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Bishop Visitor's Center

Sandwiched between Death Valley and Yosemite National Park, the small town of Bishop, California, is packed full of wilderness adventure. Home to what some argue is the purest and most-inspiring wilderness in America, residents and visitors to Bishop have countless outdoor adventures within miles of their front doors. Steeped in conservationist history, thanks to John Muir, the hiking around Bishop leads to stunning waterfalls, amazing forests, and breathtaking mountains.

With literally thousands of miles of trails surrounding the town of Bishop, finding the ideal destination can be as tough as scaling all the peaks of the area. Luckily, we have selected eight incredible treks, perfect for your adventures around this idyllic California town.

1. Evolution 100K

Difficulty: Advanced Hiker/Backpacker

Views are plentiful in the Sierra no matter what trail you are on.
Views are plentiful in the Sierra no matter what trail you are on.

John and Jean Strother

The Evolution 100K is 55 miles of pure beauty. It’s a point-to-point trail, which means it will involve a bit of planning, and get ready for almost 10,000 feet of elevation gain and loss along the way. The adventure starts in Piute Pass as you descend to the San Joaquin River. Take a break by the river before climbing up Muir Pass for the next 16 miles. It’s not easy, but Muir Pass has views of the some of the most scenic and remote areas in the entire Sierra. At the top of the pass, check out the stone Muir Hut. Continue on and soak in the mountain views, bright blue alpine lakes, and wide-open meadows all around you. This hike isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s one you will never forget.

The trail starts at the Piute Pass trailhead at North Lake and ends at the South Lake trailhead. You’ll need a wilderness permit to camp overnight along the way.

2. Lamarck Lakes

Difficulty: Moderate Day Hike

The water is almost as blue as the sky.
The water is almost as blue as the sky.

Marshal Hedin

Surrounded by high alpine cliffs and sharp, jagged mountains, the gorgeously-photogenic Lamarck Lakes are too pretty to pass up. With only 1300 feet of elevation gain in the 5.8 mile round trip trek, reaching these stunning watery gems will soothe your soul and entice further wilderness exploration. Lower Lamarck Lake, just 2.2 miles from the North Lake Campground (4.4 miles roundtrip), is extremely pretty, showcasing Mt. George Davis a few thousand feet above the glassy water. Upper Lamarck Lake is 2.9 miles from the campground (5.8 miles roundtrip) and offers a majestic view that will leave your jaw on the trail.

3. Sabrina Basin Trail to Midnight Lake

Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging Day Hike

Midnight Lake is one of many pristine alpine lakes in the Bishop area. https://www.flickr.com/photos/miguelvieira/3767364629/in/photolist-6JUJfz-6JYLSs
Midnight Lake is one of many pristine alpine lakes in the Bishop area.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/miguelvieira/3767364629/in/photolist-6JUJfz-6JYLSs

Considered to be one of the best hikes in the Bishop Region, showcasing incredible alpine lakes and mountain views. Those who make the 11.8-mile roundtrip trek along the Sabrina Basin trail gain access to pristine, untouched wilderness. This trail is steep, climbing more than 1,000 feet in the second and third miles. Take your time, enjoy the day and keep climbing up over the headwall, as you will be rewarded with shimmering lakes and grandiose views of 13,000-foot peaks reaching toward the heavens. If you hike to Midnight Lake, you’ll also pass the stunning Blue and Dingleberry Lakes, each surrounded by glacial-covered basins and 13,000-foot serrated mountain peaks.

4. Little Lakes Valley to Gem Lakes

Difficulty: Moderate Day Hike

A view of Little Lakes Valley.
A view of Little Lakes Valley.

Tom Hilton

Starting out at 10,000 feet, the trail to Gem Lakes through the Little Lakes Valley will leave you breathless for two reasons. Starting at the Mosquito Flat Trail, the trail to Gem Lakes works its way up Rock Creek, passing a handful of stunning lakes and breathtaking viewpoints. Gaining just 700 feet over the 6.9 mile out-and-back trail, this is a great trail to introduce you and your family to higher elevation hikes in the eastern Sierra. The views are incredible, especially from Gem Lakes, making this the ideal day trip or first backpacking destination.

5. Methuselah National Recreation Loop Trail

Difficulty: Easy Day Hike

The ancient bristlecone pines are a unique sight to see.
The ancient bristlecone pines are a unique sight to see.

Chao Yen

Did you know that the world’s oldest tree is in California and can be found with just a short hike? Just outside of Bishop in the Inyo National Forest, an ancient bristlecone pine is accessible on a gorgeous 4.5-mile loop trail. Starting at the Schulman Grove Visitor Center, grab a guide to the region and stroll along the ancient trees and enjoy the fantastic views. This family-friendly hike has virtually no shade and is around 10,000 feet in elevation, so make sure to bring some water and take your time to wander among the 4,000-year old trees.

