faces on both sides, many of which get lots of shade since they are north or northeast facing (Tiny Tots Rock, Upper and Lower Rock Garden Valley walls, and Swiss Cheese Wall in particular). The large west-facing wall presented in the shot at left is Freeway Wall. The Freeway Wall is a rather long formation that juts out to the north—almost into Lost Horse Road. The formation’s east side connects to the Hemingway area.
For Freeway wall, park at turnout 4 just past where the buttress meets the road.
There is a small cattleman’s dam in Rock Garden Valley—a gully of rocks and very large boulders. Some of the Freeway Wall routes include, “Smooth as Silk,” “Thigh Master,” “Passing Zone,” “Nobody Walks in L.A.,” “Anacram,” and “Cakewalk”. There is a smaller formation facing the main wall of Freeway Wall known as Tiny Tots Rock.
The next valley west is Lost Horse Wall, which has on its right (western side) another rocky ridge whose prominent feature is a double-rock known as Imaginary Voyage.
The final area mentioned in passing in this Gallery is Filipino Wall which lies at the north end of Hemingway Buttress and gets shade much of the day due to its northerly exposure. (See Google Earth illustration further down the page.)
Fellow traveler on some of these outings, Elliot Koeppel—in the 2015 January photo below—covers the Lost Horse Area in one of his posts HERE. Be sure to view his crisp Nikon images, particularly the climbers on Lost Horse Wall.
Click images to enlarge. Or Windows users, right-click and choose SAVE LINK AS.
Rock Garden Valley
During a return trip this past February (2016), I completed the Lost Horse Valley Northern extremity, the area that includes Filippino Wall—and the next “valley” over Rock Garden Valley—which is by any stretch more of a W-shaped hillside rock pile flanked by Freeway Wall’s lower buttress and main wall upper portions on the left (see illustrated photos above), Tiny Tots Rock in the back-center, and Swiss Cheese Wall along the right hand side. The one closest to the camera is sometimes referred to as Shorter Wall. Below the central formation lies a well-maintained old cattle tank or dam. It held no water when I visited, but I did see bright green grasses inside, also, the shadier, sun-protected areas nearby sprouted fresh green ferns, which I found unusual.
2D Rock Garden Valley Gallery
- Use glasses to view 3D Anaglyphs
- Click to Enlarge Photos
3D Anaglyph Lost Horse Wall Gallery
Be my guest and download as many of the 3D Anaglyph or 3D Half Side-by-Side photographs as you wish. Note: 3D H-SBS images should only be saved if you have access to a 3D TV. Otherwise viewing them properly will be futile.
3D Anaglyph Rock Garden Valley Gallery
Rock Garden Valley Revisited
Newly Added. Elliot Koeppel (Cali49.com) drove and I introduced him to Rock Garden Valley on my second trip in five days. It is 2016 Feb 29 and the time, as before, about 3 o’clock in the afternoon when the sun shines directly into the rocky formation and brightens up the small cattleman’s ‘tank’ or dam—ideal conditions for the photographer. A similar dam about half a mile south at Zombie Woof has the date ‘1932’ scratched into it while the cement was still damp. It is reasonable to assume the one at Rock Garden Valley also dates to the 1930s or thereabouts. Park Service staff keep both in good repair in order to aid the local wildlife in this parched area of Southern California.
Joy of joys, 2016 is turning out to be another outstanding bloom-cycle for the Joshua Trees at Joshua Tree National Park. I took a few photos at this site, along with many others readers will find under the heading Joshua Tree Bloom ♦ 2016 in the main Galleries link at the top of this page. Included is a sample group of 3D Anaglyphs. The reticent Elliot gracefully allowed me to photograph him (without him being aware of it, of course). See also Elliot Koeppel’s Rock Garden Valley page HERE.
3D Anaglyph Rock Garden Valley, 2016 Feb 29
3D Anaglyph Slideshow
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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.
So ends this interesting Gallery page. All of the formations in the Lost Horse Wall area are close to one of 3 parking areas, only a couple of hundred paces at most and impressive for their size and setting.
Temple City, California
Posted 2016 Feb 6
Updated 2016 Oct 3