An Outstanding Business Opportunity in the Eastern Sierra

Live in the Eastern Sierra. Work and play in the mountains. Get out of the city and into a slower mountain town lifestyle. Operate a very successful and established business. Live a mountain lifestyle.

History of Sierra Mountain Center

Started by SP Parker and Todd Vogel in 1996, Sierra Mountain Center (SMC) has operated in the Sierra Nevada and worldwide ever since.

In the mid-90s, there were very few guide services operating locally. SMC built upon prior luminaries such as Norman Clyde, Don Jensen, John Fisher, Doug Robinson, Alan Bard and Tom Carter to mention only a few.

SMC has led the way in establishing a new standard for guiding in the Sierra. SMC has been prominent in advocacy for the American Mountain Guides Association and its training programs for guides, and has been instrumental in developing the alpine and rock programs for the AMGA.

SMC Owner

Robert “SP” Parker owned and operated Sierra Mountain Guides from 1992 to 1997 and became the sole owner in 2017.

Prior to that he worked for Rock Creek Lodge in the Sierra’s Rock Creek Canyon (1981-1987) and for American Alpine Institute nationally and internationally (1986-1996). Doubtful there are other guides operating in the Sierra Nevada with more experience in rock climbing, alpine climbing and skiing than SP Parker.

Reason for Sale

At 65 it is time to retire and to allow the business to grow further under new leadership.

Ideal purchaser

Robert “SP” Parker started as a mountain guide and segued into a business owner and manager. While this flow of events seemed logical, SP doesn’t feel this was necessarily the best progression — the modern business environment calls for a modern trained business owner. He knows his business could flourish even further under more business-minded ownership.

Granted, the managerial tasks behind this business are fairly complex. SP believes his services would need retaining for a period of time, in order to convey crucial details such as local area, park, and permitting nuances, ideal routes, etc. He wishes to share tricks of the trade with you, to help you be successful.

Ability to manage staff and finances – and a vision for the business – are as important as the day-to-day skills of mountain guiding. In other words, a person with entrepreneurial skills, a passion for the outdoors, and guide liasons could be very successful in growing this business.

Is that you?


SMC is a successful, flourishing guide service with:

  • A dependable trained and qualified staff of 5-12 depending upon season
  • A very efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly office staff
  • A stable office lease in Bishop
  • Gear and equipment for program operation
  • A professionally-built e-commerce website listing over 100 guided programs in detail
  • Permits and Use Authorizations in the Sierra Nevada. These are the most valuable assets a guide service can have

Currently SMC has the following permits:

  1. Inyo National Forest. Both wilderness and front country permits with priority use with an annual allocation of Service Days for mountaineering, backpacking, winter mountaineering, skiing and mountain biking. Use also includes the Mount Whitney Management area. Use here is limited to 6 permittees and SMC has the second largest allocation. This permit also covers the Sierra National Forest and the White Mountain Wilderness. Valid until 2025
  2. Sequoia Kings National Parks. This permit allows access to the west side of the Sierra Nevada. Authorization is for guides skiing, mountaineering and backpacking. A two year CUA valid until 2020 with a renewal in progress.
  3. Yosemite National Park. A two year CUA for mountaineering and backpacking. This permit is renewed biannually.
  4. Toiyabe National Forest. A five year permit for skiing, backpacking and mountaineering.
  5. Sequoia National Forest. A renewable one year permit for the Needles climbing area of Southern California. SMC is the only permitted guide service here.
  6. BLM Bishop area office for backpacking, rock climbing and mountain biking.

Future Growth Opportunities

To date SMC has focused upon bringing visitors to the area to partake in programs. This has been very successful. But there also exists a wide open opportunity to cater programs for visitors who are already here. The Eastern Sierra has become very popular over the last few years with visitors from all over the world and there is a dearth of programs that show them the Sierra Nevada and local recreational opportunities. This would involve 1 to 2 day trips rather than the 3 to 26 day trips that SMC has developed to this date. SMC already has permits that allow for guided mountain biking and fat biking trips locally ranging from half day to over night in length. These opportunities have been under utilized. SMC already has a companion website that offers these opportunities but the potential here has yet to be realized and capitalized upon.

More Information

Serious enquiries only to

Further information and financials are available. A signed confidentiality agreement will be required to access financials. Prior-qualification of a prospective buyer may be required before further details are divulged.