Ranger Station Rock, 5.4-5.11c

Ranger Station Rock, 5.4-5.11c

Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 34.01850°N / 116.19161°W
Activities: Trad Climbing
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter


Owatafooliam, 5.8
Dow leading Owatafooliam, 5.8

Ranger Station Rock is located directly behind several park ranger residential units at the dead end of Lost Horse Road. As of 2017, you must park about a mile short of these building on a sandy pullout and walk the road down past the buildings on their right side and into a small canyon. Ranger Station Rock is located up high on the left side.

This is one of the least desirable climbing areas in Joshua Tree and Swain in the Breeze (5.6**) and Wall of 10,000 Holds (5.4R**) are probably the main attraction to this wall, mostly for soloists as both of these routes are run out and/or the routes are missing hangers (2017). Swain in the Breeze has three of its old bolt hangers completely missing. I climbed another route named Owatafooliam (5.8) that was sandbagged for the grade for Jtree (as was the start for Swain in the Breeze) and quite chossy. Bottom line is that this area does not see much traffic nor are most of the routes very tall. Five of the routes are grouped at the far right side (west end) of the wall. I scrambled over to their base only to discover they were short and undesirable. You probably ought to climb every other wall in Jtree before checking this collection of misfits out. There is a fixed rap atop Swain and Owatafooliam. A 70m single gets you down to a ledge. Then a slung feature atop the start of Swain gets you to the ground via a short rap.

Drive to the dead end of Lost Horse Valley Road. Continue hiking down the sandy road pass the employee housing on the left and into the immediate canyon ahead. Swain in the Breeze and Owatafooliam are the taller routes in the middle of the formation (140’) and the easier ones to discern.

Route Description (s)

East to North Face, Routes Left to Right

  • Barbara Bush- 40’-5.10b*/

  • Bush Crack- 40’-5.7*/

  • Hercules- 40’-5.11c**/

  • Swain in the Breeze- 130’-5.6**/ The routes in this area are sandbagged even by Jtree standards. The first several meters up the steep flakes (left facing in the large corner) is by far the crux of the route. Physical and awkward moves (more like Jtree 5.8 than 5.6) get you to the top of a slung pillar. Stem across the void to the main wall above and climb through four bolts to the fixed rap. As of 2017, there are no hangers on the last three bolts, but wires will fit the old existing bolts (3/8th) no worries and this climbing is easy face 5.6 once you get past a slab move or two past the first bolt (old button head). Two single rope raps to the ground. Medium to small gear up the start, then wires to sling the un-hangered (2017) bolts with. Dow

  • Owatafooliam- 130’-5.8/ Bold 5.8 trad lead on suspect rock and gear. Start on the chossy flake just to the right of Swain in the Breeze. Stem up and get gear with semi insecure hands. Continue stemming with a layback or two until you can stem out left up the chossy face to the slung rap atop the start for Breeze. Then walk right to the base of the left facing dihedral and climb it via hands to its top, then trend up and left on easy run out ground to the fixed rap on Breeze. Two single rope raps to the ground. All gear with run out to the top. Dow

  • Ranger Rendezvous- 50’-5.7/

  • Swain Song- 60’-5.11a*/

  • Wall of 10,000 Holds- 50’-5.4R**/

  • Swatchbucker- 40’-5.8/

  • Pirates of the Carabiner- 50’-5.10b/

  • Scaried Treasure- 55’-5.10b*/

  • Polly Wants a Crack- 50’-5.10a*/

  • Peg Leg- 50’-5.7/