Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Sheep Pass Area

Select Area...
Cap Rock Area 
Cave Corridor Area 
Hall of Horrors Area 
Oyster Bar Area 
Planet X Area 
Ryan Campground 
Saddle Rocks Area 
Sheep Pass CG Area 

Sheep Pass Area  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 4,200'
Location: 33.9986, -116.1448 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 797,573
Administrators: C Miller, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Brian Reynolds on Jun 23, 2002
Forecast:
Today

72-99°F
Sat

74-99°F
Sun

71-95°F
Mon

70-96°F
Tue

73-93°F
Wed

70-91°F
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
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

361 Total Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',42],['2 Stars',123],['1 Star',173],['Bomb',11]
['<=5.6',35],['5.7',36],['5.8',54],['5.9',60],['5.10',111],['5.11',42],['5.12',15],['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]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Sheep Pass Area:
Right On   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a 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
Lazy Day   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Hall of Horrors : South Horror 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...
Cryptic   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Ryan Campground : Headstone Rock
Nurn's Romp   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Hall of Horrors : East Wall Inner (Exorcist A...
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...
Space Mountain   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   Saddle Rocks - Skirt : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (North...
Dog Day Afternoon   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Hall of Horrors : South Horror Rock
Harley Queen   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 150'   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   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   Conrad Rock : Conrad Rock - Heart of Dark...
Grit Roof   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Hall of Horrors : North 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...
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 Classics in Sheep Pass Area

Featured Route For Sheep Pass Area
Tony Sartin on the crux third pitch.

Silver Spur 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b  CA : Joshua Tree National Park : ... : Saddle Rocks - Skirt (West...
This route is a variation to Bosch Job. Pitches 1 and 2 follow Bosch Job and the 3rd pitch climbs up and left where Bosch Job moves right.Begin by scrambling up a low-angle slab (at a right-facing corner) to a big ledge about 75 ft. right from the start of Right On. Pitch 1: Go left around the corner, then up a low-angle slab (5.5) to a belay at a small ledge with a block. Pitch 2 (10a): Up steepening face to a bolt, move left to a thin flake which leads to a small left-facing corner. Follo...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

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

Show All 26 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Sheep Pass Area Add Comment
Show which comments
- none yet -
Beyond the Guidebook:
The Definitive Climbing Resource
Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run
Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps
Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes
Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!