Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 37.76677°N / 119.00303°W
Activities Activities: Toprope, Bouldering
Seasons Season: Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 7920 ft / 2414 m
Sign the Climber's Log


John on the first grouping of boulders

Deadman Summit is a major bouldering and top roping area in the Mammoth Lakes area of in the Sierra Nevada Range, California.

Deadman Summit is the name for a section of Highway 395 that runs north south along the Eastern Sierras. The bouldering area that came to be known by the same name is located about one half of a mile from the high point of the highway. The rocks are of volcanic origin and heavily pocketed with sharp edges. There are several groupings of rocks and each grouping is made of a few smaller sub-groupings themselves. The first grouping of rocks you come to in the approach happens to be the largest and the most popular of the bunch. Besides many face problems, there are dihedrals with finger to hand size cracks. These cracks are pretty rough. It's best to tape up for them.

Deadman Summit bouldering area was discovered by the Eastern Sierra local climbers in the 1970s and soon became a favorite playground for boulderers. The altitude of nearly 8000 feet had a lot to do with this popularity as the area stayed cool even during the hot summer days of Owens Valley.

John climbing on the first grouping

First Grouping of Boulders

First Grouping/Main area
First Grouping
First Grouping

Considering the height of the main area, just under forty feet, most climbers opt to set up top rope on the problems. There are many trees on top for setting up your anchor. Make sure to take some very long slings for the set up. You can also use cams for many cracks and pockets that can be used for your anchor or at least for directional. The base of the main area is flat and sandy, but it's a good idea to use a crash pads for some of the high ball problems. Many people boulder up the first few feet and jump down, but do not hesitate to set up a top rope if you like to top out on the problems. Top roping high ball boulder problems is a common practice on Deadman Summit. There are many pine trees close to the base providing great shade for in between burns.

Second Grouping of Boulders

Second grouping
Second grouping
Second grouping

Similar to the first grouping of Deadman Summit boulders, The other groupings have their own satellite groupings that are much smaller boulders and can be used to workout on. Your biggest problem with bouldering and climbing on Deadman Summit is the nearby Highway 395. Thankfully, the area is near the southbound lanes that are down hill and far less noisy than the northbound traffic. Camping in this area is not recommended. The dirt road leading to the second and third groupings of rocks is made of very soft sand and in many places it's heavily rutted.

How to get there

From the town of Bishop California, drive fifty miles north on Highway 395. This is also ten miles north of the junction of 395 and 203/ Mammoth Lakes, Devil's Postpile exit. There is a high point on this road called Deadman Summit. You need to turn left crossing the southbound traffic and enter a dirt road just before the summit is reached. This left hand turn is easy to miss the first time. If that happens to you, continue going north to Deadman Summit - there is a highway sign - and look for the first opportunity to turn around and head south. In this case, your dirt road will be on the right and the first one you come to as you drop down from the summit. Once you enter the dirt road, immediately turn right onto another dirt road. The first grouping of rocks are obvious; they are up a little hill to your right. The rest of the rocks are further up the same dirt road.


There are many campgrounds up and down Highway 395 including in the town of Mammoth Lakes. During the summer months, these campgrounds always seem to be full to the brim. I personally prefer to look for camping possiblities ouside of the town boundries. There are many other campgrounds on the way to Mammoth Lakes and beyond that can be used. There is another option; during the summer months motel rates drop dramatically making them a desirable way to spend a few nights in luxury. Needless to mention, amenities abound.

The folowing link should help finding accomodations.

you may ask about Lake George campground and Lake Mary campground,

you may want to try the following links for camping outside of the town of Mammoth Lakes:

Horton Creek Campground

Rock Creek Canyon

Inyo National Forest

Bishop Creek and vicinity camping



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Sierra NevadaMountains & Rocks