To Ranger Station via Super Heroes
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THE LOST HORSE RANGER STATION SETTING could not be lovelier, nor more rugged looking, set as it is against rocky hills, deep canyons and spectacular large rock pile ‘inselbergs.’ The views north and east from this area stretch out for miles. Rock climbers four or more decades ago discovered several ideal formations to challenge their climbing skills. The prominent ones in and around the ranger facility are known as Ranger Station Wall, Hill Street Blues with its pale slate gray tint, and the S Crack Formation—the latter named for its vertical, S-shaped gash in the gingerbread to dark walnut varnish face.
The short quarter-mile stroll from Super Heroes Wall along Lost Horse Ranger Station Road takes only a few minutes. Park at the last turnout beyond where the Lost Horse Ranger Station Road is closed to public vehicles. There are two small granite groups here, Super Creeps Wall and Super Heroes Wall. On this trip, I needed photographs of the western side of Super Heroes Wall to complete the earlier set; further, I wanted to approach the hillside from the right (cross-country) instead of along the less interesting dirt road, walking from the parking area through the brushy landscape. If you follow in my footsteps, tread lightly when nearing the ranger station since the crews have restorative plantings on the slope immediately above the buildings. I skirted well to the north in a long arc that brought me directly to the canyon where Ranger Station Wall towers in a pyramidal formation. The whole way, Joshua’s familiar rocky hills behind and ahead provided endless vistas (and 3D photograph opportunities).
Lost Horse Ranger Station, Joshua Tree National Park
Lost Horse Wall Area
Behind, as you hike up the slope toward Lost Horse Ranger Station and Ranger Station Wall, the view expands and the large Lost Horse Wall formations rise into a grand granitic series of peaks, cliffs, and deep valleys.
Trek date: 2016 Oct 3
On This Page
- Super Creeps/Super Heroes Parking Area
- Super Heroes Wall, West Face
- Lost Horse Ranger Station
- Ranger Station Wall
- View of Lost Horse Valley West & North Sides
2D ♦ Ranger Station
The Ranger Station is tucked between two large inselbergs where upwards of 20 climbing routes have been staked out on Ranger Station Wall, at right. There is a public restroom facility here. Lost Horse Road at this point splits, with both accesses gated. The left branch takes you across the desert floor to Jimmy Cliff (the large blob rising out of the plain half a mile away) and some smaller formations associated with it including Mt. Grossvogel and Poetry Rock.
[The right branch of Lost Horse Road continues around to the canyon south of the Station—where there is a picnic area, another restroom facility—and additional Ranger Station Wall climbing routes can be found. You will pass beneath a rocky hillside that plays host to Hill Street Blues and S Crack Formation. I cover the picnic area and these climbing walls in a separate S CRACK FORMATION gallery.]
Jimmy Cliff, View from Ranger Station
2D ♦ Approach from Super Creeps Area
Super Creeps Wall (left) ♦ Super Heroes Wall (right)
2D ♦ Ranger Station Wall
This formation has the distinction of being directly behind a park-ranger living quarters and campground, explains Robert Miramontes, photographer and former Joshua Tree rock climber. Walk the service road south for a quarter mile to the house. Head right into the large canyon for the climbing walls. Twenty or so routes have been staked out on this impressive-looking block of granite. The preeminent ones are “Hercules” and “Wall of 10,000 Holds.” The former has a high difficulty rating of 5.11c by Miramontes in his recently released book on the Joshua Tree Rock Climbs. The “Wall of 10,000 Holds,” he describes as climbing a huecoed-out wall. Although the climb is a relatively easy 5.4 R, he notes ominously “approaching the wall is a total pain: scramble up to a ledge to the right of the previous route [Owatafooliam], then tunnel under huge flakes to the base of the wall.” (!)
Other climbs on this formation, in no particular order, carry on the tradition where colorful names govern: “Swatchbuckler,” “Pirates of the Carabiner,” “Scaried Treasure,” “Polly Wants a Crack,” “Swain Song,” “Ranger Rendezvous,” “Swain in the Breeze,” the already mentioned “Owatafooliam,” “Bush Crack, and “Barbara Bush.”
The “Wall of 10,000 Holds” is on the right side, as indicated in the illustration. Mountain Project’s website provides a photo of a youngster climbing the “huecoed-out” wall that looks like Swiss cheese (above, right). Your narrator did not climb this wall.
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3D Anaglyph Gallery
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3D Half Side-by-Side Gallery
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Thank you for visiting Joshua Tree 3D and the Lost Horse Ranger Station 3D galleries.
Posted 2016 Oct 16
Updated 2017 Nov 6