East ♦ Roadside Rocks 1

The Mile Post to Dihedral Rock

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  • The Mile Post • The Cathouse • Poon Dome
  • Pep Boy’s Crag • Dihedral Rock
  • East and West faces

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Roadside Rocks 2

Roadside Rocks 3

The Land that Time Forgot

Poon Dome (L) and The Cathouse

Poon Dome (L) and The Cathouse

The Mile Post

The Mile Post

THIS GALLERY COVERS THE FORMATIONS found alongside Park Boulevard starting just past Hemingway Buttress and ending at Dihedral Rock. Roadside Rocks Gallery 2 continues further south, while Roadside Rocks Gallery 3 encapsulates The Aviary group of formations across Park Boulevard to the east. I found it convenient to break these into three groups. You will find parking on Park Boulevard at four different spots: Hemingway, or Turnout 1 (0.6 miles east of Lost Horse Road), Turnout 2 (1.0 mile east of Lost Horse Road), and Intersection Parking Lot (1.3 miles east of Lost Horse Road).

The Mile Post— 34° 1’22.38″N 116°10’26.06″W —while not shown on the wide angles below, begins Roadside Rocks coverage and it is my educated guess they so-named it because it is 0.6 miles from Lost Horse Road and 0.7 miles from Intersection Rock. I walked around and around it taking 3D pictures and for the life of me I could not find any mileage indicator stenciled on it, search though I may. Alas! (Some reference books list ‘Milepost’ as one word.) This imposing monolith squats a mere 4,046 centimeters from the pavement per Google Earth’s Ruler, on a heading of 81.98 degrees. It can be found about half a mile east of the large Hemingway parking lot. Turnout 1 is just east of it. There are two 30ft climbing routes known: “The Gettysburger,” and “Scrambled Eggs.”

Poon Dome, viewed from the southern end

Poon Dome, viewed from the southern end

Further in from the road, and 300 yards or so from Turnout 1, is a nice brown-patina rock pile known as The Cathouse. Walk south from The Mile Post with Pep Boys Crag on your left and Playhouse Rock on the right. Several routes have been staked out by rock climbers on this approach-side including “Chicken Pox Leaves Bad Scars,” “Fat Cats,” “Siamese,” “Alley Cat,” and “Side Step.” Additional climbs are on upper and lower walls behind, which only those who wish to scramble up rocks should attempt to view. Here are a few of the Wall route names but there are additional ones: “Cat Scratch Fever,” “Nine Lives,” “Hello Kitty,” and “Heathcliff.”

Pep Boys, approach from Park Blvd.

Pep Boys, approach from Park Blvd.

Next comes Poon Dome, a large, low-angle gray slab which faces west and whose main climbing routes are located on the west face (left) as you approach via the south end.

The two most prominent features and dearly beloved by climbers at Roadside Rocks are Pep Boys Crag and Dihedral Rock. Pep Boys consists of several walls and boulder piles scattered about the formation.

Pep Boys Crag west face DSCF2531

Pep Boys, west face

On the two trips I made to the area, I covered the east side facing Park Boulevard—and pictured in the wide angle shots below—as well as from the north end nearest The Mile Post.

Pep Boys’ western face is in a canyon leading to The Land That Time Forgot, and gets bright afternoon sun. Pep Boys is so varied-looking that you think you are staring at different formations when you swing around from the east side to the west and south!

Dihedral Rock DSCF2889

Dihedral Rock

Last in this wonderful Gallery of confusion we have Dihedral Rock. This formation lies about 100 yards further south of Pep Boys Crag. A large left-facing dihedral on its left side can be seen easily from the road. It offers some difficult to extremely difficult climbs. Routes include: “Coarse and Buggy,” “Rots o’ Rock,” “The Sow Sickle,” “How’s ‘about It,” and “Limp-Wristed Faggot.”

Dihedral (click image to enlarge)

Other routes are on the north face of Dihedral Rock, which is referred to as the Road Block. These, too, are mainly difficult, but I will relieve readers by not mentioning their route-names. Believe me when I say they are just as crazy and colorful sounding as elsewhere. (Note for those who are wondering: A dihedral is an inside corner of rock, with more than a 90-degree angle between the faces.)

Adventuresome people can take a well-beaten climber’s trail 400yds or so around the right end of Pep Boy’s Crag formation, where you will discover The Land that Time Forgot, within a tight, boulder-strewn little box canyon. Your eyes will see supremely beautiful wonders most casual Park visitors have never seen!


Roadside Rocks ♦ The Wide View

Butterflies Are Free

Roadside Rocks Joshua Tree butterfly DSCF2873


2D ♦ Roadside Rocks

 Click images to enlarge. 1080p resolution. Or Windows users, right-click and choose SAVE LINK AS.


  •  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 interest you.


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.


The Roadside Rocks section of Joshua Tree National Park provides endless things to see, places to go, with convenient nooks, crannies, and gaps where you’ll get lost. But who cares! You’re mere steps away from Park Boulevard and its automobiles. Enjoy the 3D images provided of this fascinating area. I hope you will point your friends and fellow travelers to Joshua Tree 3D website.

John Murbach

Temple City, California


Posted 2016 Jan 27

Updated 2018 Nov 10