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Bishop Visitor's Center

Rising to just over 4,000 feet in elevation, Bishop, California is a town of about 11,000 people nestled in a high desert valley, wedged between the High Sierra and the White Mountains. With nearby national parks and national forests, deserts and mountain peaks, there’s much to do and be discovered in the Bishop area. Many pass through Bishop en route to Yosemite, just north of the town, while others pass through southbound to Death Valley. Whichever way you’re going, and wherever you may be heading, make sure you take the time to stop in Bishop.

If you have limited time in the area, here’s how we recommend spending two days in what will surely become your next stomping ground. We also recommend having a camera in two for all of your high desert adventures, as you’ll want to capture the abundance of beauty you’ll find every step of the way.

Day 1

A photo posted by Rockin’ Rubs (@rockinrubs) on Sep 30, 2016 at 2:13pm PDT

First things first, and that’s a solid day hike. Before you hit the road, stop at Manor Market—a small-town grocery with locally sourced produce, meats, and cheese—and stock up on a picnic lunch for your mid-day summit. They also have a fine wine and beer collection if you’d like to toast to your trek once you’re at the top.

Then you’ll be heading just 20 miles outside of town to Lake Sabrina. Sabrina is part of a series of glacial, alpine lakes high in the mountains. Surrounded by 13,000-foot Sierra Nevada peaks, the steep trails range from 6.2 miles to 11.8 miles. No matter which one you choose, you’ll find incredible panoramas of the peaks and the valley below. The 6.2-mile roundtrip hike to Blue Lake is strenuous and will take a few hours; take your time as you climb the switchbacks and take in all the scenery. And, once you’ve worked up an appetite, take a break and put together a sandwich, before beginning your descent back to the trailhead.

Once you’ve finished your hike, head back to Bishop to freshen up for dinner and a celebratory beer. Head to Whiskey Creek for post-hike beers and dinner. The restaurant has been a local tradition since it opened in 1924. Featuring local microbrews, steaks, pasta, salads, and more—it’s a perfect nightcap after a long day on the trails. When your belly is full, rest up. You have another big day of adventures tomorrow!

Day 2

Wake up bright and early to grab coffee and a pastry at Erick Schat’s Bakkery, which you’ll find across the street from the Bishop Chamber of Commerce and town park. Grab a sandwich or one of their famous cheese breads as a snack for later. After enjoying everything the bakery has to offer, take a walk through downtown Bishop. There are several quaint local shops with everything from antiques to art galleries to specialty shops with outdoor gear and western wear. Get inspired by Galen Rowell’s ability to capture the Eastern Sierra landscape and visit the Mountain Light Gallery on the corner of Main and Line Street.

When you’re ready to take off for your next adventure, head 41 miles (about an hour southeast) to Inyo National Forest’s Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest to marvel at the oldest trees in the world. The drive to the forest is a beautiful one, winding through the Sierra Nevada and climbing in elevation as you go. Some of the trees that you’ll see are more than 4,000 years old and have distinctive gnarly, twisted limbs. The most famous tree is in the Schulman Grove, and is known as Methuselah—it’s 4,773 years old. Take your time exploring the groves via well-maintained dirt roads in the national forest. Just don’t forget water—the area is dry and there isn’t much shade. Perhaps you’ll have an inclination to stay till sunset. If you do, plan to be back in Bishop in time for dinner.

When you return to Bishop in the evening, head to Sage Restaurant for an upscale dinner with a menu including dishes like piccata, ravioli trios, and filet mignon. Lastly, it wouldn’t be a trip to Bishop without a nightcap at Rusty’s Saloon—a good ol’ American dive bar with cheap beer and pool tables. When you wake up on your last morning, head to Jack’s Restaurant for a hearty omelette before bidding Bishop farewell.

If you have kids (or history buffs) along, squeeze in a quick tour of Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site, just north of town off Hwy 6. And if you don’t have time during this visit, there’s always next time (and we’re pretty certain you’ll want to return!)

Originally written by RootsRated.

Featured image provided by brian washburn

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7 days ago

We are buried in smoke again today, so we thought it would be fun to share a little about how the names of some of the towns in the Eastern Sierra came about. Thank you, California High Sierra for the article!
californiahighsierra.com/trips/california-high-sierra-towns-the-origin-of-their-names/
Photo by Amy Leist
... See MoreSee Less

We are buried in smoke again today, so we thought it would be fun to share a little about how the names of some of the towns in the Eastern Sierra came about. Thank you, California High Sierra for the article!
https://californiahighsierra.com/trips/california-high-sierra-towns-the-origin-of-their-names/
Photo by Amy Leist

Comment on Facebook

Wow... been a good long while since I’ve been to Bishop. Their high school team was in our league (I went to Tehachapi High) and we traveled there for some football games — something like a 5-6 hour drive each way if I recall correctly. A tough team to beat also. I’m betting it hasn’t changed all that much over all these years (circa late ‘60s).

I'm so sorry the smoke is bad there still. I missed my annual visit this year. It's on my to do list for next year.

