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Bishop Visitor's Center

Photo: Madi Taylor

“Miles weren’t things that blazed dully past. They were long, intimate straggles of weeds and clumps of dirt, blades of grass and flowers that bent in the wind, trees that lumbered and screeched. They were the sound of my breath and my feet hitting the trail one step at a time and the click of my ski pole. The PCT had taught me what a mile was. I was humble before each and every one.” ~Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

For those who walk all or some of the wild Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and John Muir Trail (JMT) that thread through the trees, over the rocks, around lakes, across streams, and surmount the high passes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains the journey always provides something special and wonderful for each person.

Bishop, California is the iconic, authentic western American town that provides a necessary and welcome respite to the long miles. Energetic adventurers can begin or end a high sierra adventure here. Weary hikers can pause along their journey of discovery to find refreshment in so many forms.

Located in the heart of the Eastern Sierra, Bishop’s proximity to numerous trailheads and extensive options for resupply make this the perfect high sierra haven. Whether through-hiking or section-hiking, on a shoestring budget or access to ready funds, going solo or in a group or in need of a guide – Bishop has a broad range of businesses that can accommodate all who tread these trails.

1. Lodging

Creekside Inn © Kevin Syms

If you really want a comfortable bed in a room of your own and a soak in a bathtub, or you’re quite happy to pitch your tent in a town campground with access to clean ablutions, or something in between – well then take your pick. Enjoy the hubbub of the hostel or quiet calm of a well-appointed B&B. There really is something for everyone here.

Bishop boasts 21 fine lodging establishments with well-known brands like, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Best Western and Super 8 conveniently located on Main Street. The list includes boutique-style lodgings from the newly renovated Creekside Inn, which claims “#1 hotel in Bishop on TripAdvisor” and offers complimentary hot, buffet breakfast and free WiFi. Then there’s The Hostel California that declares itself to be “the most badass accommodation” for hikers and climbers.

You began this journey to hike and camp and experience the great outdoors. Well just because you need to make a brief foray into town to resupply doesn’t mean you have to remove yourself completely from the natural world. Bishop has an excellent range of camping options from dispersed camping and serviced campgrounds near trailheads to full service commercial campgrounds in town. Now, with daily shuttle service by Eastern Sierra Transit to South Lake, Lake Sabrina and points in between, there’s never been a better time to plan your trail exits and entry according to the daily shuttle schedule or to set your camp in the mountains and grab a ride to and from town for the day.

2. Food & Drink

Rusty’s Saloon

Bishop locals are pretty proud of the culinary prowess of our local restaurateurs and guests of our lovely little town will find themselves spoiled for choice. A good many of the restaurants unique to Bishop are owned and operated by local residents who attempt to source as much organic and locally produced ingredients as possible. Dishes are often made from scratch with house-made sauces and freshly baked breads. Local eggs are a feature in some of the smaller locales.

Within the one mile of downtown Main Street, accessible and acceptable in flip-flops, there are cafés, bars, fast-food joints and restaurants that will satisfy an appetite even as hearty as a high sierra hiker’s. There are brewers and bakers and great burger makers. There is sushi and pizza and oodles of noodles. Check out this review of good food in Bishop.

Plus … where there’s food there’s drink. So eat, drink and be merry in your most responsible manner. After all – you do have to hit trail again. Beer, wine, and cocktails are served to adults 21 and over at these local bars: Bishop Country Club, McMurry’s Sports Bar, Mountain Rambler Brewery, Rusty’s Saloon, Whiskey Creek Pub, and Yamatani Restaurant Bar. Many restaurants serve a variety of alcohol with meals.

3. Groceries & Gear

Along the trail you consumed the consumables and it’s possible you might have lost or broken some gear. Perhaps you’ve discovered there’s something more you need or learned of something new that you just gotta have.

Eastside Sports

Bishop has a fantastic mix of retailers who supply all the latest gear, like Eastside Sports and Sage to Summit, where the folks who own and run these stores eat, sleep and breath these mountains. You won’t find more knowledgeable folks anywhere else. They also carry edibles made for trekking to fill your pack with the energy needed on the trail.

