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Intro

Buttermilk Country is a well-known, world-class bouldering destination. The massive boulders provide some of the most accessible and diverse bouldering in the country with routes that offer everything from fun scrambling to highly technical ‘problems’ that challenge even the world’s best climbers.

It also offers so much more! The area covers 325 acres of high desert meadow and is allocated for ‘dispersed recreation’ year round. Numerous dirt tracks and single-track trails connect for miles of hiking, trail-running, mountain biking and dirt biking in and around the hills. Plus this network of dirt roads from the early years of mining and ranching here provide wonderful OHV driving opportunities.

What Makes It Great

It’s a year-round destination and there is something for everyone here. The mountain peaks tower above the desert floor and a canopy of bright stars sparkles in the night sky like a never-ending display of brilliant fireworks. Interspersed with private and non-public utility lands, the Buttermilks basin is a huge tract allowing for a great variety of recreational activities with camping allowed on the public lands.

Who Is Going to Love It

Outdoor enthusiasts of all sorts will revel in all that the Buttermilk Country has to offer. Bring all your gear – mountain bike or dirt bike, binoculars and bird book, climbing shoes and crash pad, a camper van or tent. Exercise your body, explore the sights, and experience the beauty of Buttermilk Country.

Best Season

Recreation can happen year-round, but best sending temps are in the winter, camping is most pleasant in the spring and fall, summer days are hot and winter nights can be chilly.

Directions. Parking. Regulations.

Head west on Highway 168 (W. Line St.) for 13 miles to the junction of Buttermilk Rd and turn right. The road turns to gravel just beyond the cattle guard and 12 miles further you will find yourself in the heart of Buttermilk County. All along Buttermilk Rd, up to and beyond the bouldering area, numerous roads and tracks lead off into the hills and to clearings where parking and camping exist alongside the creeks, boulders and ridges of this diverse landscape. Always park or camp on existing clearings. Please don’t crush the brush. Remember to stop in first at the local USFS Ranger Station for a map and campfire permit, for when conditions allow, and make sure to camp only on Inyo National Forest Land.

About the Author: Gigi de Jong

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Gigi is “crazy mad in love with Bishop.” Since moving here in 2006 she has made it her mission to participate in as many of the outdoor activities as possible. She learned to snowboard, improved upon her very average climbing skills, took long hikes, has driven up and down innumerable mountain roads and 4×4 tracks, cycled and occasionally tumbled down mountain bike trails, taken to the roads on a bicycle or motorcycle – sometimes for fun and sometimes to commute, and completed her first attempt at a triathlon this year. She spent 10 months touring the western US and Canada on a bicycle and after 4,000 plus miles returned to Bishop – for the beauty of the place and the spirit of the community. “My soul belongs here,” she says.

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