Sheep Pass Area Rock Climbing
Ryan Mountain. Photo by Blitzo.
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.
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.
Weather station 10.6 miles from here
394 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',43],['2 Stars',138],['1 Star',189],['Bomb',11]
Classic Climbing Routes in Sheep Pass Area
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sheep Pass Area
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sheep Pass Area:
Featured Route For Sheep Pass Area
Space Mountain 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b California
: Joshua Tree National Park
: ... : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (North...
One prominent feature on this part of Saddle Rocks is a large left-facing corner system (The Unicorner). Start up that climb for 20' then traverse right on a fairly awkward ledge passing a bolt until you reach a spot you can stand up. From here the climbs goes more or less straight up past 7 more bolts on steep, exposed and sometimes a little loose patina plates. There is a slight runout near the top but the climbing is much easier.Rap off the top with 2 ropes although if careful it can be done ...[more] Browse More Classics in California
Joshua Tree sunset from Hall of Horrors, Joshua Tr...
Sunrise across the desert floor.
Sheep Pass from Ryan Campground, Headstone in the ...
Bighorn Sheep near the Oyster Bar, Joshua Tree NP
Planet X Pinnacle. Photo by Blitzo.
BETA PHOTO: Saddle Rocks and surrounding areas from the Love N...
BETA PHOTO: Cavern Rock and Grotto Rocks
Do you think the sheep did this? Or was it a shoe...
Celebrating after an ascent of Headstone Rock, Jos...
Saddle Rocks and Cowboy Crags from the Sandy Wash ...
BETA PHOTO: Ryan Campground, as seen from the top of Headstone...
Cap Rock and Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree NP
Display at the Oyster Bar parking area, Joshua Tre...
Blooming joshua tree near Cap Rock. Photo by Blitz...
Cholla detail, Joshua Tree NP
Ryan Mountain-snow. Photo by Blitzo.
Saddle Rocks and vicinty after a snowstorm, Joshua...
Moonrise over Ryan Mountain. Photo by Blitzo.
Saddle Rocks from Cave Corridor, Joshua Tree NP
Prickly Pear near Target Rock. photo by Blitzo.
Saddle Rocks and Ryan Mountain from the Northwest.
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