Chalk Bluff

Just north of Bishop a 300-foot-high bluff stretches for 5-miles across the northern Owens Valley. Known as Chalk Bluff, this impressive escarpment marks the southern end of the Volcanic Tablelands that were formed by a massive volcanic explosion about 760,000 years ago. The eruption produced a pyroclastic flow that deposited an extensive layer of volcanic material between the White Mountains to the east and Sierra Nevada to the west. Eons of wind and water have sculpted the rock we now call Bishop Tuff into a playground for bouldering, trail-running, hiking, bike riding, and OHV driving.

Of the many small canyons that were etched into the bluff, two are well known for fun and challenging bouldering – they are the Happy and the Sad Boulders. The Happys offer warmth and shelter from the wind on blustery winter days and the Sads can be perfect on hot days due the narrow, catacomb-like channel. A short, but steep trail leads into each canyon and the views out across the valley toward the towering Sierra Nevada are awe-inspiring. The plateau above the bluff is vast with an extensive network of trails, tracks, and dirt roads that are great for trail-runs, gravel-grinder bike rides, and dirt-biking.


Chalk Bluff Rd, California 93514