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Sheep Pass Area

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Sheep Pass Area Rock Climbing 


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Elevation: 4,200'
Location: 33.9986, -116.1448 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 70,161
Administrators: C Miller, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Brian Reynolds on Jun 23, 2002
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Sheep Pass from Ryan Campground, Headstone in the ...

Description 

Sheep Pass is a large, vague area near the southeastern end of the broader Lost Horse Valley (technically, the pass, several miles east of Hidden Valley Campground on the main park road, divides Lost Horse Valley from Queen Valley, and the Sheep Pass group campground lies on the Queen Valley side of the pass, but most of the climbing is on the Lost Horse side of the pass). Incidentally, if you're coming with a group, Sheep Pass is the place to try to get a campsite -- but make your reservations way in advance.

The most prominent formation in the Sheep Pass area is the huge Saddle Rocks, which sit high up on the side of Ryan Mountain (which provides the eastern border of the Lost Horse Valley). Saddle Rocks can be seen from miles away, and their faces contain some of the longest climbs in the park. Other smaller areas in Sheep Pass include Cap Rock, Television Wall, Cowboy Crags, and the Ryan Campground area (notable for some nice bouldering, and of course the aptly-named Headstone Rock).

For a sparse area, however, Sheep Pass has several must-climb classics. Walk on the Wild Side (5.7+) is a classic, slabby 3-pitch ascent up the east face of Saddle Rocks, and the Headstone's SW Corner (5.6) and Cryptic (5.8) are deservedly popular routes to the top of a truly unique formation.


Getting There 

As noted above, Sheep Pass generally lies on or near the main park road, a few miles east of Hidden Valley Campground. Headstone Rock is best accessed from within Ryan Campground, and turnouts for Saddle Rocks, Cap Rock, and the group campground are clearly signed.


Climbing Season



Weather station 10.6 miles from here

385 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',44],['2 Stars',132],['1 Star',188],['Bomb',10]
['<=5.6',38],['5.7',39],['5.8',60],['5.9',62],['5.10',115],['5.11',47],['5.12',16],['5.13',1],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',1],['V2-3',1],['V4-5',1],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Sheep Pass Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sheep Pass Area:
SW Corner   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Ryan Campground : Headstone Rock
Right On   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13     Trad, 4 pitches, 350'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Lazy Day   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Hall of Horrors : South Horror Rock
Nurn's Romp   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Hall of Horrors : East Wall Inner (Exorcist A...
Cryptic   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Ryan Campground : Headstone Rock
Walk on the Wild Side   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Us and Them (aka The Route Formerly Known as Negro Girls)   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Diamond Dogs   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Hall of Horrors : East Wall, North End (Diamo...
Exorcist   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Hall of Horrors : East Wall Inner (Exorcist A...
Dog Day Afternoon   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Hall of Horrors : South Horror Rock
Space Mountain   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (North...
Harley Queen   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 150'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Where Have all the Cowboys Gone   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 200'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Harlequin   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
Heart of Darkness   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   Conrad Rock : Conrad Rock - Heart of Dark...
Made In The USA   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 95'   Sheep Pass CG Area : Wailing Sax Wall
Cactus Flower   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Hall of Horrors : South Horror Rock
Jane's Addiction   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Hall of Horrors : West Wall Inner (Jane's Add...
Iron Curtain   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Oyster Bar Area : Agent Orange Rock
Split Personality   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Asylum : Split Personality Rock
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sheep Pass Area

Featured Route For Sheep Pass Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Good rest stance

Exorcist 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  CA : Joshua Tree National Park : ... : East Wall Inner (Exorcist A...
Thin jams and a bit of liebacking up a smooth, thin crack characterize the start which protects well with wires and small cams. Higher the crack ends and turns to face climbing past a bolt which protects to the top. Rap from anchors on the ledge above with one rope. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Sheep Pass Area Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Ryan Mountain. Photo by Blitzo.
Ryan Mountain. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Joshua Tree sunset from Hall of Horrors, Joshua Tr...
Joshua Tree sunset from Hall of Horrors, Joshua Tr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunrise across the desert floor.
Sunrise across the desert floor.
Rock Climbing Photo: Bighorn Sheep near the Oyster Bar, Joshua Tree NP
Bighorn Sheep near the Oyster Bar, Joshua Tree NP
Rock Climbing Photo: Planet X Pinnacle. Photo by Blitzo.
Planet X Pinnacle. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Saddle Rocks and surrounding areas from the Love N...
BETA PHOTO: Saddle Rocks and surrounding areas from the Love N...
Rock Climbing Photo: Celebrating after an ascent of Headstone Rock, Jos...
Celebrating after an ascent of Headstone Rock, Jos...
Rock Climbing Photo: Saddle Rocks and Cowboy Crags from the Sandy Wash ...
Saddle Rocks and Cowboy Crags from the Sandy Wash ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Saddle Rocks and vicinty after a snowstorm, Joshua...
Saddle Rocks and vicinty after a snowstorm, Joshua...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cavern Rock and Grotto Rocks
BETA PHOTO: Cavern Rock and Grotto Rocks
Rock Climbing Photo: lost horse mine
lost horse mine
Rock Climbing Photo: Ryan Campground, as seen from the top of Headstone...
BETA PHOTO: Ryan Campground, as seen from the top of Headstone...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ryan Mountain-snow. Photo by Blitzo.
Ryan Mountain-snow. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Cholla detail, Joshua Tree NP
Cholla detail, Joshua Tree NP
Rock Climbing Photo: Top of Ryan Mountain. Photo by Blitzo.
Top of Ryan Mountain. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Blooming joshua tree near Cap Rock. Photo by Blitz...
Blooming joshua tree near Cap Rock. Photo by Blitz...
Rock Climbing Photo: Do you think the sheep did this?  Or was it a shoe...
Do you think the sheep did this? Or was it a shoe...
Rock Climbing Photo: Display at the Oyster Bar parking area, Joshua Tre...
Display at the Oyster Bar parking area, Joshua Tre...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cave Corridor
Cave Corridor
Rock Climbing Photo: Cap Rock and Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree NP
Cap Rock and Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree NP
Rock Climbing Photo: Hall of Horrors
Hall of Horrors
Rock Climbing Photo: Prickly Pear near Target Rock. photo by Blitzo.
Prickly Pear near Target Rock. photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Saddle Rocks from Cave Corridor, Joshua Tree NP
Saddle Rocks from Cave Corridor, Joshua Tree NP
Rock Climbing Photo: A nice collection of plants...
A nice collection of plants...

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Only the first 24 are shown above.

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