The Sherwin Rock Chute sits in the middle of the Sherwin Range. Located on the southwest outskirts of Mammoth Lakes, California, the Sherwins are a popular cross-country skiing area in the winter and climbing and hiking area in Spring through Fall. Rock Chute sits just about a mile across the Sherwin ridge, to the left of Mammoth Rock
(when viewed from the town of Mammoth Lakes).
The peak also sits just a few miles away from the John Muir Wilderness, which can be obtained if you follow the ridge to the left of the summit, around a few larger peaks, one named "Peak 10,750(ft.)" by the locals, heading South.
The climb to the summit up the back via the Coldwater Campground route requires a rather steep "bushwhack" before the ridge levels out below the final slope to the summit. The front route, straight up the chute, is very dangerous and loose, and is not recommended at all(Although I was stupid enough to do it twice).
The summit offers great panaroma views of the Minarets, Mammoth Lakes, Mammoth Mountain, the town of Mammoth, the Mammoth Crest, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the White Mountains.
The summit register, which I believe had been up there since 2004, was nowhere to be found on a recent ascent to the summit on July 19, 2006.
The Sherwin Rock Chute sits above the town of Mammoth Lakes, California.
The town is accessible from US Highway 395. SR 203 is the road which leads into Mammoth Lakes and turns into Main Street.
DRIVING TIMES & DISTANCES (According to Mammoth Lakes Visitors Bureau)
Bakersfield 4.5 hours 260 miles
Death Valley 4 hours 214 miles
Fresno (winter) 6.5 hours 357 miles
Fresno (summer) 4.5 hours 200 miles
Las Vegas, NV 5.5 hours 377 miles
Los Angeles 5.5 hours 325 miles
Orange County 6 hours 363 miles
Reno, NV 3 hours 164 miles
Sacramento 5 hours 290 miles
Santa Barbara 6.5 hours 385 miles
San Bernardino 5 hours 290 miles
San Diego 7.5 hours 400 miles
San Francisco (winter) 7 hours 360 miles
San Francisco (summer) 6 hours 300 miles
Yosemite Valley(Eastern route closed in winter) 2.5 hours 100 miles
Their are no permits required to hike Rock Chute and the rest of the Sherwin area.
When To Climb
The period of May through October is the best time to climb, as much of the snow is gone.
In winter months, the snow is deep and the area can be an avalanche zone. Cross country skiing and snowboarding are popular activities in the area during the winter.
Visit the Mammoth Lakes visitors center for mountain conditions.
Mammoth Lakes Ranger District Visitor Center
2500 Hwy 203, P.O. Box 148
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546