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Intro

The popular (and sometimes busy) trail to Bishop Pass is steep and slightly rocky, making it more enjoyable for seasoned hikers. The second half of the ascent to the pass is where the real challenge begins (especially if there is still snow hanging around), but those who summit the pass at 11,972 feet are rewarded with striking views of the Eastern Sierra.

What Makes It Great

This trail is a photographer’s dream come true. Between the alpine lakes and breathtaking mountain views, plan for some extra time to account for all the pictures you’ll be taking.

The trail starts out fairly moderately at South Lake, the first of many lakes you’ll get to see as you steadily climb up towards the pass. About two miles in is the second lake—Long Lake. This milestone is where some of your fellow hikers might be stopping at and turning around, so if it’s a busy day on the trail and your legs still feel fresh, it’s usually best to press on through this stretch after a quick break to take in the views.

Continue along the east side of the lake and past the junction of a spur trail to Ruwau and Chocolate Lakes. Stay to the right here to continue to the pass. Begin your rocky ascent again as you head towards Saddlerock and Bishop Lakes, and look for a beautiful waterfall at about 3.6 miles. Bishop Lake is about 4.1 miles from the trailhead.

The last push up the mountainside is steep and challenging, with switchbacks through large boulders and rock slabs. Look to the east and you’ll see Mount Agassiz and Aperture Peak as you make your final ascent. When you make it to the pass, you’ll be rewarded with an impressive southeastern view of the Black Divide, Dusy Valley, and Le Conte Canyon.

From here, add more mileage by connecting with the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails, or turn around and go back the way you came.

Who is Going to Love It

This is a challenging hike because of the steady elevation gain, but the trail is well-marked. While the footing is rocky in some places, it is mostly sturdy. Experienced middle-of-the-run hikers will find this a strenuous but rewarding feat and well-seasoned hikers will appreciate the steep vertical.

There are plenty of places to camp along the way for backpackers looking to break it up into multiple days. If you are seeking solitude, try to visit on a weekday or during the shoulder season. This is one of the most popular summer hikes in the Eastern Sierra, especially around the 4th of July when the wildflowers are bursting into full bloom.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Head west from Bishop on Hwy 168 (Line Street) towards South Lake. Follow the road past the boat ramp to where it dead ends near a paved parking lot with signs for day use and some overnight parking. Additional overnight parking can be found along the road near Parchers Resort.

Wilderness permit required if you are planning to backpack overnight.

Featured image provided by daveynin

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16 hours ago

Who's golfing today?? Do you know about this beautiful course we have right here in town? 18 holes open year-round!! More info about local golfing at www.bishopvisitor.com/activities/golf/
Photo: @weareinthistogether2010
#visitbishop
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Whos golfing today?? Do you know about this beautiful course we have right here in town? 18 holes open year-round!! More info about local golfing at https://www.bishopvisitor.com/activities/golf/
Photo: @weareinthistogether2010
#visitbishop

 

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Can’t wait for next Saturday’s Golf Fun Day!!

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2 days ago

Little Lake area: from sacred ceremonial site, to healing properties to electricity from steam, this area of southern Inyo County has quite a history.Just north of Little Lake in southern Inyo County, is the turnoff for the Coso Geothermal area. Partially on land now owned by the U.S. Navy, these hot springs have been used as a sacred ceremonial site by Native Americans for centuries. The first written accounts of the area talked about “thousands of hot mud springs of all consistencies and colors” and referred to the area as Hot Sulphur Springs. In 1895, William Grant took deed to the land and opened a health resort a few years later. Claims were made that the waters and mud could cure everything from venereal disease to constipation. The water and mud were sold at high prices while touting to provide “Volcanic Health and Beauty from Nature’s Great Laboratory.” At first, Coso Hot Springs Resort only drew local residents, but as traffic along El Camino Sierra increased and the highway improved, tourists from southern California and the San Francisco Bay area came to Coso to be cured. In 1943, the U.S. Navy took over the resort and most of the geothermal area as it expanded its China Lake Naval Ordnance Test Station and closed the area to the public. In cooperation with the Navy, the Coso geothermal area has been producing electricity from steam since the mid-1980s. Today, the facilities produce enough electricity to power approximately 135,000 homes in California on an average day. Tours of the area are occasionally available through the Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest, California. You can read more about Coso and other geothermal areas in the Eastern Sierra in Tales Along El Camino Sierra-book one. ... See MoreSee Less

Little Lake area: from sacred ceremonial site, to healing properties to electricity from steam, this area of southern Inyo County has quite a history.

 

Comment on Facebook

Still loving that book or books. Two volumes. So much interesting history from that part of our country.

will be there next week on a bike ride

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3 days ago

Does this make you happy?? If you see it, then you know you are are getting close to Bishop!!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 #visitbishop ... See MoreSee Less

Does this make you happy?? If you see it, then you know you are are getting close to Bishop!!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 #visitbishop

 

Comment on Facebook

I love this place

Happy.

I miss it badly. 😢

happy happy!!!!

Yes makes my heart beat faster the closer I get to June Lake loup❤️

Hope to get back up there soon 🥰

Every time I see it !!!

Yes!

Oh the eastern slope of the Sierra. Love it .

Yes

395 North! ❤❤❤

The Old Pittsberg Plate Glass Plant Water Tank.

YESSSS

yes, bc i know i’m almost home, and also there will be lots of cops once i hit this 😂

That would make my heart Open and fly!!!!

Its a valley with water. So you need to plant trees to make tourists feeling more comfortable.

For me it’s when I see Bradys

Next week

Janet I. Sandoval

Sarah Mumford Thinking of you Thelma!

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3 days ago

Plenty of fish in Bishop Creek Canyon this summer!

Parchers Resort & South Lake Landing
Woo hoo!!! Last night’s Desert Springs Trout Farm delivery of Oregon rainbows courtesy of Southern California Edison....both the Parchers Resort folks and our friends at Lake Sabrina topped off each of the 800lb tanks with extra fish averaging 4.80lbs. Still have a few cabins left for this weekend so come and get ‘em!!! . . #easternsierrafishing #trophytrout #southlakebishop #bishopcreek #fishbishop #southlakebishop #parchersresort #lakesabrina
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Comment on Facebook

Wow, it's the fish truck. <3

Wow that looks like some big fish!

Judith Demarah - Big fish!

Tyler Ray Norman

Jon J. Nolan

a lot of them are backwards - like they were trying to swim upstream in the current - cool!

Aj Luick

John Willis Hinrichs

Jon Jacobsen there is plenty of fish out there.

Hannah Moncada show Josh

Matthew Cleary Pee Shooters

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4 days ago

Inyo County is participating in the 2019 California State Fair in Sacramento. Drop by the Inyo exhibit now through July 28th - located in the California Building. Be sure to say "Hi" to Bishop City Council Member Laura Smith, Greg Smith and all of the wonderful volunteers that represent our region. ... See MoreSee Less

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