The best climbing guide to Bishop, California

The small town of Bishop, California, in the eastern Sierras is home to an astounding amount of climbing — both bouldering and sport. For that, this region has for years been a draw for both professional climbers and novices. Getting to Bishop definitely means driving, but the town itself is so charming, with plentiful climbing opportunities and close-by camping, that climbers will come again and again to get to know it.

On a map, Bishop looks close to well-known places like Yosemite or Kings Canyon national parks — but the Sierra Nevada range, with many peaks topping 14,000 feet, lies in the way. You need to cross that range either due north or south of it. In practice, this means that Bishop is as close a drive from LA as from Las Vegas: about 4.5 hours. From San Francisco, the drive will take you six hours. Mammoth Mountain, though, is 45 minutes away.

The Sierra Nevadas don’t just make for a stunning backdrop to your climbs in Bishop; they also keep away Pacific storms. That makes for clear skies that let you enjoy climbing in Bishop most of the year. Note that in December and January, you’ll have freezing