Trek dates: 2015 Sep 16 and Oct 6.
What’s on This Page
- Sheep Pass
- Sheep Pass Campground
- Rock Climbing Formations
- Queen Valley Playa
- Small World
- Small World Crag
- Cave Corridor
- Cavern Rock
- Grotto Rock
- Junk Clump
JOSHUA TREE’S PARK BOULEVARD circles the middle of Lost Horse Valley before exiting through Sheep Pass at Ryan Mountain Trailhead. Once past Cave Corridor, ahead on the right is the Sheep Pass group campground. The road then enters Queen Valley. Beyond lies Geology Tour Road, and past that, Jumbo Rocks.
A scenic area in the park, I was fortunate to pass through on my 3D picture-taking excursion in late-summer 2015, after a series of monsoonal thunderstorms had freshened the vegetation. From Lost Horse Valley area, you can see the distant pass trending eastward between a low range of hills and the taller Ryan Mountain to the right.
The entrance to Sheep Pass hosts some intriguing rock climbing features surrounding a large parking lot which is the trail head to Ryan Mountain. Cave Corridor is the centerpiece of these. Wander through the corridor before continuing to Sheep Pass campground situated in an amphitheater of tall rock piles.
Sheep Pass Group Campground ♦ 2D
Main Climbing Formations ♦ 2D
“This campground and climbing destination is located at the high point of the pass, situated on the northern tip of Ryan Mountain, and offers great views of both Central Joshua Tree and Queen Valley,” explains Robert Miramontes in his full-color Joshua Tree Rock Climbs guidebook.
The “Wailing Sax Wall” is the focus for the entire rock-climbing area with 20 routes or more. A few route names are: “Tipples in Rime,” “Wailing Sax,” “Jo Mama,” “The Morning After,” “Made in the U.S.A.,” “Carola’s Hip,” “Misha’s Madness,” “Flakey Puffs from Hell,” and “Birdland.”
Small World ♦ 2D
The Small World area and Small World Crag/Cliff lie across Park Blvd. from Sheep Pass Campground. We are still within Sheep Pass as it curves through the canyon beneath Ryan Mountain. There is an exhibit marker on the left side of the road (north).
The cliff is found about 600 feet from the car, as the legs stride. Or do what I did and head to the left first through the small rock piles and a narrow sandy drainage, where you eventually end up at the crag. You can then head back to the road following an obvious path. Thirty minutes spent wandering through these pinnacles and small spiny formations, and pausing before the deeply varnished rock-climbing Cliff from which the area is named, would make a worthwhile diversion. Pick a suitable boulder to enjoy your lunch from.
Queen Valley Views ♦ 2D
After your visit to Sheep Pass Campground and Small World area, be sure to pull into one of several turnouts on the Queen Valley side where there is a small playa (usually dry). Five hundred yards beyond the playa a gap in the hills reveals a beautiful distant vista where Wonderland of Rocks dot the horizon. Queen Mountain is to your right.
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3D Anaglyph Gallery
You are invited to download as many of the 3D Anaglyph or 3D Half Side-by-Side photographs as you wish. Share them with your 3D friends. (Share them also with any leftover 2D friends you may have.)
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.
Thank you! I hope you enjoyed your adventures in Sheep Pass Campground and will return often for more.
Posted 2015 Sep 22
Updated 2016 Sep 20