We can see it over the Spring Mountains to the West/NW here in Las Vegas. Fortunately, not much of it made it into the LV valley.

Would LOVE to move there if my hubby can find a job nearby!

We left this morning. Not only is it very smokey the smell of smoke is incredible. I don't smoke and I was ready to light up.

Nice photo. That's the real West.

Miss Bishop, Lone Pine, Big Pine, Tinnamaha campground!!!!

No, that is where the theater and Joseph’s used to be. Joseph’s has been gone for some time now. Penny’s is now Dollar General. Unfortunately a lot of vacant stores. Hi Kent!❤️

Hello and good morning. I am planning to drive up to Bishop from Southern California. The main purpose is to see fall colors. May I know if the fall colors are still at peak this coming next two weeks or is it past peak? Thank you for your advice/suggestions.

We were just there.😔

We have to leave too, I almost threw up it was so bad, got to Lee Vining and blue fresh air..take care of yourselves

so sorry for the smoke crazy time for all this year.

I spent a week here and didn't get to see the beauty through the smoke 😏

When was this picture taken, Sunday at 6 am ? never seen it this quiet.

Awesome pic! I wish a Main Street business had a rooftop deck so you can eat with that exact same view!

No smoke in the photo. ??

Is this an old photo? Joseph’s market was the only market back when we lived in Bishop in 1969.

It’s still Smokey? Where is the smoke coming from ?

Beautiful town

I always love to go threw Bishop.

Went thru Bishop yesterday, it was terribly Smokey 😪💚

I wish it was still small !

Does bishop still have a jack in the box

My favorite place ❤️

Isnt that the Old JC Penney store?

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1 week ago

Wonder if this little sheep was as grateful as we were for a view of the mountains this morning??!! Happy Friday! From Bishop, with love ❤️
#keepbishopsafe #mttom
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Wonder if this little sheep was as grateful as we were for a view of the mountains this morning??!! Happy Friday! From Bishop, with love ❤️
#keepbishopsafe #mttom

Comment on Facebook

Wonderful vacation destination

And a free thinker! This is Good!

🙏praying that it stays like this 💖

I miss Bishop so much and living there too 😢😉❤️

This is one of my favorite places to take pictures when I lived in Bishop. There’s many more.

Sigh. Bishop. Love it.

See you next week little sheep

We loved our visit to Bishop

Miss bishop fun times there

Nice!!!

Oh how I love that view

It was beautiful

Love Bishop

👍

Need snow on them things!

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2 weeks ago

In case you are wondering what roads and campgrounds are open, here is the latest, as of yesterday, October 14th:
www.sierrawave.net/state-of-inyo-roads-and-campgrounds-whats-open-closed-oct-14
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In case you are wondering what roads and campgrounds are open, here is the latest, as of yesterday, October 14th:
https://www.sierrawave.net/state-of-inyo-roads-and-campgrounds-whats-open-closed-oct-14

Comment on Facebook

I've been on that same road every year at this time...

It sure was smoky today.

Still hazy there.😥

I love the West.

Beautiful picture thanks for sharing 🙂🙂❤❤

We always used to stay at Brown’s Millpond Campground just north of Bishop. Very nice private campground with a stream running through it. So many wonderful memories from Mule Days!

Up her for 4 day little smoke but really nice trees turning colors

It's the hunting and fishing Road 🏞️🎣🏕️🌌🤠🥰

Love Bishop and the surrounding mountains !!!

Hwy 168 going to Lake Sabrina, North and South lakes?

With I was there.

maybe next weekend any hotel suggestions?

Johanna Atwell

GOD HOW I WISH I WAS ON THAT ROAD... CAREFREE HIWAY...

Lots of nice smoke.....

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2 weeks ago

The Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance is hosting a virtual 5K walk and fun run this year!!! Going on NOW!! You can do it from WHEREVER you are!!!Hello Friends!☺️
💥 ESCA 20th Annual 5K Walk & Fun Run! 💥October 11-17th! Virtual Edition!
Please LIKE and SHARE this flyer with your friends and family!
Thank you for your continued support! ☺️
... See MoreSee Less

The Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance is hosting a virtual 5K walk and fun run this year!!! Going on NOW!! You can do it from WHEREVER you are!!!

2 weeks ago

Dog days of summer or fall??!!
Last weekend we had warm temps and blue skies again. Fingers crossed we get some more blue skies this weekend!

Photo by Amanda Zhang
#NorthLake #fallcolors #keepbishopsafe
... See MoreSee Less

Dog days of summer or fall??!! 
Last weekend we had warm temps and blue skies again. Fingers crossed we get some more blue skies this weekend!

Photo by Amanda Zhang
#NorthLake #fallcolors #keepbishopsafe

Comment on Facebook

I heard the colors have peaked in this area. Is it still worth visiting or are there other good spots to hit up?

Beautiful picture.

Wonderful vacation destination

Beautiful

Beautiful picture! Cute dog!

North Lake?

Looking good

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