This steep, rocky, dirt road is for high clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles, ATVs, and mountain bikes only. This ultimately scenic area, just southwest of Bishop, offers an “off-the-beaten-path” place for your day-long excursion 10,000 feet into a remote mountain region. Primitive camping is available here. It also offers easy access to park and hike to Thunder & Lightening Lake in the John Muir Wilderness. To get there, take Barlow Lane south from Line St. (SR 168), then right on Underwood Lane to where it begins to curve right to become Reata Rd. Head northwest at the dirt road, take the first major dirt road heading west. Due to snow, the road is mostly impassable until late spring or early summer. On a mountain bike, you may find the road extremely difficult, very steep and rocky with no water for the first 9 miles. Please stay on the road and tread lightly, and use discretion when entering the Coyote Flat region.
The beautiful and calm waters of the Owens River has a mystique all its own. From the quietest sunrise to the sound filled wildlife abounding sunsets the Owens River brings you the splendor of the valley plus year-round fishing! The river is planted with big Alpers Trout by the Bishop Chamber and stocked by the California Department of Fish & Game. To get to the Owens River, take any number of roads east out of Bishop for two miles or so on average and find yourself among the wildlife and wild lands of the Owens Valley. Fishing, biking, photography, and birding are the short list of activities and exciting discoveries awaiting you. Follow the dirt roads that parallel the river and pick your own great fishing spot! For those interested in floating the river please refer to our River Floating Map.
Bishop Creek Recreational Area
A striking example of Sierra scenery and a fisherman's paradise, Bishop Creek Canyon is located just 16 miles west of downtown Bishop, offering you a wide array of fantastic adventures. Take SR 168 (West Line St. ) from downtown Bishop and be prepared with camera in hand for hiking, biking and simply great camping opportunities. Take a day or take the week, there is enough adventure for the entire family. Be sure to visit this area during late September through early October to enjoy the spectacular changing of the fall colors. Bright Golden yellows and crimson will fill your camera and heart with the sunshine only nature brings. We hope you find your way to Bishop Creek today!
Chalk Bluff and Volcanic Tablelands
Head North out of Bishop and in just a few minutes you will find yourself in the Volcanic tablelands that formed 750,000 years ago by enormous eruptions of glowing volcanic ash. Today the tablelands and the area knows as Chalk Bluff at their southern edge, is an outdoor enthusiast's delight. Exploring, hiking, birding, photography, and bouldering – you'll find all that and more in this area. The Happy and Sad Boulders have become popular with climbers. The Owens River running along the base of the tablelands at Chalk Bluff, is open year-round to fishing. A portion of this section of the rivers is designated as a Wild Tout area with special regulations. The Volcanic Tablelands and Fish Slough area offer vast vistas and ancient Indian Petroglyphs (rock carvings). From Bishop, Take Highway 6 North for one mile then turn left on Five Bridges Road. Pass through the gravel plant then turn right on Fish Slough Road where the road forks at the dead trees.
Laws Railroad Museum
In the 1880's the Carson and Colorado Railroad Company built a railroad from Mound House, Nevada to Keeler, California. One of its stops was Laws. In 1961 the railroad ceased operation. Of the many buildings that had sprung up around the railroad, only the depot, agent's house, oil and water tanks, and the turntable survived. Today those artifacts stand with other buildings and exhibits on the grounds of this 11-acre museum. Open 10 am to 4 p.m. No admission fee. From Bishop, take Highway 6 north for 4.5 miles. Turn Right onto Silver Canyon Road and Museum is on the right.
Owens River Gorge
Climbers will find routes of all description in the Owens River Gorge. In the spring the rim of the Gorge is teeming with wildflowers. And Fishermen will find feisty trout in the Owens River – open all year in this section, in the bottom of the gorge. From Bishop, drive approximately 14 miles north on Highway 395. Take the Gorge Road East, turn left (north) on the Gorge Parallel Road. .
Take the High road or take the Low road, just get to Rock Creek Canyon. Year round adventure and outdoor excitement await everyone. Fishing, camping and winter time snow adventure. Cross country skiing and amusing snow park will delight the young and young at heart.
