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Climbing on the Inyo National Forest is most popular in the bouldering areas in and around the Buttermilk region and the Chalk Bluff area of the Bishop field Office/Bureau of Land Management. 

The Buttermilk area is a hilly area just east of the Horton Creek drainage and approximately 8 miles west of Bishop.  It is a dispersed recreation area, which means that camping is allowed and campfires are permitted with a valid California campfire permit when conditions allow - contact any ranger station for current fire regulations.  Climbers and campers should be aware that the area is intermingled with private and non-public utility lands and that camping is allowed only on Inyo National Forest Land.  Please be sure of your location before setting up camp.

While camping is allowed anywhere on national forest land in the Buttermilk area, campers are strongly encouraged to use an already impacted campsite, park only on road shoulders and practice leave-no-trace camping ethics.

Use this link to access BLM information on the Happy and Sad Boulders and other climbing opportunities in the Chalk Bluff area.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities