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Saddle Rocks

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Saddle Rocks - Pommel 
Saddle Rocks - Cantle 
Saddle Rocks - Skirt  

Saddle Rocks 


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Elevation: 4,500'
Location: 33.9942, -116.14 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 156,219
Administrators: C Miller, Adam Stackhouse, M.Morley, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Brian Reynolds on Jun 26, 2002
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Saddle Rocks at sunset.
Photo by Blitzo.

Description 

Saddle Rocks, which rise out of the west flank of Ryan Mountain, is probably the largest single formation in the park, and it dominates the view from virtually anywhere in the Lost Horse Valley. It's also home to some of the longest climbs in the park. Due to the complex nature of the area it has been broken into three parts - Saddle Rocks - Skirt the lower slabby portion, Saddle Rocks - Pommel the middle portion and Saddle Rocks - Cantle the uppermost portion.

Probably the most notable climb here is the classic Walk on the Wild Side, a three-pitch 5.7+ that ascends the west face of the formation. Right On (3 pitches, 5.5) is also very worthwhile, as are a number of other climbs, ranging from 5.8 on the low end, to far far harder than most of us will ever climb on the high end.

Most routes offer a rap descent, and in some cases a second rope may come in handy.


Getting There 

Park on the side of the main park road, between Ryan Campground and Sheep Pass. The parking spot is almost due west of the formation -- you should be looking at it head on. Follow marked Access Fund trails for several hundred yards to the base of Walk on the Wild Side. Traverse to either side of the formation for climbs on the north and south faces.

Parking is also available to the north, near the Ryan Mountain trailhead, but the approach is significantly longer and, due to the topography of the gullies that come off of Ryan Mountain, it is also significantly harder.


45 Total Routes


['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',10],['2 Stars',14],['1 Star',18],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',2],['5.7',4],['5.8',10],['5.9',9],['5.10',14],['5.11',5],['5.12',1],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Saddle Rocks:
Right On   5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a PG13     Trad, 4 pitches, 350'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Walk on the Wild Side   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Orange Flake   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Gaucho Marx   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Do Rein Me   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Negro Girls   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a R     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Santa Cruz   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
The Posse   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Space Mountain   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (North...
Harley Queen   5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Where Have all the Cowboys Gone   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 200'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Harlequin   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b R     Trad, 3 pitches   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Browse More Classics in Saddle Rocks

Featured Route For Saddle Rocks
Harlequin

Harlequin 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b CA : Joshua Tree National Park : ... : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Begin by scrambling (class 4) up a low-angle right-facing corner about 75 Ft. right of the start of Right On, up to a big ledge. High Cost of Living, Cheap Way To Die, Lone Pine,and Rough Riders all start from this ledge. Pitch 1:Walk right across this ledge to where it becomes more like a ramp, leading up and right and then blanking out. Continue right across a slab past 2 bolts (5.8) to a belay on a small ledge with 2 bolts. An alternative start is to climb the left-facing dihedral (5.7) that ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

News and Events For Saddle Rocks
Photos of Saddle Rocks Slideshow Add Photo
Saddle Rocks Area, Joshua Tree NP  <br />
BETA PHOTO: Saddle Rocks Area, Joshua Tree NP
Saddle Rocks from the road near Hall of Horrors. The Theoretical Boulder is visible to the left and the Cowboy Crags up and to the right.
BETA PHOTO: Saddle Rocks from the road near Hall of Horrors. T...
Saddle Rocks showing the lesser visited south side of the formation.
BETA PHOTO: Saddle Rocks showing the lesser visited south side...
Saddle Rocks
Saddle Rocks
Saddle Rocks
Saddle Rocks
None shall pass
None shall pass
Saddle Rocks before sunset, Joshua Tree NP
Saddle Rocks before sunset, Joshua Tree NP
Saddle Rocks from near Target Rock. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Saddle Rocks from near Target Rock.
Photo by Blitz...
Ryan Mountain and Saddle Rocks after a storm, Joshua Tree NP
Ryan Mountain and Saddle Rocks after a storm, Josh...
Saddle Rocks from Ryan Mountain Trail. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Saddle Rocks from Ryan Mountain Trail.
Photo by Bl...
Saddle Rocks from the Key's View Road, Joshua Tree NP
Saddle Rocks from the Key's View Road, Joshua Tree...
View from the parking lot of Saddle Rocks.
View from the parking lot of Saddle Rocks.
The approach to Saddle Rocks, February 1986.
The approach to Saddle Rocks, February 1986.
Comments on Saddle Rocks Add Comment
Show which comments
By Bryan G
From: San Jose
Feb 17, 2010

Anyone know what the routes are between Harlequin and Walk on the Wild Side? There's one that starts just down and right of the direct start "pillar" of Harlequin. It climbs past many bolts and passes the roof to the left to join Harlequin at the top of it's 2nd pitch. Feels 5.10- but I'm sort of terrible at rating slab.

Another route starts just right of that, passing the right corner of the roof to reach a 2-bolt anchor, just a few feet right of Harlequin's 2nd belay. From here, a second pitch leads up and right past 3 bolts and then wanders back left to be linked with the final pitch of Harlequin. Feels 5.8/5.9

I think I saw another bolt line to the right of that one, but I may have just been looking at Walk on the Wild Side since that first pitch wanders so far out left at the start.

Thanks to whoever put these routes up, they are enjoyable, long, and well-protected.

By C Miller
Administrator
Feb 17, 2010

Sounds like the "Cole-Anderson" & "Dial 911". They're both in the Central JT (green cover) Bartlett guide. Both routes were done by Charles Cole and are some of the last routes he did in JT.