The Eastern Sierra is a mecca for rock climbing, though most traveling climbers head to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park, or the Owens River Gorge near Bishop. It’s easy to overlook Mammoth as a climbing destination, but both novice and advanced climbers will be pleased with the variety of sport climbing in and around Mammoth Lakes.
Clark’s Canyon is a favorite spot among the locals. From the boulder-style climbs at the Potato Patch to fun and approachable beginner routes at Area 13, there is something for climbers of all abilities. It’s no joke that you need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to get to Clark’s Canyon, however.
Understandably, most climbers want to find granite. If that's what you're after, go to the Horseshoe Slabs on the south side of Horseshoe Lake for moderate top-rope climbing. Or head south of town to the Iris Slabs on Rock Creek Road.
Before you go, pick up a climbing guidebook at Mammoth Mountaineering Supply, and be sure to pack a lunch and plenty of water.