Ryan Ranch

Ruins and Out-Buildings

(2D first. 3D Galleries further down the page will require redcyan glasses to see the full 3D effect. Click Photos to Enlarge.)

Ryan Ranch Joshua Tree NP DSCF9484 Feature

Trek dates: 2013 Jan 21 and Dec 31

Wayfarers: Murbachi & E!

On This Page

  • Ranch house ruins ♦ Small dam
  • Lost Rocks climbing formation
  • Outbuildings ♦ Pump house
  • Large steel water tank
  • Scenic vistas to write home about

See also

Ryan Campground

The Long View ♦ Ryan Ranch & Campground

Ryan Ranch and vicinity are the anchor points of this Gallery page, enjoy this distant view looking west from the pump house.

Mislaid Rock behind house; Misplaced Rock to its right

Ranch house ruins, shoulder of Lost Rocks on right

A FEW HUNDRED YARDS PAST THE HEADSTONE PINNACLE are the remains of Ryan Ranch Homestead with its small dam for water storage. Apparently the dam provided a convenient swimming pool for the residents. There is an old well nearby with a holding tank and pump station for the residence, which also supplied water through an iron pipe to Lost Horse Mine, three miles away. Hidden in the rocks above the main house ruins, a large steel water tank.

At an elevation of 4,300ft Ryan Ranch is located about three-quarters of a mile east of Cap Rock, along Park Blvd. The grave of Frank James (discoverer of the Desert Queen Mine) is located east of Headstone Rock, near the  house ruins.

Sneak peek: The Manure Pile at Ryan Campground

Sneak peek: The Manure Pile at Ryan Campground

Lost Rocks, tall block on west end

Tall block on west end of Mislaid Rock

As is typical for Joshua Tree National Park, there are numerous boulders lying around. The most prominent piles are immediately east, beyond the house. They are called the Lost Rocks. As if their names were chosen on purpose to confuse, the rock closest to the house is Mislaid Rock. The one further up the slope beside which was installed the iron water tank is Misplaced Rock.

Pictures on this page are mainly from our third visit to Ryan Campground and Ranch. It was the tail-end of December, 2013; an early morning excursion since my friend Elliot Koeppel was desirous of exploring for Native American habitats—acorn grinding holes, and possibly pictographs, the usual cast-off iPads, and if luck held, some petroglyphs. E! is big into petroglyphs. There is even a burial site in the area, as mentioned above. (Link to Elliot’s Ryan Ranch Native American Habitat page from this trip HERE and his Ryan Ranch coverage HERE.)


2D Galleries

Entropy Increases



Mise en Scène

Igneous Intrusions

Recalcitrant Nomad

Comparison 2D ♦ 3D Anaglyph ♦ 3D Stereo (H-SBS)

(One of my favorite afternoon angles of Headstone Rock and Lost Horse Valley as seen from the slope above Ryan Ranch ruins. Click to view full size)

  • 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 you wish. Note: 3D H-SBS images should only be saved if you have access to a 3D TV.

Ends ‘n Odds

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 homestead at Ryan and its residual ephemera is a popular short hike for visitors to Joshua Tree Park; and if it so happens you are there for the late-afternoon colors, you will experience the beautiful scenery all the more.

John Murbach

Temple City, California


Posted 2016 May 4

Updated 2018 May 31

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