6. Long Lake

Difficulty: Easy Day Hike

The hike to Long Lake is a perfect intro. to hiking in the Bishop area.
The hike to Long Lake is a perfect intro. to hiking in the Bishop area.

jar [o]

At just 5.5 miles round trip, the trail to Long Lake in Bishop Creek offers incredible scenery for very little effort. Gaining a grand total of just 1800 feet, the short and sweet trek offers more bang for the buck than is imaginable. Huge peaks loom in the distance, while picturesque creeks and a gorgeous lake reward you with wilderness perfection. Through lodgepole pines, the path enters the John Muir Wilderness in the first mile, getting prettier with every step. Jaw-dropping views continue around every bend, rewarding your limited effort on this classic Bishop Area hike. If you only have a few hours and want to be stunned by wilderness, this is the trail for you. Take the Bishop Pass Trail from the South Lake trailhead.

7. White Mountain Peak

Difficulty: Challenging Day Hike

Will White Mountain be your first 14er?
Will White Mountain be your first 14er?

Joe Decruyenaere

Climbing the tallest peaks in America may seem like a tough adventure, but White Mountain Peak changes that. Standing at 14,246 feet above sea level, White Mountain is the third highest peak in the California and the 30th tallest mountain in America. What makes this place so unique is that it shows off one of the deepest valleys in North America, the Owens Valley, 10,000 feet below the summit. This is an awesome mountain to climb, and while it should only be saved for advanced hikers, it is one of the easiest 14ers to hike in the nation. At around 14 miles roundtrip and gaining just 2,647 feet, it is hard to beat this oft-overlooked mountain adventure.

8. Bishop Pass Trail

Difficulty: Challenging Day Hike

Don’t forget to take photo breaks along the Bishop Pass Trail.
Don’t forget to take photo breaks along the Bishop Pass Trail.

Ray Di Ciaccio

Climbing a series of granite benches that show off numerous lakes and ponds, the 9.6-mile trail to Bishop Pass is yet another incredible hiking gem in the greater Bishop region. Starting at South Lake and gaining 2,100 feet over 5.5 miles as you climb Bishop Pass, the trails works its way past incredible views before entering a moonlike landscape at 4.2 miles. For the next 1.3 miles, enjoy spectacular views of mountains and glacial-scoured granite valleys. Under the watchful eye of Mount Goode and Mount Agassiz, the views are breathtaking, memorable and worth the effort. This is a very popular hike and requires a permit in advance if you plan to backpack overnight.

Originally written by RootsRated for Bishop Visitor Center.

Featured image provided by Jar

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1 day ago

We appreciate our local businesses as they are working to #KeepBishopSafe. The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Inyo County continue to climb, so we ask you to please do your part to keep our community safe as well!! Thank you. ❤️ ... See MoreSee Less

We appreciate our local businesses as they are working to #KeepBishopSafe. The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Inyo County continue to climb, so we ask you to please do your part to keep our community safe as well!! Thank you. ❤️

Comment on Facebook We appreciate our ...

Stay safe! I want to visit this fall!

I'm going to keep telling you Bishop just how much I miss you. 💜💜💜😷🐈

Maybe next summer I can come, and I will wear a mask if still needed. Love the High Sierras.

Great job

I'm GOING to visit this fall! I promise myself!

Where is the truck located?

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3 days ago

It’s official...WE LOVE THE FAIR, BUT WE LOVE YOU MORE.

Sad news to our friends and families and riders and destruction derby drivers: The Tri County Fair has officially been cancelled for 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic rages on..... Fortunately, it looks like we are planning a major comeback in 2021 and for many years to come.
... See MoreSee Less

It’s official...

Comment on Facebook WE LOVE THE FAIR, ...

Darn, I was thinking about going there for your fair since ours was cancelled here.😏

Ok, but it will be missed!

. Not in Bollings it is going on this week

Sad, but necessary..

This year sucks!!

It will be back bigger and better, than ever. Stay well. <3

It's the Dems again!

Do sorry,. next year.

What ! Ran out of jobs !

Me too.

A couple more months of stuff like this and there will be Prime real estate in Bishop selling cheap!

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6 days ago

Heading into the weekend dreaming of backcountry lakes... which is your favorite?
#DreamNowVisitLater #KeepBishopSafe
Thank you Instagram user @kimonlhi for this spectacular shot!!
... See MoreSee Less

Heading into the weekend dreaming of backcountry lakes... which is your favorite? 
#DreamNowVisitLater #KeepBishopSafe
Thank you Instagram user @kimonlhi for this spectacular shot!!

Comment on Facebook Heading into the ...

