Pictograph Hike

Doodles in the Desert

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Trek date: 2013 Nov 11. Explorers Murbachi & E!

Elliot Koeppel’s Pictograph Boulder Page

Queen Valley DSCF7806WHEREAS JOSHUA TREES GROW IN ABUNDANCE around Uncle Willies and the Wall Street Mill, some being quite formidable, by the time you get out onto the valley floor at Queen Mountain, Joshuas become sparser and more diminutive. Yet here too we passed through varied flora with interesting rubble fields including several noteworthy specimens such as this curiosity which Elliot is aiming his Nikon at.

O'Dell Road parking lot

O’Dell Road parking lot. Rock climbers return from Queen Mountain.

Our destination: a big rock having on its north face a large wind- and rain-eroded area which Nature has scooped out. It must have provided shelter for the seasonal people who passed through here with their children and goats for thousands of years until ranchers and settlers displaced them in the 19th century.

We parked at the O’Dell Road loop-lot for hikers visiting Queen Mountain and environs. We hoofed across the desert floor reaching our destination in no time, after first greeting these two fine, sweat-drenched gentlemen who had just come off the slopes. They recited for us tales of sore backs, woefully tired feet and beautiful mountain scenery up there to die for.


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Queen Mountain

Rising to an elevation of 5,677ft (which is about 1,200ft higher than the valley floor), Queen Mountain plays host to over 75 climbing routes in several distinct areas whose names are as colorful as the imagination of the dizzy rock climbers who named them. I’ve labeled one of the more memorable ones on the large image at top: Cirque of the Climbables. Other destinations way up there—and around back—are Spy Tower, The Big Lie Rock, The Pearls, G-Spot, Wizz Site, Watcha Call It Pillar, The Cactus Slump, The Top Block, The Pastry Pile, The Green Wall, Upper and Lower Walt’s Rocks, and the Humpty Dumpty Area.

There are at least a further dozen named ‘areas’ at the west end of Queen Mountain including the Happy Hunting Ground.


White Cliffs

This is the area below (south) of Queen Mountain and about one mile east of O’Dell Road loop parking lot. Climbers have staked out two areas, The White Cliffs and The Sun Proof Wall on the north face of a corridor between several east-west corridors. Rock climbing routes include “Trial Separation,” “Sun Proof,” “Cool City,” “Global Warming,” and “One of Two.”


Pictograph Boulder



Nolinas, grizzly bear prickle pears, and red barrels.


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I am most appreciative of you taking time from your busy day to peruse the photos in this Queen Valley gallery. Thank you! Please drop by again.

John Murbach

Temple City, California


Posted 2016 Feb 12

Updated 2017 Nov 5