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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

It’s spring. Wildflowers are blooming, roads are opening, and more folks are traveling and camping. It’s dry out there. Please please, please be careful with anything that could start a wildfire!!! 🔥 This reminder is for locals and visitors alike. It’s going to take ALL of us to prevent wildfires in the months to come.

#inyocounty #RecreateResponsibly #wildfireprevention
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So pretty. Wish I were there. <3

Beautiful

Beautiful photo!!!

I love that area!!

Beautiful

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2 days ago

In case you didn't get the memo: Mule Days is a GO this year!

In concert with health officials, they are planning for a safe event that fans and spectators will remember for years to come. In compliance with State guidelines, mandatory restrictions and capacity limits will apply to arena seating, so be sure to call now to get your reservations. Some of the popular indoor events have been canceled due to these limits such as the Concert and Opening Night Supper. Sadly, the parade is also on hold until 2022. Good news, though... Mule Days IS happening this year and is going back to the roots where Mule Days is all about the mule!

To read more, or buy tickets, visit: muledays.org/2021/04/16/2020-vision-through-the-eyes-of-a-mule-take-2/

#visitbishop #muledays
... See MoreSee Less

In case you didnt get the memo: Mule Days is a GO this year! 

In concert with health officials, they are planning for a safe event that fans and spectators will remember for years to come. In compliance with State guidelines, mandatory restrictions and capacity limits will apply to arena seating, so be sure to call now to get your reservations. Some of the popular indoor events have been canceled due to these limits such as the Concert and Opening Night Supper. Sadly, the parade is also on hold until 2022. Good news, though... Mule Days IS happening this year and is going back to the roots where Mule Days is all about the mule!

To read more, or buy tickets, visit: https://muledays.org/2021/04/16/2020-vision-through-the-eyes-of-a-mule-take-2/

#visitbishop #muledays

Comment on Facebook

I HAVE NOT BEEN TO BISHOP FOR 30 YEARS AND I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO A VISIT THERE THIS YEAR. I WAS BORN THERE AND I MAY HAVE A 60TH CLASS REUNION THIS SUMMER. WAITING TO HEAR IF IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN .

Yeah!!! The most fun you can have and still be legal? Or something like that. Stay well.

Thank you for being safe...

We will be there been going there for years Love it

They just approved The Reno Rodeo to full capacity as of two weeks ago and I do believe that the parade will happen as well

I know its a town thing & not affiliated with MD's but any word on the Craft Fair in the Park

No parade outside? Well that’s California for ya! At least there will be an event.

Yep Mule days is coming. this event is when the people are put on show and the Mules get to work out. Mules get to show how smart they are and the people get to show (well we will let you finish this sentence). Come as see for yourself what it is like to be here.

So glad to hear that!!! Miss Bishop soooo much!

The "Mule Days" bumper sticker has worn off the back bumper of the trailer.

Better something than nothing. Sorry to miss it.

Anything happening for 4th of July?

No parade?

what about the arts and crafts at the city park? is that still on?

Nick Chudilowsky

Whoo Hoo 👏

Becka Lynn Kelley

Awesome!

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5 days ago

Who’s hitting the trail this weekend?? Spring has sprung. We have some access to the high country, and warm (ok, maybe hot) temps down here in the valley. Flowers are blooming, snow is melting, and gulls are migrating north. Who loves this time of the year?

#visitbishop #mindfultraveler #RecreateResponsibly
📷 by Betsy Forsyth
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Who’s hitting the trail this weekend?? Spring has sprung. We have some access to the high country, and warm (ok, maybe hot) temps down here in the valley. Flowers are blooming, snow is melting, and gulls are migrating north. Who loves this time of the year? 

#visitbishop #mindfultraveler #RecreateResponsibly
📷 by Betsy Forsyth

Comment on Facebook

So beautiful and amazing picture thanks for sharing 🙂🙂❤❤

Just came home from there.

I DO,LOVE BISHOP FOR MORE THAN 40 YEARS

where are the flowers blooming right now?

Beautiful

Looking lovely!

Beautiful!!!!

Me!

Wish I was😢

BISHOP CA

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6 days ago

A question for our history-lovers!Inyo County has such rich history. What is your favorite historical site in Inyo County???

#inyocounty
Photo courtesy of Inyo County Shootout
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A question for our history-lovers!

Comment on Facebook

The Indian museum in Independence and Laws

I'm partial to the fish hatchery and it's history. Shame it has never recovered since 2008

I enjoyed Laws years ago with my son, also just enjoyed exploring the Owens valley in search of petroglyphs from indigenous people who lived there, sky rock, 13 moons, and many throughout the valley.

Manzanar

Whitney Hatchery..... not antique but old and wonderful

Look Chris Baird your favorite place . lmao

Schatt's for me.

Famous for Charlie

wasn't Manson held here for destruction of construction equipment years ago, thank God he is gone.....

Charles Manson walked down those steps.

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1 week ago

Here is a little mid-week break for you!! This is just past Aspendell, headed towards Lake Sabrina.
Happy Wednesday!!

Photo by Betsy Forsyth
#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #mindfultraveler
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Here is a little mid-week break for you!! This is just past Aspendell, headed towards Lake Sabrina. 
Happy Wednesday!! 

Photo by Betsy Forsyth
#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #mindfultraveler

Comment on Facebook

Took that road every year we camped at Benton crossing.

Will be there soon for Mule Days

OMGoodness! Lucky to know that road so well! Love it, right, Robert Yanasak?

I’ve been there once... it’s beautiful.

Crisp mountain air! I can feel my lips chapping already!

How lovely!

Wish I was there right now! ❤️🛤

Love road shots

Beautiful!!

Love it

I visited there back in 2014! It was serene! Miss is ! Planning to take the kiddos when they can put up with a 4hs drive lol 😂

Looks Awesome.

Awesome.

Brings back wonderful memories living up in Adpendell

Up up & away!

HOME!

I love Aspendale

One of my goals is to buy a house out there one day.

I’ll be there next week Visit Bishop

Know the area so well.

❤️❤️

Hey “ hop- a - long” how we doing?.I’m going with the later “ Say What” ya?.

Beautiful 😍

Neal Tipton

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