Wonderland Ranch – Ohlson House (Joshua Tree National Park)

Wonderland Ranch (Ohlson House)


The Wonderland Ranch ruins are unusual and fascinating, the pink adobe structure sticks out like a sore thumb against the landscape of the Wonderland of Rocks section of Joshua Tree National Park.

Built by the Ohlson family, who like many others came here on the search for gold; little else is know about the ranch and the family.

Today, many of the walls of the homestead have toppled over, however enough remains to allow you to paint a mental picture of what the house once looked like, as well as life on such a remote ranch in the early 1900’s.

Over the years, visitors to the ranch have collected rusty, and glass treasures that they have found in the area, and have displayed them along the walls. A concrete underground cistern, which was used to collect water for the ranch’s use is collapsing, but still a rarity to see in these parts. Up wash about 25 feet, hidden in thick vegetation is a cold storage compartment that was used to keep perishable items cool.



About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.

  • pat

    How funny! I was going to do a post on either the Wonderland Ranch or the Ryan Ranch today. I opted for the Ryan Ranch. Primarily because I don’t know anything about this place. I didn’t even have the family name until I just now read it. Thanks!


    • deathvalleyjim

      I wish there was more information out there about this site, and the family. Some of these more obscure sites are just so difficult to track down information about.

      Read your Ryan Ranch post, enjoyed it. Haven’t been to Ryan Ranch except in the dark, will have to head over the sometime in the day time.