For a thrifty purchase peruse the used merchandise at the gear exchange and local thrift stores. Kmart is a great option for an inexpensive replacement. If you’re fishing in the high country and need to restock your tackle box pop into Reagan’s Sporting Goods.

Fresh and packaged food, drinks, cosmetics, supplements, and cleaning supplies for both on and off the trail are readily available at Joseph’s Bi-Rite Market, Manor Market, Smart & Final, and Vons. Each has its own flair and flavor and many excellent choices of fresh and prepared organic foods. Take a look at this list of retail stores on the Bishop Chamber of Commerce website.

4. Leisure & Entertainment

Now while you’re in the rest, refuel, and regroup (R, R, & R) mode why not recharge with a little off-trail entertainment?

Keough’s Hot Springs

It’s a long, hot summer in the Owens Valley and there’s no better place than in the water. The Bishop City Park Pool is the heart of Bishop Park. Public swim times are Tues – Fri: 1:00 – 4:45, and Sat & Sun: 1:00 – 5:00. Adult swim price is a sweet $6. There’s also Keough’s Hot Springs a few miles south of Bishop where a hot soak can ease the tensions of the trail and restore your aching muscles. The pools are naturally fed, flow-through mineral baths and other amenities include a snack bar, massage therapy, and picnic area.

More restorative activities available in town include yoga, Pilates, and spa treatments. Feature films and movie-house popcorn at Bishop Twin Theatre are another great cure for trail fatigue. If you’d a like a little more vigorous activity how about a session on the lanes? Back Alley Bowling is a cool place for great afternoon or evening indoors.

There’s often lots of lively music, a DJ or live band, at a local bar or brewery. Summertime in Bishop Park is regularly full of fun with arts and crafts fairs, and classical music evenings every Monday at 8pm by the Bishop Community Band. July 4th is the “Big Day in the Park” with free pool access and volleyball and Bocce fun. There’s free watermelon, and pie & ice cream, and DJ sounds to get ya groovin’. Fireworks at Bishop Airport are a community highlight and can be seen from just about everywhere in town.

If your R, R & R in Bishop has you here near the end of July you may be moved to pay it forward to our wounded warriors. The Eastern Sierra Music Festival is so much more than a weekend filled with fantastic music. It is a benefit festival for the National Wounded Warrior Center to be established right here in the Eastern Sierra. Check out this year’s line up and dates and perhaps plan your miles to hike here in time for this awesome event.

There are museums, galleries and a marvelous independent bookstore. As if you didn’t need any more inspiration to hike the range of light, go see Mountain Light Gallery, the home of the late Galen Rowell’s incredible images. If you don’t know Galen Rowell – you should. It behooves you, as a high sierra trekker, to see his work and know this man’s legacy. Then, just next door, pop into Spellbinder Books and pick up a used soft cover, trail guide or map to keep you on track and inspirit.

Okay, one other spot you may get a kick out of is the Laws Railroad Museum. This is not just another theme park – it’s the real deal. Many original buildings, train engines and cars, salvaged and restored structures, and thousands of artifacts celebrate the rich history of this railroad in the region. Summer train rides on the old Death Valley Brill Car No. 5 are quite a thrill for adults too. See the summer ride schedule here.

5. Services & Assistance

Most of what’s listed above is within the 2 square miles of downtown Bishop. A stroll up and down Main Street will take you past stores, restaurants, lodging facilities, the movie theatre, cafés, bakeries, wine bars and brewery and into the City Park. A short walk along a side street will get you to the Bishop Library – where computer access is free and a good read in a comfy chair is an afternoon luxury. Laundry services and showers are also available from local businesses in the downtown area.

Eastern Sierra Transit Bishop Creek Shuttle

What’s even better is that there’s no need to keep to a limited locale. Eastern Sierra Transit’s Dial-a-Ride bus is at your service to take you to just about anywhere in town and a few places out of town. Don’t forget that this year there’s daily shuttle service up Bishop Creek Canyon where many trailheads are located.

Other shuttle services for trailhead pickup and drop-off can be arranged with private shuttle and taxi companies and climber.org hosts plenty of great information for mountaineers and hikers.

