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Bishop Area

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Bishop Area  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 4,200'
Location: 37.3612, -118.3954 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 2,769,721
Administrators: Aron Quiter, John Robinson, Euan Cameron, AWinters, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Euan Cameron on Nov 19, 2007
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You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
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Mt. Tom (13,692 ft.) and storm clouds just west of...

Description 

Bishop is blessed with perfect climbing conditions. Not only is the climate perfect for climbing with only 6" average annual rainfall, and over 300 days sunshine, the crags and boulders that surround the town are world class.

The Owens River Gorge (ORG) has hundreds of top quality sport routes, and the Happy and Buttermilks bouldering venues both have world class problems. Each of the areas have distinct characteristics, the ORG has long pumpy routes, the Happy Boulders have fun boulders that suit strong fingers and flexibility, while the Buttermilks offer fine technical challenges that reward good technique and hard callouses in one of the most scenic settings in the country.

There are many more areas than these mentioned to go climb at - just as well the weather won't let you down - 'cause you'll be busy.

In the summer months when the valley is hot there are always the higher elevations of the Mammoth and June areas no further than 1 hour away, or you can cool off with a float down the Owens River, just east of Bishop.

Need a guidebook? Tape? Chalk? Check out Wilson's Eastside Sports on Main St., downtown Bishop for all your outdoorsy needs.
-For sport and trad climbing: "Bishop Area Rock Climbs", by Peter Croft and Marty Lewis
-For bouldering: "Bishop Bouldering", by Wills Young and Mick Ryan

Unknown climber getting to grips with the last hol...
Unknown climber getting to grips with the last hold before the throw on Stained Glass

Photo by Micah Bryan Humphrey
Photo by Micah Bryan Humphrey

Getting There 

Bishop is located on US 395, about 4 hours North of Los Angeles and about 4 hours South of Reno.

It is a drive no matter where you come from, but one well worth making.

Camping out at The Pit. Can't say I've been to man...
Camping out at The Pit. Can't say I've been to many campgrounds with better scenery than this one.

Buttermilks afternoon
Buttermilks afternoon

Climbing Season



Weather station 1.2 miles from here

1,753 Total Routes

['4 Stars',185],['3 Stars',662],['2 Stars',570],['1 Star',296],['Bomb',12]
['<=5.6',15],['5.7',22],['5.8',55],['5.9',101],['5.10',282],['5.11',181],['5.12',107],['5.13',14],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',253],['V2-3',359],['V4-5',166],['V6-7',112],['V8-9',56],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',34],['>=V14',2]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Bishop Area:
Hero Roof   V0 4     Boulder, 14'   Iron Man Area : Hero Roof Boulder
Buttermilk Stem   V1 5     Boulder, 15'   Buttermilk Stem Area : Buttermilk Stem Boulder
Heavenly Path   V1 5 PG13     Boulder, 25'   Central Happiness Area : Heavenly Path Boulder
Solarium   V3 6A     Boulder, 15'   Central Happiness Area : Solarium Boulder
Birthday Direct   V3 6A     Boulder, 12'   Buttermilks Main : Birthday Boulders
Jedi Mind Tricks   V4 6B PG13     Boulder, 25'   Pollen Grains / Lidija Boul... : Jedi Boulder
Iron Man Traverse   V4 6B     Boulder   Iron Man Area : Iron Man Boulder
Strength in Numbers (Original SIN)   V5 6C     Boulder, 18'   Sad Boulders : Strength in Numbers Area
Serengeti   V5 6C     Boulder, 15'   Serengeti Area : Serengeti Boulder
The Hulk   V6 7A     Boulder, 15'   Central Happiness Area : Happy Boulder
Seven Spanish Angels (aka The Ruckus)   V6 7A     Boulder, 14'   Buttermilk Country : Get Carter Boulder
High Plains Drifter   V6-7 7A+     Boulder, 35'   Buttermilks Main : Drifter/Smoking Boulder
Southwest Arete   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Peabody Boulders : Grandma Peabody Boulder
The Big Deal   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   Scheelite Crags : PSOM Slab
Pratt's Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 165'   Sheelite Canyon / Pratt's C... : Pratt's Crack / Dihedrals A...
Sheila   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 180'   Sheelite Canyon / Pratt's C... : Pratt's Crack / Dihedrals A...
West Face   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 550'   Cardinal Pinnacle
Gorgeous   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Upper Gorge : Gorgeous Towers
Show Us Your Tits   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Central Gorge : Emergency Room
Looney Binge   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   Inner Gorge : Eldorado Roof
Browse More Classics in Bishop Area

