Bishop Visitor Logo

Bishop Visitor's Center

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

Coronavirus Special Message

Check out the Digital Bishop Visitor Guide!

Archived Stories

Tell us:

Follow Us on Instagram

Join Us on Facebook!

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

3 days ago

Happy Friday! It doesn’t get much nicer than this. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
❤️ Bishop

#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #whitemountains #canalwalk
... See MoreSee Less

Happy Friday! It doesn’t get much nicer than this. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. 
❤️ Bishop 

#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #whitemountains #canalwalk

Comment on Facebook

My dream for retirement!

What a beautiful spot! I just love that town...💐

Wish I was there's now...

Thanks for sharing this!! So beautiful 😍

just got home from spending four days there

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

Beautiful.

See you next week bishop 🤗🤗

Pretty picture!

where is this? Mill Pond?

see you next week.

Buckley ponds?

How much snow does bishop have in winter time?

Beautiful

View more comments

4 days ago

Laaaaaabor Day Weekend plans? How about the fair?Oh hey there! 👋 Happy days from a friendly local 🐐 - Looking forward to more interaction with humans. Hope to see you at the Fair! Laaaaabor Day Weekend.

Photo credit: Jeff Simpson
#inyocounty #tricountyfairgrounds
... See MoreSee Less

Laaaaaabor Day Weekend plans? How about the fair?

Comment on Facebook

Wish I could be there! 🤗💞good times

Labor day? Go home goat, you're drunk.

Christina Flores-Hinojosa

View more comments

5 days ago

Who’s been up here? The trailhead and campground are clear of snow, the aspen are preparing to grow leaves, and it is BEAUTIFUL!! 🍃😍
(The trail undoubtedly has snow on it, so please be prepared and be EXTREMELY cautious crossing streams this time of the year!)

📷 by Betsy Forsyth
#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #mindfultraveler
... See MoreSee Less

Who’s been up here? The trailhead and campground are clear of snow, the aspen are preparing to grow leaves, and it is BEAUTIFUL!! 🍃😍 
(The trail undoubtedly has snow on it, so please be prepared and be EXTREMELY cautious crossing streams this time of the year!)

📷 by Betsy Forsyth
#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #mindfultraveler

Comment on Facebook

Yay. Me, me but, oh yeah, not for 45 years.

Yes I’ve been there!

2003, I did this loop, Lamarck Lakes to Evolution Valley to Piute Lake to Trailhead.

Hike to Lamark lake is lagit, straight up the mountain, takes about 3 hours

About 54 years ago. 🙂

I’ve been there years ago

Sara Kvaas

Ben to Paiute pass and beyond many times, no bears there!

Been going to Bishop for years on are way now to Mule Days

View more comments

6 days ago

Thank you to the Fairgrounds!!Let's give it up for our local Fairgrounds to step into a summer full of safe outdoor fun; featuring more space for RV and tent camping, plus big events like Mule Days, California High School Rodeo, a Drive-In and Tailgate Concert series - all at the Tri County Fairgrounds, in Bishop! They're planning for a bigger and better year, bigger stage, better sound, bigger acts, and better seats! 🎥🍿--

#inyocounty #tricountyfairgrounds #driveinmovie
... See MoreSee Less

Thank you to the Fairgrounds!!

Comment on Facebook

Be there soon

That sounds so fun.

View more comments

7 days ago

Look at this sweet foal that was born yesterday!! 😍 Quite a Mother’s Day gift!

Photo by Julie Faber
#visitbishop
... See MoreSee Less

Look at this sweet foal that was born yesterday!! 😍 Quite a Mother’s Day gift! 

Photo by Julie Faber
#visitbishop

Comment on Facebook

How cute!

Awww. Congratulations momma

Hi sweet baby.❤️

Sweet baby horse.

Aww adorable

Truly beautiful ....well done Mummy ❤

Beautiful!!!

Beautiful horses!

Que belleza 😊 me encanta todo lo que tenga que ver con los caballos, lindo y hermoso día

Beautiful

Sara Kvaas ... not sure if you follow this page, given how we love Aspendell!

💞

Sweetheart.

So pretty.

So cute

Ohhhh cute!

Awww 🥰

❤️🐎❤️❗️

View more comments

Load more