All those miles of hiking might have given you a desire to go biking. The Eastside Bike Share program is super way to get around and see some sights while keeping your fitness up for the miles of trail ahead. The program is managed through the Zagster app and it’s quick and easy to join and go.

First time hikers who want or need a little know-how, get a guide and let them show-how. You’ll have to do the leg work out there on the trail, but they can get you going and show you a world you might have only ever dreamed of. Sierra Mountain Center and Sierra Mountain Guides have superior reputations for great alpine guide services in the Eastern Sierra.

Hopefully you’ve stayed well and uninjured on the trail, but if you’re in need of medical care Northern Inyo Hospital has an excellent emergency unit with access to state-of-the-art equipment for everything from minor to serious conditions.

Talk to Us

Whether you’re planning a hike, through or section, or stopping for resupply in Bishop call or come into the Bishop Visitor Bureau at 690 N. Main St., (760) 873-8406, and chat with our knowledgeable staff. We have maps, guides, literature and connections 🙂 to make sure your high sierra trail adventure is all that you imaged and more.

Finally, please tread lightly along our wilderness trails. Stop in at the Ranger Station at 798 N. Main St. for permits, bear canisters, and loads of good advice. On the trail be bear aware, pack out waste, leave a clean campsite and never feed wild animals.

“Peace is in every step.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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1 day ago

Hmmmmm... thinking about all of the things I'm grateful for...
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!!

Photo by Instagram user @pardonmyfrencheee
#keepbishopsafe #Thanksgiving2020
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Hmmmmm... thinking about all of the things Im grateful for...
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!!

Photo by Instagram user @pardonmyfrencheee
#keepbishopsafe #Thanksgiving2020

Comment on Facebook

FWIW, it's interesting that "Visit Bishop" posts a photo of scenery that's 60 miles away. Just sayin'... but I love this photo! <3

Adorable.....just like Bishop! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone❤️🦃🍁

What a great photo !!

Great picture thanks for sharing 🙂🙂❤❤🦃🦃

Happy Thanksgiving!

See you soon!

Shana Gordon

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1 day ago

Members of the Emmy-award winning CBS show “One Day at a Time” and state health expert Dr. Diana Ramos share important tips and information on how to have safe family holidays in the time of COVID-19. Check it out!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

youtu.be/Tn0VVFnHSkQ (English)
youtu.be/0QCmyWRhF_A (Spanish)
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3 days ago

This is Bishop from the Tungsten Hills looking east. Our little town is almost like an island. We have to travel hours to do most major shopping, or for any major medical issues. For most of us, it is absolutely worth it because we love the Eastern Sierra and although our town is small, our “backyard” is big and full of majestic natural beauty. We know many of you who live far away love this place as well. ❤️

So as you are making holiday plans this year, please remember to protect the people and places you love to play in. We appreciate it!!

Photo by Betsy Forsyth Johnson
#keepbishopsafe
... See MoreSee Less

This is Bishop from the Tungsten Hills looking east. Our little town is almost like an island. We have to travel hours to do most major shopping, or for any major medical issues. For most of us, it is absolutely worth it because we love the Eastern Sierra and although our town is small, our “backyard” is big and full of majestic natural beauty. We know many of you who live far away love this place as well. ❤️

So as you are making holiday plans this year, please remember to protect the people and places you love to play in. We appreciate it!! 

Photo by Betsy Forsyth Johnson
#keepbishopsafe

Comment on Facebook

We were campground hosts at Mammoth & went to Bishop for nice dinners on our days off, get haircuts, do laundry & see dentist. Enjoyed Bishop Mule Days too.. Besutiful area to spend the summer... Had to edit & add Schat's Bakery 💞💞

My first trip to Bishop was 57 years ago and have been back more years than not. I plan to keep coming back until my legs can’t walk the trails anymore. It’s truly a special place.

Wish I could be there. Great place to do star watching. Seem to be extra stars in the sky over there. Wishing you all the best for the holidays. Wish that bakery could deliver. So yummy. Stay well. <3

Loved growing up in Bishop, many fond memories there! I bet the town has changed since 75, but never the scenery!

