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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: 176,208
Administrators: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Brian Reynolds on Jun 23, 2002
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Ryan Mountain. Photo by Blitzo.

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

395 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',43],['2 Stars',140],['1 Star',189],['Bomb',11]
['<=5.6',40],['5.7',41],['5.8',62],['5.9',63],['5.10',116],['5.11',47],['5.12',16],['5.13',2],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',2],['V2-3',0],['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:
False Lieback   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Cap Rock : Cap Rock - North Face
Right On   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13     Trad, 4 pitches, 350'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
SW Corner   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Ryan Campground : Headstone Rock
Lickety Splits   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Hall of Horrors : East Wall, North End (Diamo...
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...
Buckets to Burbank   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Hall of Horrors : West Wall Outer (Buckets to...
Planet X   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   Planet X Area : Planet X Pinnacle
Catch A Falling Star   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Cap Rock : Cap Rock - Southeast Face
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...
Planet Y   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   Planet X Area : Planet X Pinnacle
South Face Center   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Ryan Campground : Headstone Rock
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...
Ledges to Lawndale   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   Hall of Horrors : West Wall Outer (Buckets to...
Dog Day Afternoon   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Hall of Horrors : South Horror Rock
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...
Heart of Darkness   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   Conrad Rock : Conrad Rock - Heart of Dark...
Jane's Addiction   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Hall of Horrors : West Wall Inner (Jane's Add...
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sheep Pass Area

Featured Route For Sheep Pass Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  California : Joshua Tree National Park : ... : Conrad Rock - Heart of Dark...
A striking splitter on perfect, varnished rock that runs from fingers through small hands (this route favors those with smaller hands). The unique location and high quality rock make this a three (out of five) star route; were it longer this would garner more stars. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Sheep Pass Area Slideshow Add Photo
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: Sheep Pass from Ryan Campground, Headstone in the ...
Sheep Pass from Ryan Campground, Headstone in the ...
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: Cave Corridor
Cave Corridor
Rock Climbing Photo: Cavern Rock and Grotto Rocks
BETA PHOTO: Cavern Rock and Grotto Rocks
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: 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: Ryan Campground, as seen from the top of Headstone...
BETA PHOTO: Ryan Campground, as seen from the top of Headstone...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cap Rock and Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree NP
Cap Rock and Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree NP
Rock Climbing Photo: Display at the Oyster Bar parking area, Joshua Tre...
Display at the Oyster Bar parking area, Joshua Tre...
Rock Climbing Photo: Blooming joshua tree near Cap Rock. Photo by Blitz...
Blooming joshua tree near Cap Rock. Photo by Blitz...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cholla detail, Joshua Tree NP
Cholla detail, Joshua Tree NP
Rock Climbing Photo: Ryan Mountain-snow. Photo by Blitzo.
Ryan Mountain-snow. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Saddle Rocks and vicinty after a snowstorm, Joshua...
Saddle Rocks and vicinty after a snowstorm, Joshua...
Rock Climbing Photo: lost horse mine
lost horse mine
Rock Climbing Photo: Hall of Horrors
Hall of Horrors
Rock Climbing Photo: Moonrise over Ryan Mountain. Photo by Blitzo.
Moonrise over Ryan Mountain. 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: Prickly Pear near Target Rock. photo by Blitzo.
Prickly Pear near Target Rock. photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Saddle Rocks and Ryan Mountain from the Northwest.
Saddle Rocks and Ryan Mountain from the Northwest.

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Only the first 24 are shown above.

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