Sad Boulders

The Volcanic Tableland offers exceptional bouldering opportunities. 750,000 years ago, cataclysmic volcanic eruption of the Long Valley Caldera created unique geologic features along the Bishop Tuff. Through time, this once barren tableau has evolved to support a unique and fragile environment that takes a keen eye and time to appreciate.

The Volcanic Tablelands is situated at the ecological cusp of the Northern Mojave and Great Basin floristic Provinces where plants and associated wildlife species combine to make this an unusual and biologically diverse landscape. It has taken millennia for this environment to evolve and it will take responsible recreational users to preserve it into perpetuity - so enjoy and protect this place.

Sad Boulders Sad Boulders

In the early 90 s, the Tableland was visited only by local climbers. By the late 90 s, thousands of climbers were coming from all over the world to try out their climbing skills on the many boulder problems the Tableland has to offer. With this dramatic increase in use, the BLM and the local climbing community has developed a climbing management philosophy to protect the natural resources while preserving access to climbing opportunities.

The Happy drainage and Sad drainage are located along the Inyo-Mono County line, approximately 7 miles north of Bishop, California. Both drainages are oriented in a north-south direction extending north from the Owens Valley. The crest of the Sierra Nevada of 14,000 ft (4,265 m) lies 16 miles (27 km) to the southwest, and the crest of the White mountains of 12,500 ft (3,800 m) is 11 miles (18 km) to the east. Both areas are in the transitional zone between cold semi-deserts of the Great Basin to the northeast and the hotter Mojave to the south.

Adventure is at Your Fingertips


Geographic Coordinates

37.41763056, -118.4328278


The Happy Boulders can be access by two different routes out of Bishop. From Main Street (395) you can take the junction for Highway 6. Then turn left onto Five Bridges Road and continue until you reach the intersection at which you will turn left onto Chalk Bluff road. Continue down Chalk Bluff road for 1.5 miles until you reach the Sad Boulder parking. From Main Street (395) continue north out of Bishop as if you were driving to Mammoth. Turn Right onto Pleasant Valley Dam Road and continue on it until you get past the County campground. Turn right onto Chalk Bluff road and continue for about 4.5 miles until you reach the Sad Boulders parking area.