West ♦ Lost Horse Valley 6

Hill Street Blues

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Super Heroes to Lost Horse Ranger Station

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lost-horse-valley-12c-ranger-station-dscf4734 Trek date: 2016 Oct 3

On This Page

  • Ranger Campsite and Picnic Area
  • Hill Street Blues
  • S Crack Formation
  • Lost Horse Valley, West Side
  • Jimmy Cliff Area

Related Destination

Jimmy Cliff Area


lost-horse-ranger-station-dscf4770HILL STREET BLUES AND S CRACK FORMATION lie further up the road from Lost Horse Ranger Station, which itself is a 4/10ths mile hike from where you park at the Super Creeps turnout. Because it is so close to the Station, logic will tell you the same dramatic scenery inundates your senses when traversing the rock piles and admiring the Lost Horse Valley floor below. This entire area, in fact, is encrusted like barnacles on a ship’s hull with jutting, stand-alone inselbergs and craggy hills, rock piles, gulches, with deep canyons. Everywhere you look, Joshua Tree at its finest.

To get to Hill Street Blues, the S Crack Formation (which is a part of the Blues hillside)—and the Ranger Station picnic area beyond—follow the dusty dirt road one quarter mile past this gate. The road loops around to the right where it dead ends at the campground and picnic area. Here you will find restroom facilities but no running water. BYOH2O or Gatorade.

Hillstreet Blues Hillside

The picnic area sits directly behind the Ranger Station and rock-climber’s north/northeast wall. It so happens, there are several climbing routes on this south face in addition to Hill Street’s which you passed a minute ago. The following routes are in the ranger campground/picnic area: “When Two Become Three,” “Josar Crack,” “Mosar,” and “How Spoiler’s Bleed.”

Picnic Area


S Crack Formation

S Crack Formation is a rather small, dark rock located about 300 yards south of the ranger station and about 100 yards west of the dirt road. It sits at the base of the hillside. Randy Vogel’s book lists seven routes, with the first conveniently named “Vogels are Poodles Too.” This is followed by “Android Lust,” “Robotics,” “Left S Crack,” Middle S Crack,” “Right S Crack,” and “Jingus Con.” Although all are short 30- to 40-footers, four of the seven earn difficult 5.11 ratings. (Fortunately, this photographer, not familiar with climbing up granite prominences, found it a very easy 1.00 to photograph the group in 3D from various angles!)


Hillstreet Blues

Uphill from S Crack Formation and continuing along the hillside left is Hill Street Blues. The color of the rock on the far left is a pale grayish blue, but the structures directly above S Crack continue with the same deep warm desert varnish tints. Names are appropriate in keeping with their setting: “Once in a Blue Moon,” “Blue Sun,” “Blue Bayou,” “Blues Brothers,” “Blue Monday,” “Rhythm & Blues,” “Black and Blue,” and “Baby Blue Eyes.”

Note: There was an American television series called “Hill Street Blues” that aired on NBC from 1981-87.


Scenery Across the Way

Hill Street Blues can be found at the far western edge of Lost Horse Valley. Barely half a mile east, the desert floor yields to jutting rock-strewn hillsides and walls, buttresses and crags, ranks of canyons one upon the other, and even a Rock Garden Valley. This is the view from Hill Street Blues / S Crack Formation, left-to-right, north-to-south. The dark brown hill in the distance at right is Ryan Mountain, named after the Ryan family of early settlers in this valley. Joshua Tree was designated a National Monument by the Franklin Roosevelt administration in 1936. During Bill Clinton’s presidency, in 1994, Congress declared it a National Park.

The parking area for Lost Horse Ranger Station and Hill Street Blues area is at the Super Creeps Wall (far left end of the first illustration). Click to Enlarge.


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Thank you for visiting Joshua Tree 3D and the Hill Street Blues Gallery. Only a few visitors to Joshua Tree National Park make it out to the west side of Lost Horse Valley and the Ranger Station rock climbing formations Ranger Station Wall, Hill Street Blues and S Crack Formation. Little do they know what they are missing by way of the beautiful surroundings and vistas that stretch out in all directions!



Posted 2016 Oct 23

Updated 2017 Nov 6