Elevation: 5,308 ft
GPS: 37.514, -118.571 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 1,653,458 total · 8,575/month
Shared By: Tom Helvie on Jul 20, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Euan Cameron, AWinters, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Aron Quiter
Access Issue: Bridges Out! IMPORTANT LADWP NEGOTIATIONS!! Details

Description

The Owens River Gorge is California's most concentrated sport-climbing area. It is really a year-round crag, although summers can be a bit hot. There are many moderate sport climbs in the sub 5.10 range, but the best gorge climbs seem to be in the 5.10-5.11 range. The climbing is on volcanic tuff and features edges, pockets and cracks. Most of the climbing is close to vertical but there are some steep lines as well, namely at the Eldorado Roof and the Dilithium Crystal. Most climbs, whether face, crack, corner, even off-width and chimney, are fully sport bolted. There are some good trad lines, but sport climbing is why you're here. The gorge is often crowded but if you hike a little further you can usually find some solitude. The Warm Up Wall, the Pub, the Social Platform, the China Wall and the Dilithium Crystal are the most popular areas. Please buy Marty Lewis' "Owens River Gorge Climbs" if you are going to climb here. It's a great guide to the hundreds of climbs and you'll feel good supporting the guy who put up a huge percentage of the climbs and did a large amount of work (trails, research, bridges, talking with the LADWP that owns the gorge). It's a small price to pay for a great climbing area. You can find the 11th edition of the guidebook here.

Getting There

From Bishop go North on 395 to the Paradise Swall Meadows exit and turn right. Go approximately 1/2 mile and at the T intersection turn left (Gorge Rd). There are 3 parking areas to choose depending on where in the Gorge you wish to climb. The first parking area is 3.3 miles from the intersection of Gorge road and 395. Adjacent to the parking area you will go through a gate and follow the paved central gorge power station road for 1 mile down to the Central gorge power station. The second parking area also accesses the central gorge and ends just uphill from the central gorge power station. You will find a trail adjacent to the parking area that goes down a steep 2nd/3rd class loose gully. Be careful not to dislodge anything because there are climbs below the gully. This parking area is 4.8 miles up the Gorge road from the intersection of Gorge Road and 395. The last parking area is for the upper gorge. This parking area is 6.4 miles up Gorge Road from the intersection of Gorge Road and 395. You will park off the pavement and walk through a gate down the paved upper power plant road approximately 1/2 mile then drop into a 3rd class gully. There is a trail along the entire length of the bottom of the gorge so you can use any of the access points to access all climbs at Owens. There is an alternate way to get to the Gorge Road from the North. Approximately 1 mile south of Tom's Place there is a dirt road that goes East. This road starts at a sign on 395 that says Sherwin Pass 7000 feet (Beware you have to cut across a double yellow line to make the turn).  Follow the road to the right heading east and follow the power lines.   This road isn't well maintained, there are many rocks poking out of the road and decent size ruts in the road (not a great road for cars).
One of the coolest things I have ever climbed!

958 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Owens River Gorge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 124
Slip 'n Slide
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 157
Lava Haul
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 133
Wacked Scenario
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 300
Gorgeous
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 292
Hardly Wallbanger
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 127
Superfly
Sport 2 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 178
Pick Pocket
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 155
O.R.G.asm
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 111
Love Stinks
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 207
Expressway
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 176
Grindrite
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 120
Lalaland
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 82
Flex Your Head
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 156
From Chocolate to Morphine
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 85
Darshan (aka Ripoff)
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Slip 'n Slide Upper Gorge > Lower Elbow Room
 124
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Lava Haul Upper Gorge > Flavin Haven
 157
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Wacked Scenario Upper Gorge > Gorgeous Towers
 133
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Gorgeous Upper Gorge > Gorgeous Towers
 300
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Hardly Wallbanger Central Gorge > Pub Wall
 292
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Superfly Upper Gorge > Cracked Towers
 127
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport 2 pitches
Pick Pocket Upper Gorge > Holy Trinity
 178
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
O.R.G.asm Upper Gorge > Dihedrals
 155
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Love Stinks Central Gorge > Banana Belt
 111
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Expressway Central Gorge > Upper Crust
 207
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Grindrite Upper Gorge > Gotham City
 176
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Lalaland Central Gorge > Faulty Tower
 120
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Flex Your Head Upper Gorge > Gotham City
 82
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
From Chocolate to Morphine Central Gorge > Faulty Tower
 156
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Darshan (aka Ripoff) Central Gorge > Upper Crust
 85
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Owens River Gorge »

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