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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

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2 days ago

Anyone going to be here this weekend? This will be a great program.Interested in the night sky and nightscape photography? Please join us this Saturday, August 24th at Grandview Campground at 9 pm for a fun and educational program discussing the constellations, planets, importance of the Dark Sky, and an introduction to nightscape photography with ESIA Naturalist, John Kelly and ESIA Board Chair, Don Chambers. 🌟 Photo by Don Chambers ... See MoreSee Less

Anyone going to be here this weekend? This will be a great program.

 

Comment on Facebook

Sounds great, have taken grands to similar programs at Kensington in Mi. Loved it!

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2 days ago

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in doing a run for a good cause, please check this out!! Fight against cancer on October 5th by running or walking through iconic John Wayne movie locations and rugged western landscapes of the Alabama Hills. 1/2 marathon and 10K options.
johnwayne.org/jwgs-alabama-hills/
Photo by @matthewcodyhudson
... See MoreSee Less

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in doing a run for a good cause, please check this out!! Fight against cancer on October 5th by running or walking through iconic John Wayne movie locations and rugged western landscapes of the Alabama Hills. 1/2 marathon and 10K options.  
https://johnwayne.org/jwgs-alabama-hills/
Photo by @matthewcodyhudson

 

Comment on Facebook

Wonderful picture

Love the Owens valley Alabama hills

Alabama Hill's a great place to visit

Beautiful shot!

Lone Pine Peak- Joe Kidd, Eastwood and Duwall

I imagine most folk on FB have no idea who John Wayne is 🤪

Kimberly Masters Huffman

Rachel Eads

Hey Dennis Cook Ever been to Bishop?

Tom Morgan lets go!!

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3 days ago

Not only are the bristlecone pines amazing, but the sunsets are pretty spectacular there as well!
#visitbishop
Photo: @samrtoo
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Not only are the bristlecone pines amazing, but the sunsets are pretty spectacular there as well! 
#visitbishop
Photo: @samrtoo

 

Comment on Facebook

Beautiful

This is a great place. If you have a chance go see them.

I must get there before winter sets in!

Simply Beautiful☺

It’s a beautiful town

Loved my fall visit last year with a special opportunity ...a later than normal closure of the ancient Bristlecone pine forest ! Checked that off the bucket list

When we visited the Bristlecone. On the way up we would stop and pick Piñon nuts. The female comes of the Bristlecone is a beautiful blue/purple cone.

Have not been up there since 2009.

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4 days ago

Fishing fun! Check out our local guides!

Outside TV
Kayak fishing on Lake Sabrina in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains! outside.tv/August19 Congrats to our latest August Campfire Video of the Week winner, Ed and Ed Go Fishing without Ed! Enjoy your prizes from FRDM, Sight Line Provisions, and Postfly! Grand prize winner will also win a rod from The Wade Rod Co. Show us your adventures for a chance to win and be featured on Outside TV, and stay tuned for other ways to win cool prizes from other brands like BUFF!
... See MoreSee Less

 

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Great times fishing there

My favorite place to be. I miss going to fish there. So many fond memories.

Miss being there. Bishop creek.

Awesome video

My bride of 42 years and I were just there last week! Such a great place to relax, fish & get away.

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