Elevation: 7,000 ft
GPS: 37.573, -118.611 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 25,687 total · 183/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
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The Catacombs is a really cool place to visit. Not only does it have fine bouldering, but it is worth the trip simply to wander amongst the rock formations.

The area is perched above the Owens River Gorge. Close to the gorge there are many rock towers, that you can explore from either the top or the bottom. At the bottom you find yourself in a maze like structure, often crawling on hands and knees to make progress.

Working back from the gorge edge the towers get smaller and more spaced apart - perfect for bouldering.

The rock is good pocketed tuff, and almost all the landings are on perfect flat pumice.

Come for a day, come for an hour, it doesn't matter, it is worth the trek out here.

Getting There

On reaching Tom's Place on the 395 take the East turn and drive passed a few houses. After about 4 miles on this road you'll reach Crowley Lake Dam. Cross over the Dam and turning right head up the road (take care as the road narrows). Once at the top of the hill the road turns to dust. After 1.3 miles take the obvious right turn onto the 4S03. Follow this road for just over 3 miles, until you come to a steeper section of road with a switchback.

Continue on past the switchback for another 1/2 mile then take a right turn. Shortly after turning you'll see left faint left fork - stay right. Just keep staying right all the way to the Catacombs parking lot.

The view across the Owens River Gorge, the Wheeler Crest in the background.

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The directions to get here a little bit off as is the marker to the parking lot for this location. The lot is located at: 37.572818,-118.612084

Direction updates start after the hairpin turn:

Take the second write after the hairpin, it's at the fork in the road. The next right is at road maker 04S136 followed by a right at 04S136A.

Following the last road it will take you to the parking lot for the Catacomb Boulders: Map Aug 15, 2013
I agree with Peter's coordinates, directions, and map. Thanks, Peter! I just submitted a request to fix the GPS coordinates listed above, so it's possible they'll get updated soon and will be correct.

And some info about road conditions:
The dirt roads are decent. Four-wheel drive is definitely not necessary. There tends to be scruffy desert bushes between the mild tire ruts. High ground clearance vehicles will have no problems. For vehicles with medium to low clearance, brush will scrape against the bottom. I felt comfortable driving a 2003 Toyota Corolla, where it's old enough that I'm not too concerned about scrapes on the front bumper. Low ground clearance vehicles could probably make it ok... just depends on how comfortable you are scraping against scruffy bushes. I would maybe be worried about setting off airbags. Aug 25, 2013
Euan Cameron
Mammoth Lakes
Euan Cameron   Mammoth Lakes  
Map coords have all been updated. Nov 29, 2014
Kyle Love
Redmond, WA
Kyle Love   Redmond, WA
Here's a video of the Catacombs area, featuring Looks Like We're One Horse Shy Partner (v5), Gigantor (v1/3), and A Beautiful Man Sit (v9): youtube.com/watch?v=WTL4fX8… May 30, 2018