Featured Route For Bishop Area
Xavier's Roof

Xavier's Roof V11 8A  CA : Sierra Eastside : ... : Hueco Wall Area
Definitely one of the best problems in Bishop if not anywhere.Sit start on small crimps and climb up into the good flake undercling. Continue onto the lip, make a couple of moves left and right, figure out how to get your foot to face level, and then mantel (or throw) to the big smiley jug. Careful on the top-out.This problem can be more difficult for those who are either really tall or really short. It's probably helpful to be average-height and flexible. There's also a variety of ways to do th...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Local Information for Bishop Area
Photos of Bishop Area Slideshow Add Photo
Looking east from an unnamed pinnacle high on the ...
Looking east from an unnamed pinnacle high on the ...
The West Face of the Merlin Block, Warlock Boulder...
The West Face of the Merlin Block, Warlock Boulder...
Mt. Humphreys, 13,986 ft.
Mt. Humphreys, 13,986 ft.
Sierra sunset, Bishop
Sierra sunset, Bishop
Shadows and light on the White Mountains
Shadows and light on the White Mountains
Picturesque Pine above the Owens Valley
Picturesque Pine above the Owens Valley
Bishop Sunset. Photo by Blitzo.
Bishop Sunset. Photo by Blitzo.
Wheeler Crest
Wheeler Crest
Red-tail Hawk, Buttermilks
Red-tail Hawk, Buttermilks
White Mountain Peak, the highest point in the Whit...
White Mountain Peak, the highest point in the Whit...
Moonrise over the White Mountains, east of Bishop
Moonrise over the White Mountains, east of Bishop
The Owens Valley near Bishop and the Sierra's fron...
The Owens Valley near Bishop and the Sierra's fron...
Bishop's Sierra skyline
Bishop's Sierra skyline
Owens River
Owens River
The forest of Aspendell. Photo by Blitzo.
The forest of Aspendell. Photo by Blitzo.
Bishop Creek
Bishop Creek
Andrew Thomas working 'This Side of Paradise' v9-1...
Andrew Thomas working 'This Side of Paradise' v9-1...
Unnamed/unknown, Buttermilks
Unnamed/unknown, Buttermilks
Face in the clouds (bottom center)  Bishop sunset,...
Face in the clouds (bottom center) Bishop sunset,...
South Fork fall colors
South Fork fall colors
OV
OV
Fire on the Owens River, 4/08   (Negligent fisherm...
Fire on the Owens River, 4/08 (Negligent fisherm...
Mt. Humphreys, part of the skyline west of Bishop
Mt. Humphreys, part of the skyline west of Bishop
Sunset from the rim of the Owens River Gorge, Sier...
Sunset from the rim of the Owens River Gorge, Sier...

Show All 58 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Bishop Area Add Comment
Show which comments
By Caleb Hansen
From: Rapid City
Oct 9, 2011
Looking to camp at the Pit in February. Is it a first come first served type of site, can you reserve a spot, will it be crowded during the first two weeks of february? Thanks for any info.
By AWinters
Administrator
From: NH
Oct 11, 2011
It is 1st come 1st served. I wouldn't expect it to be too crazy in Feb, but it really doesn't matter because if it is there are many other places to camp, and better places. Have fun!
By C Miller
Administrator
Dec 2, 2012
By Matthew Larsen
From: Bishop, CA
Mar 13, 2013
Looking for a house to rent in Bishop. My wife and I have two older dogs. We prefer not to pay over $1,000. I have full time employment. Thanks in advance. Willing to rent room if someone is ok with a married couple. Climbers and cookers!
By Sean P. Sullivan
From: Grover Beach, California
Feb 9, 2014
Heading to Bishop for my first time in a couple months, does anyone know of some decent places to camp for free? Willing to drive a bit if needed. Any info would be a huge help.
By Euan Cameron
Administrator
From: Redlands and Mammoth Lakes
Feb 9, 2014
You can try The Pit, not free but at $2 a night it may as well be.

blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bishop/bou...

Other than that there is lots of BLM land that you can use, but to help protect the local environment think first about using an established campground.
By shanejcollins
From: Washington
Jan 26, 2015
By Bishop Loco
Feb 20, 2015
Hi All,
A fourth year of severe drought continues to turn the Eastern Sierras into a tinder box. I respectfully ask your consideration of the following as you enjoy the area, especially the Buttermilks:

1. Please please reconsider your use of campfires AND campstoves. I am fortunate to be able to use the Buttermilks for a lot of recreation (running mostly) on a regular basis, and it is disheartening to come upon abandoned fire rings that have NOT been adequately suffocated out. I have found fire-rings abandoned and still smoking on windy days; fires have been started in the Buttermilks as a result of this kind of carelessness.

2. With respect to request #1, please instead consider driving into town for your meals and morning coffee and to support the local establishments.

3. With respect to request #2, please slow down on Buttermilk Road. This road is used frequently by runners, MTB-ers, and people out with their dogs and kids. By slowing down from 50mph to 30mph you add roughly 2 minutes to your drive. The mountains aren't going anywhere.

Thanks much for your consideration and enjoy your time here!