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Benton Crags

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Corral (and Double Dome) 
Crocodile Rock 
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Locals Only Rock 
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Benton Crags Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,900'
Location: 37.73006, -118.5666 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 18,424
Administrators: Aron Quiter, Euan Cameron, AWinters, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Errett Allen on Mar 7, 2006
This Afternoon

71° | 44°

55° | 34°

54° | 34°

58° | 35°

62° | 36°

64° | 37°
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Benton Crags Star Trails


Trad and Sport climbing on grainy granitic rock somewhat reminiscent of Joshua Tree. Mostly west- and south-facing easy and moderate routes. Remote with beautiful views of the high Sierra. Primitive camping with no water.

Getting There 

Five and a half miles south of the Mammoth Lakes turnoff on Route 395, turn east on the Benton Crossing Road. Drive about 20 miles, then turn sharply right onto Road 3S50. Watch for a fainter road on the left, turn on this and follow it up to near the base of the crags which are clearly visible.

Climbing Season

Weather station 9.4 miles from here

42 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',21],['2 Stars',15],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',2]

Classic Climbing Routes in Benton Crags

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Benton Crags:
North Ridge   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   Locals Only Rock
Hillside Strangler   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   Psycho Killer Rock
Locals Only   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR   Locals Only Rock
Get Lost   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 115'   Locals Only Rock
Post Toasties   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 115'   Junk Food Rock : Left-Side
No Trespassing   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 115'   Locals Only Rock
Surfin' Safari   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 110'   Locals Only Rock
Westside Fitness Center   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport   Crocodile Rock
Stardust   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport   Wave Rock
Eastside Fitness Center   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport   Crocodile Rock
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Benton Crags

Featured Route For Benton Crags
Rock Climbing Photo: The amazing 2nd pitch on Cream of Wheat - the 5.8 ...

Cream of Wheat 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c California : Sierra Eastside : ... : Right-Side
Climb the OW (5.7) to easier ground, then continue up the prominent crack (5.7) located slightly up and to the right.(alternately it is possible to diagonal up and left on easier, but less aesthetic ground). At the top of the crack go slightly down the ramp to the P1 anchor. This pitch is definitely not 4 stars.From the P1 anchor follow the amazing dike up and over a bulge to a gear anchor on top (or head to the bolted anchor just 10' to the left). The dike is one of the best pitches at Bento...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of Benton Crags Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Spiders from Mars (5.10b) with the White Mountains...
Spiders from Mars (5.10b) with the White Mountains...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rainbow on the road to Benton
Rainbow on the road to Benton
Rock Climbing Photo: Panorama of the drive to Benton Crags
Panorama of the drive to Benton Crags
Rock Climbing Photo: Caro climbing at Benton
Caro climbing at Benton
Rock Climbing Photo: Transcendental Spaceship to the top of Benton Crag...
Transcendental Spaceship to the top of Benton Crag...
Rock Climbing Photo: Locals Only Rock & Psycho Killer Rock in front and...
Locals Only Rock & Psycho Killer Rock in front and...
Rock Climbing Photo: The approach road, Benton Crags
The approach road, Benton Crags
Rock Climbing Photo: Roadside scenery, Benton Crags
Roadside scenery, Benton Crags
Rock Climbing Photo: Bivi at Benton Crags. Photo by Blitzo.
Bivi at Benton Crags. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Benton Crags with the White Mountains in the dista...
Benton Crags with the White Mountains in the dista...

Comments on Benton Crags Add Comment
Show which comments
By Aerili
From: Los Alamos, NM
Jul 13, 2009
Although the "look" of these crags is reminiscient of J Tree, I found the style of climbing and rock quality reminded me far more of Mount Lemmon crags.

I climbed on Locals Only Rock and thought a lot of the ratings were quite soft; I would downgrade almost all of the routes by a number. However, I then lead one of the 5.9s and felt it was actually fairly solid for the grade, but the crux for me was a small roof--and roofs are not my thing--so maybe it all just depends.

Wonderful and solitary primitive camping here right by the crag.
By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
Oct 10, 2011
Did a good 5.4 at the right end of Psycho. The rappel station was, um.... interesting. Rock on the back side of the cliff was crumbling apart too.

The climbing guide was less than stellar at route placement and descriptions. The more popular routes were easy to find, but wanting to ease up the grades here we had a hard time finding the shorter 5.5 and 5.6 routes. Ended up going to Iris Slabs in Rock Creek and had a great time for hours doing some quality routes on quality granite. This crag, fwiw, is probably frequented by locals and isn't what I was think of as a destination for visiting climbers (we're from upstate New York).

Did happen to meet a couple locals while there and they were friendly, helpful even.

It would be useful if a local climber would spend a couple hours filling things in here. I know there's 5 times as many routes in the guide as are listed.
By tom donnelly
From: san diego
Oct 8, 2013
Some beta and history here:
By Kurtz
Oct 21, 2013
B.C. is a great place to climb! Lots of moderate trad routes, gorgeous scenery, and a couple of hot springs on the way back to 395.
By Maidy
Sep 19, 2014
Super fun climbing on good quality rock in a really beautiful setting. The monzonite was more similar to Holcomb Pinnacles, but way more cracks and the walls are much taller. 70 meter rope needed to do a rap to the ground from the main anchor on Locals Only.
By climbing coastie
From: Wasilla, AK
Nov 11, 2016
The turn off Benton Springs road is just over 24 miles from 395.

Awesome climbing at moderate grades!!!!
By kenr
Jul 25, 2017
There is now some good sport-climbing in the Benton Crags, notably one of the S-facing sectors.

GPS ...
Climbing: the rough center of the actual crags is around latitude longitude (N37.7301 W118.5666).
Parking NW corner (N37.7325 W118.5702)
Parking SW corner (N37.7271 W118.5681)

The driving directions above are for the NW corner parking.
To reach the SW corner parking, follow those instructions, but when reach (N37.7290 W118.5752), turn Right and go about 0.5 mile SE then NE. Road gets rougher and curvier toward the end, so note that if planning to climb the West-facing sectors of Crocodile and Caiman, there is little advantage in driving all the way to the highest parking spot.

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