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
Just 15 miles as the crow flies, the forest is about a 50 minute drive from Bishop on paved road (for the daring with a 4X4, take Silver Canyon up to the forest). Much older than the Redwoods or Giant Sequoia trees, you will find yourself among the oldest living things to be found anywhere on earth! Follow this link to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest!
Motor touring around Bishop
Got an hour to spare? Take a motor touring trip North, West South and East of Bishop, including Death Valley and find short and long excursions around the Bishop Area! If you are in need of transportation please look below at the options we have to offer
Bishop and the beautiful Owen Valley have been described as "California's Hidden Treasure."
While it's true that the treasures abound here in the Eastern Sierra, Bishop is not quiet as "hidden" as you might imagine. In fact, Bishop is located in the very middle of California, where Highways 6 and 395 intersect. Whether you are traveling from Southern or Northern California, or a major city in Nevada, you'll drive 4 1/2 to 5 hours to reach Bishop. From any direction, the roads are well maintained and the views are spectacular. Getting here is part of your vacation and we you enjoy your journey!
In your travels to Eastern Sierra it is best to go by car, SUV, or motor home. Now you can catch a flight to the Eastern Sierras (see Mammoth Airport Link below).
The Inyo-Mono Transit Authority is the only bus system that runs from Bishop to Carson City, Nevada and the Reno/Tahoe Airport, three times a week, with very reasonable rates. For more information call 760-872-1901 or toll free at 800-922-1930.
Note: SR 120, Tioga Pass Road (east entrance into Yosemite Park) is normally closed from Nov. to late May of each year due to a heavy snow pack. During that time period, there is no access to Yosemite Nat’l Park via Tioga Pass from US 395 at Lee Vining (60 miles north of Bishop). Visitors to Yosemite must cross the Eastern Sierra on Hwy 50 (155 miles north of Bishop) or SR 58 (150 miles south of Bishop) to access highways into Yosemite Park.
Regardless of how you get here, it is worth the trip. The rural isolation is part of the charm and reason that folks return to visit the High Sierra year after year. The clean, clear, cool night air, the brilliant stars and beauty of the Eastern Sierra await you.
RANGER STATIONS & WILDERNESS PERMITS
U.S.F.S. White Mountain Ranger Station (Public Lands Information)
Open all year. Information officers with the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Park Service are here to answer your questions and issue campfire and wilderness permits.
One block north of the Bishop Area Chamber Visitors Bureau, they are located at
798 N. Main St., Bishop, CA 93514. Phone: 760-873-2500
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Visitors Center
Located at the Schulman Grove in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, and featuring interesting interpretive displays and nature walks. Open summer months only. Click here for more info.
Mammoth Lakes Visitor Center & U.S.F.S. Ranger Station
At the entrance to the Town of Mammoth Lakes on Hwy 203, this visitors center is operated jointly by the Mammoth Lakes Visitors Bureau and the US Forest Service. Information about sightseeing, recreation, camping, special events and accommodations is available. Open all year. Call toll-free: 1-888-GO-MAMMOTH or 760-924-5500.
Mono Basin Scenic Area U.S.F.S. Visitors Center
Located on a hill overlooking Mono Lake just north of Lee Vining, this beautiful visitor center offers elaborate interpretive displays and nature walks. Open summer months only.
Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center
Located one mile south of the community of Lone Pine at the junction of Hwy 395 and Hwy 136, the Interagency Visitor Center offers the traveler regional information as well as a wide variety of books and maps. Traveling from southern California on Highway 395 this is a definite stop on the way to Death Valley or Bishop. Open all year the center hosts some 200,000 visitors annually. The Forest Service has plans to expand the size of the center later this year.
PO Box R, Lone Pine, CA 93545. Phone: 760-876-6222
Bureau of Land Management
Go to White Mountain Ranger Station for info (see above). Administrative offices and Mailing address: 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 100 , Bishop, CA 93514. Phone: 760-872-5000 www.ca.blm.gov/bishop/recreation.html