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Rock Creek Canyon

rock creek canyon hiking trails

Rock Creek is one of the most beautiful alpine canyons draining the 13,000' peaks of the Mt. Abbott region. The climbing routes are at an elevation of 9,000' on the west side of the canyon so they receive morning sunshine. The rock is excellent-quality granite, offering some of the best crack climbing this side of Yosemite. There are also some bolted slabs, but the steep, featured sport climbs of the Main Cliff should not be missed.

To get to the Rock Creek trails area start at the junction of Hwy. 203 and U.S. 395 and drive south on 395. After 16 miles is the Tom's Place/Rock Creek exit. Turn right here and head south up the canyon. The cliffs are all on the west side of the canyon and take about 20 minutes to scramble up to. The mileages indicated are measured from U.S. 395.

Rock Creek is a popular destination for Mammoth visitors. While many people choose to camp at Rock Creek, you are only about 20 minutes from the town of Mammoth Lakes to get to the road. As the hikes here are for all levels, you should consider staying in the town of Mammoth, and going for this gorgeous drive. It is especially beautiful during the fall season when the colors change on the trees. Rock Creek is noted for this.

Iris Slab

To get to the Iris Slab, drive 4.1 miles up Rock Creek and park outside the Iris Meadow campground, hike through the campground, cross Rock Creek and scramble up to the crag. The Iris Slab has long been a popular teaching area with local guides services and is a great place for beginning climbers. Fixed anchors are found on top, making top-roping and lowering convenient. All routes are about 80' long.

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