Elevation: 4,200 ft
GPS: 37.361, -118.395 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 2,153,587 total · 15,601/month
Shared By: Euan Cameron on Nov 18, 2007
Admins: Aron Quiter, Euan Cameron, AWinters, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes


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? See here mountainproject.com/books/1…

Tape? Chalk? Check out Wilson's Eastside Sports on Main St., downtown Bishop for all your outdoorsy needs.
Unknown climber getting to grips with the last hold before the throw on Stained Glass
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 many campgrounds with better scenery than this one.
Buttermilks afternoon

2,457 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Bishop Area Change
Type:  to 
Sort by:   then:

Classic Climbing Routes at Bishop Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V2 5+
The Hunk
V3 6A R
Black Magic
V4 6B PG13
Jedi Mind Tricks
V5 6C
Strength in Numbers (Original SIN)
V6 7A
V6 7A
Seven Spanish Angels (aka The Ru…
V7 7A+
High Plains Drifter
V9 7C
Soul Slinger
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Southwest Arete
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Pratt's Crack
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
West Face
Trad 4 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
From Chocolate to Morphine
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Hunk Buttermilk Country > Buttermilks Main > Hunk
V2 5+ Boulder
Black Magic Volcanic Tablel… > … > Blood Simple Area > Black Magic Boulder
V3 6A R Boulder
Jedi Mind Tricks Buttermilk Country > Pollen Grains /… > Jedi Boulder
V4 6B PG13 Boulder
Strength in Numbers (Origin… Volcanic Tablel… > Sad Boulders > Strength in Numbers Area
V5 6C Boulder
Saigon Buttermilk Country > Buttermilks Main > Saigon Boulder
V6 7A Boulder
Seven Spanish Angels (aka T… Buttermilk Country > Get Carter Boulder
V6 7A Boulder
High Plains Drifter Buttermilk Country > Buttermilks Main > Drifter/Smoking Boulder
V7 7A+ Boulder
Soul Slinger Buttermilk Country > … > Cave Area > Soul Slinger Boulder
V9 7C Boulder
Southwest Arete Buttermilk Country > … > Peabody Boulders > Grandma Peabody Boulder
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Pratt's Crack Pine Creek Canyon > Scheelite Canyo… > Pratt's Crack / Dihed…
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
West Face Cardinal Pinnacle
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 4 pitches
Sheila Pine Creek Canyon > Scheelite Canyo… > Pratt's Crack / Dihed…
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad
O.R.G.asam Owens River Gorge > Upper Gorge > Dihedrals
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Grindrite Owens River Gorge > Upper Gorge > Gotham City
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
From Chocolate to Morphine Owens River Gorge > Central Gorge > Faulty Tower
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Bishop Area »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


Caleb Hansen
Rapid City
Caleb Hansen   Rapid City
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. Oct 9, 2011
C Miller   CA  
vimeo.com/47247127 Dec 2, 2012
Matthew Larsen
Bishop, CA
Matthew Larsen   Bishop, CA
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! Mar 13, 2013
Sean P. Sullivan
Clovis, Ca
Sean P. Sullivan   Clovis, Ca
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. Feb 9, 2014
Euan Cameron
Mammoth Lakes
Euan Cameron   Mammoth Lakes  
You can try The Pit, not free but at $2 a night it may as well be.


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. Feb 9, 2014
Shane Collins
Shane Collins   Washington
vimeo.com/117763314 Jan 26, 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! Feb 20, 2015
Gina E  
If anyone is looking for beta on camping, showers, filling up water, etc. in Bishop, here is some information: sinkerjams.com/2015/11/30/a… Dec 5, 2015
Troy Fauteux
Henniker NH
Troy Fauteux   Henniker NH
Is February a good time to rock climb at bishop? I live in New Hampshire and wanted to know if the climbing would be good or if snow is an issue? I heard you need chains on your tires to get there in the winter. Its a far drive so accurate info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Jan 12, 2016
Euan Cameron
Mammoth Lakes
Euan Cameron   Mammoth Lakes  
Feb is a great time to visit. To be honest any time of the year is good, but Feb will have great conditions for bouldering and the gorge will be in good shape for sport routes. High sierra routes will be in full winter conditions so take that into account.

Getting around Bishop and the owens valley is no issue. If you head up north to Mammoth and beyond you may need to have chains, but storms generally blow through in a day or two and after that roads are clear.

Heading up from south? If so no issue. Jan 13, 2016
what are the weather conditions like in early June? is it too hot to climb here? Jan 13, 2016
Nick Crews
Colorado Springs
Nick Crews   Colorado Springs
Will Pine Creek Canyon or any other trad areas be climbable in mid-March? Or should we just stick to sport climbing in the gorge? Mar 3, 2016
Vlad S  
People climb at Pine Creek in the winter. It just depends on temperature. Expect a bit of snow here and there, but nothing major. Little Egypt is definitely climbable unless the weather is stormy. Mar 3, 2016

I will be going to Bishop for my first time in several weeks. I boulder V0 to V2 on a good day while my buddy climbs up to V5/V6. Any recommendations as to which areas have a good concentration of problems that will suit both of us at the same time?

Any beta is appreciated. Thanks Apr 11, 2018
Euan Cameron
Mammoth Lakes
Euan Cameron   Mammoth Lakes  
Probably better to post this sort of comment as a question in the Northern California forum. There are plenty of places that have numerous problems of all grades. Perhaps the best place to start are the Happy Boulders, as there is plenty for everyone. If the weather gets too warm think about heading up to any of the areas on Sherwin Plateau. Apr 11, 2018
What route is the second picture (the climber on the overhang) captioned "Photo by Micah Bryan Humphrey" Oct 29, 2018
Russ Walling
Overlord @ FishProducts
Russ Walling   Overlord @ FishProducts
Chris Lewis: What route is the second picture (the climber on the overhang) captioned "Photo by Micah Bryan Humphrey"

Enterprise in the Owens River Gorge

mountainproject.com/route/1… Oct 29, 2018
James Huang
Ford Econoline
James Huang   Ford Econoline
Hiking Mount Tom (13,652’), the giant mountain that looms over the Pit campground, is a fun rest day activity. Hiking to the top of this monster is no small feat. The round-trip hike is 20 miles with 6,729’ of elevation gain, about 10 hours car to car for normal fit humans not in a rush. The views from the summit are spectacular, but we chose a day with whiteout conditions (couldn’t spare a fair weather day away from climbing). The location of the trailhead is pinned on the map here: niceclimbs.com/areas/califo… Jan 24, 2019
Wanika Lai
Vancouver, BC
Wanika Lai   Vancouver, BC
Does anyone know what the weather is like in Bishop right now? Is it snowing or just really cold? Feb 3, 2019