The Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains are vast, and opportunity for outdoor recreation is endless during all seasons up and down the range. Summer season provides access to high elevations, superb rock climbing spots, and warm weather swimming fun. Summer crowds can fill campgrounds, so book in advance, or strategically plan a first-come, first-serve site.
The Alabama Hills, just out of Lone Pine towards the mountains, are excellent for camping and rock climbing, if temperatures aren’t too high. Camping is dispersed, primitive camping on BLM land. This area makes a good first road trip stop to break up the drive to the mountains.
Al’s Garage Climbing Area
Al’s Garage is reached by a long dirt road, easiest travelled by four wheeled drive or all wheel drive vehicles. After driving the slow, bumpy ride in to the climbing area, Al’s Garage has a remote feel. Al’s Garage is a sport climbing area with a couple dozen climbs ranging from 5.8 to 5.11a.
Iris Slab at Rock Creek
There is a first-come, first-serve campground at Iris Meadow and a nice rock climbing slab on the hillside overlooking the meadow and canyon. This area is at 7500 feet elevation, and on the west side of Rock Creek Canyon. In a high water year, like this one, approach the climbs over a boulder field from the road, and follow a climbers trail up the hillside to the base.
Mammoth Area Hot Springs + Swimming Holes
The Eastern Sierra is sprinkled with natural hot springs and cool water dips. Find maintained tubs for the safest hot water soaking, and cold water dip into any slow moving stream or lake for a true summer alpine experience.