Would have guessed Split Mtn, but have only flown over these mountains twice.

Too many to choose, the higher and more remote the better

Saddle Bag Lake. ❤️

Blue lake! The best, at least I know of~!!!

I need a good-looking tour guide(male) to show me around on my next visit. 😉🐈😷

So beautiful. I miss being up there.

Mt. Aggasisz? I probably butchered that spelling.

Blue Lake

Blue lake❣

Sabrina

Dorothy Lake

Horton Lake

Dorothy and Mildred

Beautiful

I'm guessing the trail to Bishop Pass at Bishop Lakes. :)

Beautiful

Upper Lamarck

Beautiful

That’s beautiful.

Nice 👍

Ruwau Lake, Tyee Lakes, upper Lamark lake, Blue lake, & Little Lakes Valley.

Terra Rankin

Lake.

Johanna Atwell

Any part of Bishop is fine, I JUST WANT TO BE THERE TO ENJOY THIS BEAUTIFUL PLACE! 😀❤️😄💙

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1 week ago

Our friends at Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association welcome everyone to stop by for in-person visitor service plus a great selection of area maps, books and more. They do a great job of helping our guests recreate responsibly!Thanks ESIA for providing helpful information and advice to visitors on responsible recreation in our region! ... See MoreSee Less

Our friends at Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association welcome everyone to stop by for in-person visitor service plus a great selection of area maps, books and more.  They do a great job of helping our guests recreate responsibly!

1 week ago

Community: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals (Oxford Dictionary)
We are grateful to our COMMUNITY locally and afar, for loving and supporting BISHOP and Inyo County. ❤️

Here is a little glimpse of how our community has pulled together over the past few months:
www.bishopvisitor.com/eastern-sierra-covid-stories/
... See MoreSee Less

Community: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals (Oxford Dictionary)
We are grateful to our COMMUNITY locally and afar, for loving and supporting BISHOP and Inyo County.  ❤️

Here is a little glimpse of how our community has pulled together over the past few months:
https://www.bishopvisitor.com/eastern-sierra-covid-stories/

Comment on Facebook Community: a feeling...

The community stories are wonderful

The big deal when I was growing up was going to the Tri-County Fair rodeo, taking in a movie, and having dinner...all over Labor Day. Then there were the trips from Mammoth to Bishop to go to the grocery store, topped off by a stop at Schatz for sandwiches and to buy bread. What a wonderful place!!!

Used to watch movies at this theater back in the early 70's. Great memories wonderful town. I visit just about every year and enjoy the old school vibe. My parents started AYSO soccer in Bishop. I used to bicycle down the street as a kid, drop a fishing line and pull out lots of trout.

No Bishop does not need a Walmart mart or another supposed better grocery store. We do not have the people to work them. Plus we have new buildings that weren't supposed to be built and a whole mess of empty buildings. We want to keep it a small town feel.

I was sorry to hear that the JC Penny store closed there. I used to work there when I lived in Cali. I had the most wonderful coworkers and the best boss ever!!! Bishop will live on in my heart forever.

Remember Jill Kenmont👍👍

Great little town Bishop is, leave it alone. My mom graduated from Bishop High school, we went to Bishop many years for Christmas with my Grandparents

I was born in Bishop and moved out around 1990. I've moved all over California since then, and no matter where I moved to I always wanted to go back. Some day... Maybe when my kids are all grown and out of the house I'll take my wife and dogs and move back...

Great town. can't wait to come visit when things calm down. Missed Mule days and our family reunion at the lodge but we will be back

Looking forward to visiting as soon and we can! We love Bishop!

Love Bishop! Just passed thru Monday on the way back from Yosemite!

Bishop is in one of the most beautiful settings on Earth. The eastern Sierra and the Owens Valley will persevere.

I love that Bishop is a smaller town. It part id it s charm for visitors. Needed some items last trip , found them in town and what friendly people !! And you should fit your town , not always for the town to fit you.

3 yrs ago we just started driving , landed in Bishop, stayed several days, just loved that trip, no fish but who cares .... 😍🎣🚗💨💨

best town in California

We believe in Bishop. Stay well. <3

Between 1934 and 1939, I spent some Saturday afternoons watching movies at the theatre in Bishop - think the Hollands owned it then - one of the Holland boys was in my elementary school grade. Best wishes to all.

Bishop is fine the way it is.

Please don't change! I love you the way you are!!

We would like to keep it that way, but there are a lot of people coming into the area now who are leaving their trash on the ground & putting graffiti on any available surface. Do that S... at home, not in our town.

You have no idea how badly I need to visit You Bishop.

Saw it has been 100 degrees up there.

Play my brother Danny scene Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at that theater years and years ago

Lived here in the early 80’s

Soon as possible.

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