Alpine climbing NCCS rating
Grade V
Elevation Gain
1,006.00 ft (306.63 m)
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
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Cardinal Pinnacle is a 500-foot granite rock spire in Bishop, California. With 13 different routes to the top of its spire, Cardinal Pinnacle is great for all skill levels. Of these, Regular Route is the easiest, and it is great for beginner multi-pitch climbing with clean crack climbing.

Located just 30 minutes from Bishop just past the small town of Aspendell, this area is very visible from the road. There aren't a lot of parking spaces, and you are encouraged to get there early to snag one of the best spots along the road. From the road, climb over a small talus gully to the base.

Regular Route is graded a 5.6 trad climb route that consists of three pitches over a 400-foot ascent. The route follows the crack in the left-facing corner, after which it starts to curve right after the second pitch. To descend, you can rappel from the chain link on the top of the climb and walk down through the scree gully back to the road.

Because this route is short and so easy to access, this can be done early in the morning before it gets too hot in the summer months.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Not too crowded. Easy access.


Limited parking.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

8,668.00 ft (2,642.01 m)


Rock climbing


Nearby Lodging + Camping

Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California


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