Grand Tank

At White Tank Campground


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Trek date: 2014 Jan 2. Wayfarers, Elliot Koeppel (a.k.a. E!) and Murbachi

Visit White Tank & Grand Tank Approach

Elliot Koeppel’s February 2017 pictures of Grand Tank topped off with water HERE

WHITE TANK AND GRAND TANK are examples of old reservoirs created by cowboys back in the late 1890s to early 1900s. Small cement dams were added to natural rock pools to create seasonal water catchment during rainstorms. Many tanks, most notably Barker Dam and Cow Camp Reservoir, are still used to this day by the wildlife found in the park.

Google Images tank with water

Cement structure at base of dam

Cement structure at base of dam

From the early days of the 20th Century until his death in 1969, William Keys, a famous homesteader in the area, built and maintained numerous small catchment dams throughout the northern end of what later became Joshua Tree National Monument (and National Park, 1994). Since his death, the Park service has kept the little “tanks” free from graffiti, and made occasional repairs to insure their integrity.

Notice the top two tiers in the right hand photograph above. They show either new additions or repairs to possible earlier deterioration. My friend E! who appears in several of these scrambled to the base of the dam. He reports minor seepage, and presence of a bee colony. He left post-haste but not before detouring to get a few pictures of a cement water trough nearby. Visit E!’s White Tank Campground page HERE.

A Rare Find

Grand Tank, February 2017: friend and sometimes fellow traveler to Joshua Tree, Elliot Koeppel, made a solo visit to Grand Tank in January, 2017, where he found the dam filled to the brim from recent rains. Elliot appears in a number of the pictures on this page, taken in 2014. Link to his new Grand Tank post HERE


A Few More 2D Selections

(Click to Enlarge)


  • Use glasses to view 3D Anaglyphs
  • Click to Enlarge Photos

3D Anaglyph Gallery


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.)


My fondest wish is that you enjoyed this and the other White Tank Campground images. When you visit the area (or spend a night at the campsite) be sure to look for these unique features!

John Murbach


Posted 2015 Sep 13

Updated 2017 Nov 7