And Small World Crag/Cliff
Trek date: 2015 Oct 6. Temp 62F, post-summer rains.
THE SMALL WORLD AREA and Small World crag lie across Park Blvd. from Sheep Pass Campground. We are still within the Pass as it leaves Lost Horse Valley and enters Queen Valley below Ryan Mountain. Stop at a Park Exhibit sign on the left (north side of the road).
The cliff is up in the rockpiles behind the sign, about 600 feet as the legs stride. Or do what I did and head first to your left. Your way will pass some small rock piles on a circuitous route through a narrow sandy drainage, and you eventually end up at the crag. You can then return to your car, bus, camper, Harley, Uber or waiting donkey (if arrived that way) following an obvious path.
Thirty minutes spent meandering betwixt these pretty pinnacles and small spiny formations, and pausing before the varnished rock-climbing edifice from whence the area gets its name, would make a restorative diversion. Pick a suitable boulder to perch on and enjoy your lunch.
As always, the climbing routes on this short crag of monozogranite sporting dark brown desert varnish, have cute names. They are five in number in Randy Vogel’s book: “Mr. Wizard,” “Pint-Size Planet,” “Small World,” “Dwarf Star,” and “Tiny Terra.” All but “Small World” are difficult 5.10 & 5.11, 30ft to 35ft climbs.
(Note, Miramontes calls this little pebble on the hillside a ‘crag’ while Vogel and the gang prefer the word ‘cliff’. Taking a lesson from the Judgement of Solomon, I propose we split the difference and call it ‘Small World Criff/Clag … enigma solv’ed.)
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I am mindful again how this trip breathes new life into my conviction there are many delights to see in Joshua Tree within a short distance from where you park. Take a day investigating the out-of-the-way places, even though the heavily populated areas in the park are amply rewarding. You can’t lose. I find it enjoyable to wander about and see what I can find. An example is this Small World rock garden. Thanks to fellow 3D connoisseurs and photographers for your interest in visiting Joshua Tree 3D.
Posted 2015 Oct 10
Updated 2017 Nov 7