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Happy and Sad Boulders

Climbing Area
This climber focuses on the task at hand, and at foot, while scaling of of the hundreds of routes in the Sad Boulders. – Keith Rainville

Plenty of routes and problems, though overall the area may not be quite as challenging as the Buttermilks. Both the Happys and Sads are good places to stay sharp, and accommodate a group of varying skill. The Sad Boulders have more than 190 boulder problems such as Strength in Numbers V5 and Molly V5. Happy Boulders has a northwest to southeast orientation and several classics such as Solarium V4, and Serengeti V5.

The Happy and Sad Boulders are located in a 3/4-mile-long shallow canyon in the Volcanic Tablelands Area north of Bishop, and contain hundreds of routes and problems among jumbles of blocks and the long, winding walls and alcoves. At 4,500 feet, the area has great weather all year round, and is a popular and challenging bouldering area for all levels.

Best Access and Parking Areas

Drive north out of Bishop on 395 and turn right onto Pleasant Valley Road. Make a right onto Chalk Bluff Road just after the Pleasant Valley Campground. As you drive along you will be traversing a cliff band to your left. The parking and access to the Happy Boulders is about 2 miles on Chalk Bluff at the first kiosk and pit toilet area you see. To access the Sads drive past the Happy Boulder access to the second kiosk area.

Best Seasons for Climbing

There is not much snow during the winter, so it's more accessible than other bouldering spots; a bit hot in the summer.

The Pit Campground is open from November though April ($2 a car). There is no water but there's a toilet.