One of my favorite places to camp don't how many times I've been there but I've been a bunch of times love it over 30times

I love it too! Grew up in Big Pine, worked in Bishop and Big Pine! 😊

best town I ever lived in

A place and time far far away! A place named Bishop, where I was born.

Take care! Hope to see you again next year!

Lived in early 50’s I lived in a mine camp Sheelite till the mud slide, moved to Rovanna To a mine housing . Parents bought a house in Tungsten City, up behind Rocking K Ranch, attended school in Round Valley Lots of memory In the area

Maybe you need to stop Blaming people that travel to the Eastern Sierra for your local problems. Its not really that small of a town and With the tax you get from tourism build a real medical facility and hospital!

Best place to grow up ‼️

Bishop is always one of our stopping points if we're visiting Yosemite and Death Valley. Bishop Creek Canyon, Rock Creek Canyon, Schats Bakery, Jacks, Spellbinder Books, Whiskey Creek- all previous haunts. Once normal travel arrangements return, we'll be back to visit one of our favourite places in the USA.

My Dad grew up in Bishop, he actually worked at the Tungsten mines for awhile before heading to El Paso to go to college. Then the war started and he joined the Army Air Corps . I spent many a summers staying with my grandma Duffy, playing with my cousins in that magical place. Still my favorite place on earth.

I know this viewpoint........magic.

I really miss Bishop and the Owens valley.....

Lived at Hilltop Estates/ Swall Meadows for quite a few years in the late 70’s to the early 80’s. Only place in California that keeps me coming back every couple years.

We would love to move there! Love the area.

Thank you for the words and picture you are blessed to live there xo

Our favorite place to go. Always come to the car show.

Home🇺🇸

To bad its in commiefornia. Love bishop

I remember Lone Pine too. Loved it

Small Town, Big Back Yard. 🥰

Can I have a friend request please

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6 days ago

Flashback to Main Street, 1886. Who would like to escape to this scene?

#LoveBishop #historicbishop
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Flashback to Main Street, 1886. Who would like to escape to this scene?

#LoveBishop #historicbishop

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I will take 1986. Had a cool uncle living there. Free lodging, and his Land Cruiser was available for deep snow drives.

Heck no...especially after I saw the video on "the old western hygiene". Talk about funk and stink! Whew, even the women stunk! Man-o-man....plus add on disease, diet and doctoring! Nope...lol 😆

I wonder if they still had to pose to get the exposure by 1886. Probably not.

Hmmm...1886 in Owens Valley? Was there a Sheriff? Or just a bunch of gun toting fools on horseback.

might be a sale but I will think it is a Halter class in the middle of the street and that will make me happy

Love that picture

I would love it. 🙏❤️🙏

I see Rusty’s!! Lol

It would be hard an cold but very free it would be something to go back in time

Every horse looks so healthy (extra shiny coat).... all that great pasture of the area > Owens Valley!

No thank you. I love Bishop, but I can't imagine living there without AC or a swamp cooler. lol

Even tho these days were hard ,they were free to enjoy great days.

Life was harder back then but better in My opinion.

Looks like a stock sale. If it were today, I would call it a horse show.

A busy place!

Early "Mule Days"?

I would buy that Appaloosa .

I would escape in a second :)

great pic

Right on

Can we visit but not stay?

Me

Great picture

Me toooooooo

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1 week ago

Ahhhh, we sure love sunsets in the Eastern Sierra!! 😍

Photo by John Paul DeRousseau
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Ahhhh, we sure love sunsets in the Eastern Sierra!! 😍

Photo by John Paul DeRousseau

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An amazing picture of a beautiful sky. Thanks for sharing 🙂🙂❤❤

The dinosaurs are still around when you see the sky like that

Hermoso,Bishop calf.

Awesome

Felicidades yerandi que tela pases muy vien

The ponds. Nice

I'm ready to FISH

Wow

Fantastic!

That's the sky color of snow on the way!! Lovely😍😘🐈😷

That is amazing beautiful blue sky I like winn you took that picture of the amazing beautiful blue sky

Amazing picture to put up on a wall

Gorgeous photo!

Wonderful!

So beautiful!

Beautiful

Beautiful

Beautiful!!

Beautiful

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