One of the most adventurous things you can do at Mammoth Lakes when you come by for your next RV camping trip is to scale the heights of the Eastern Sierra and do some climbing or mountaineering.  

Summer is the best time to go rock climbing or mountaineering over at Mammoth Lakes, and winter brings with it great back-country opportunities for ice climbing. There’s something for everyone, with local guides to show you the ropes (if you’re new to the sport) or to accompany you on your more adventurous forays (for more experienced climbers). 

For those who want to have a crack at climbing and mountaineering, classes are available at the Sierra Mountain Center to help familiarize you with what you need to know while you’re out here at Mammoth Lakes. 

Looking to Do Some Ice Climbing? 

Ice climbing season at Mammoth Lakes usually runs from December to March, and there are two popular climbing areas: one in June Lake, and another in Lee Vining. 

Ideal for beginners, the June Lake area has a bit more accessible one-two pitch climbs. Those just starting out in ice climbing come here to familiarize themselves better with equipment, technique, and other essential mountaineering skills before trying out more challenging climbs, such as those on Lee Vining.   

As one of the best places in the country to receive ice climbing instruction, Lee Vining Canyon has been steadily gaining a reputation as a world-class ice climbing destination. There are a good number of routes ranging from one-three pitches, with climbs for newbies and more seasoned climbers alike. 

Is Rock Climbing More of Your Thing? 

Meanwhile, in the summer, rock climbing is one of the most popular activities, with climbing enthusiasts from all over the world coming by to enjoy some of the world-class climbing areas Mammoth Lakes has to offer. 

Ground Up Climbing Guides, a local rock-climbing school and guide service, has a lot to offer both newbie and more experienced climbers alike. They certainly know the area and can tell you where the best places are to go rock climbing. 

They hold regular climbing workshops, organize guided climbing tours for all skill levels, and even group tours for those who’d want to experience the excitement and exhilaration of rock climbing with friends and loved ones.  

On weekends, they hold gym-to-crag transition clinics, where climbers can get a refresher on essential rock-climbing skills before heading out to do outdoor climbs. 

Looking for Something More Family-Friendly? 

If you have kids with you and you’d like to do some rock climbing together, Mammoth Lakes has a good number of suggested areas for some family-friendly rock-climbing: 

  • The slabs behind Horseshoe Lake in the Mammoth Lakes basin 
  • Bouldering at The Catacombs behind Crowley Lake overlooking Owen’s Gorge 

Another great option for families is to do have guided climbs or have the kids attend the two-day rock-climbing camps. Specifically designed for children and families in mind, Ground Up Climbing Guides also has clinics and workshops for families looking to experience the joys of rock climbing together. 

They even provide you with everything you need including, helmets, safety harnesses, and climbing footwear. 

A Final Word on Climbing and Mountaineering at Mammoth Lakes 

The beauty of RV camping at Mammoth Lakes is that you have no shortage of options when it comes to outdoor recreation.  

Rock climbing in the summer and ice climbing during the winter are certainly both exciting activities for the more adventurous types. The Mammoth Lakes community makes it easy and accessible for anyone who’d want to experience scaling the heights of the Eastern Sierra– new and experienced enthusiasts alike.  

For more information on available clinics, workshops, and classes on climbing and mountaineering, give the Sierra Mountain Center or Ground Up Climbing Guides a call today: 

Sierra Mountain Center 

Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546 


Ground Up Climbing Guides 

Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546