Bishop Visitor Logo

Bishop Visitor's Center

Intro

The Happy and Sad Boulders offer hundreds of boulder problems that will delight and challenge climbers who come to Bishop to test their skills. With everything from jugs to crimps to pockets, you can find just about anything here. There are caves and cracks, and while some of the rock might not look that secure, it’s pretty solid. The landings are usually flat, the top outs are flat—what more could you ask for?

What Makes It Great

The Happy and Sad Boulders are located in the Volcanic Tableland, just north of Bishop in an (almost) mile long canyon. The volcanic rock in this area created channels, cracks and underhangs that draws climbers from all over the world to experience the Bishop Tuff for themselves. A little bit easier on the hands than the rock over at the nearby Buttermilks, the Happy and Sad Boulders offer more of a challenge for your muscles rather than your skin.

The Happy Boulders are a little more accessible for a less experienced climber, and, as the name suggests, it’s hard to have a bad day out here. Most of the problems here range from V0 (Pursuit of Wow, Corner Route) to V8 (Disco Diva), but there are a few tougher ones, like Toxic Avenger (V9/10) and Acid Wash (V10). If you want to get your heart pumping, jump on the not-t0-difficult highball Heavenly Path (V1). The Happys are a great place to go out with a crew of varying abilities because of the range of problems, and the high concentration of them. It’s very easy for multiple people to work on their projects within a stone’s throw of each other.

The Sad Boulders, on the other hand, offer up some much more challenging problems. While there are some classics in the V0-V3 range (like China Doll and Still Life), you’ll also find some trickier V10s, like Beefcake, a low and steep climb inside a catacomb-like cave. The Sads are also usually cooler thanks to these caves and less direct sunlight on the rock.

The flora and fauna in this area are fragile, so leave no trace and pack out anything you bring in to ensure it stays beautiful for generations to come. Combined with the epic climbing and the stunning backdrop of the Eastern Sierra, including incredible peaks like Mt. Tom and the Wheeler Crest, it’s easy to see what makes this area so popular.

Who is Going to Love It

Between the two spots there is something for every type of climber. There is an abundance of low traverses and link-ups, plenty of overhangs with friendly handholds, crimpy routes, cracks, and a tons of finger pockets. The landings are flat and there’s a pretty wide range of difficulties here too.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Head north from Bishop on Highway 395 and make a right onto Pleasant Valley Road. Turn right again onto Chalk Bluff Road after passing by the Pleasant Valley Campground. On your left hand side is a cliff band, continue for about two miles until you hit the parking and access area for Happy Boulders. The pit toilet is located here as well. Continue on to the second kiosk area to access the Sads.

Featured image provided by Friends of the Inyo

Check out the Digital Bishop Visitor Guide!

Archived Stories

Tell us:

How do you enjoy OUR BACKYARD?

Follow Us on Instagram

Join Us on Facebook!

1 day ago

Family Fun Day - mark your calendars!Looking for a fun event for the entire family? Join us at the Family Fun Day on May 11th between 10am-2pm at Bishop City Park! ... See MoreSee Less

Family Fun Day - mark your calendars!

3 days ago

Enjoy this bird's eye view of Mt. Whitney!

Visit California
Just an average weekend soaring through the skies of Inyo County and getting a front-row seat view of Mount Whitney, California's tallest mountain. 😉 http://bit.ly/2E0A7dl
... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

"Hey Ma, top of the world."

That looks so cool! Thanks for sharing.

It's one way to get to or over the summit. Would still like to do it the old fashioned way. Will be sharing. Thanks. :-)

Bamos

Letsgo

Ann Craig

Marcela Sedano-Jensen

Bree McNamara...you hiked that monster!! It's beautiful :)

Joe Shermer can see you doing this

Roger Klein lookie here.

I wouldn’t even fly a small plane into that area. Death wish.

+ View more comments

5 days ago

Should be a good week for wildflowers! Stop by the Visitors Center to pick up a copy of our guide to the eastern Sierra wildflowers and be sure to tag @visitbishop and #trackthebloom in your photo posts. Happy wildflower hunting!The wildflower bloom moves both northward and higher in elevation as Spring progresses. During the past week flowers were spotted as high as 5,000 feet in the eastern Sierra footslopes. Several wilderness areas west of Ridgecrest offer great wildflower viewing opportunities. Several canyons offer access points for hiking and flower viewing as visitors climb the footslopes. Thank you to all public lands visitors practicing #LeaveNoTrace principles while you #TracktheBloom! ... See MoreSee Less

Should be a good week for wildflowers! Stop by the Visitors Center to pick up a copy of our guide to the eastern Sierra wildflowers and be sure to tag @visitbishop and #trackthebloom in your photo posts. Happy wildflower hunting!
Load more
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!