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Suggested itinerary for 48 hours OHV & auto touring in winter in Bishop

48-Hour Adventure Itinerary

If you are traveling the iconic US Highway 395 through the Eastern Sierra then you owe it to yourself to take an extended break in Bishop. Or, perhaps you’re looking for a great place where you can escape for a couple days and get out of the city and into the mountains. Come to Bishop. Come play in our big backyard.

Our beautiful big backyard has so much to offer that we want to share a suggested itinerary for auto & OHV touring in 48-hours in Bishop in winter! If that’s something you’ve never contemplated, or thought possible, then take a look at this.  

The drive from southern California is anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, depending on your starting point. So, beat your early morning traffic jam and get yourself and your friends and/or family to Bishop by noon. Take a look at this great Bishop vacation guide. You could also request a printed guide to be mailed to you. Keep it with you as a handy reference.

Click on each day’s itinerary for a full rundown on where to stay, and what to see, do and eat! 

Red Roof Inn. Bishop.

Central. Convenient. Affordable. Kids & Pets Stay Free!
Day One Itinerary - the first 12 Hours
Lunch: Aaron Schat’s Roadhouse

Aaron Schat’s Roadhouse on Main St.

You’ve probably arrived hungry! In fact, we suggest you arrive hungry. We call Bishop the ‘small town with a big backyard’ — and we also have a pretty impressive kitchen go with it. There are many great food options here and we’re going to send you off to a whole bunch of them while you’re here. Today, start out at Aaron Schat’s Roadhouse.

This large family friendly restaurant serves great burgers and sandwiches with super sides. Try the rotisserie chicken, BBQ ribs or excellent steaks, or a combo. There are delicious salads and vegetarian options too and yummy choices for kids. It’ll be warm and comfy in the spacious interior, but eat up and grab some bottled water and sodas for a very special afternoon drive.

Note that the Roadhouse is closed on Wednesdays.

Activity: Chidago Canyon and the Headless Miner self-drive tour

The Headless Miner of Chidago Canyon

Did you marvel at the magnificent views on the way here? The broad, arid valley and majestic, snow covered mountain ranges that rise up on either side are incredibly beautiful and impressive. The scenery is evocative of the old west and the hardships endured by the pioneers who first encountered this ancient landscape. The old rocks and trails safeguard the history of an adventurous people. The stories they might tell can only be imagined.

Begin your 48 hours of adventure with an easy 12-mile (out and back) drive on a well graded dirt road. It is accessed 20-miles north of Bishop off US Highway 6. The road will take you through a rugged little canyon where eons of weathering of the rock, known as Bishop Tuff, was carved by wind and water. The elements gouged and fractured the soft rock scouring deep pockets and cutting arches through it. It was also hammered and dug by miners over 100 years ago. Look for the petrified reminder of the souls who ventured their livelihoods and lives in the pursuit of gold and glory in this forbidding landscape.

He’s only known to us as “the headless miner” and he is forever etched into the rock face of this canyon. When you find him, pull over and step outside your vehicle and imagine the life and times of those who ventured here over 100 years ago. Safeguard this history. Take only pictures and walk carefully alongside the legacy of others. Turn around and head back the way you came. The sweeping vistas from this side of the valley are magical in the light of the setting sun.

Find out more about this auto tour at the Bishop Visitor Center as you arrive in town. Ask for maps and directions.

Now go get settled into your lodgings and get ready for dinner. If it’s a chilly winter day, dress in layers to keep warm and protected from the wind. If it’s a warm winter day – which could have had temps well into the 50s – be prepared for a significant temperature drop as the sun sets. Dress in layers for a relaxed, casual night out.

Dinner: Perry’s Italian Café

Italian food & wine pairing at Perry’s

Perry’s Italian Café is proud to serve the finest old-world dishes in a modern setting. Traditional Italian dishes are made with quality, fresh ingredients and treasured family recipes. Thick Sicilian pan pizza is a specialty! The menu also offers some classic American dishes too.

It’s a short 6-minute walk from your lodgings to Perry’s. Take some time to relax and unwind with cocktails at the bar, or have a seat in the lounge and watch a game on the large screen TV.

Lodging: Red Roof Inn

Centrally located the Red Roof Inn is an excellent stay at a reasonable price. The rooms are clean and spacious and the staff and friendly and helpful. Guests can enjoy a free continental breakfast and free coffee and tea all day. Plus, kids and pets stay free. One well-behaved pet per room is welcome.

This inn has all you need for a good night to be ready for a great day out!

Day Two Itinerary - 24 Hours
Breakfast: Red Roof Inn

The first 6 hours … you’ll still be asleep. Then we propose that you get going early to make the most of your morning in the mountains. The free continental breakfast is served from 6am – 9am. Eat up. Head out.

Activity: Off Highway Motor Touring with GSC Adventures

GSC. UTV. ATV. OHV. GO!

Winter in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada is a fantastic time for off-highway motoring. The dirt roads are sometimes slightly damp in winter and this reduces dust. The rugged, rocky hills of the Owens Valley with the snow-covered crest of the Sierra Nevada in winter are like a picture postcard. Within a short distance from town, less than 8 miles along US Highway 168 West (West Line St.), you’ll reach the turn off for Buttermilk Rd. Here is a where a world of off-highway motoring opens up for even the most adventurous drivers and riders. There are miles of dirt roads and jeep tracks to explore. You’ll feel like you’re in another world – the natural world of wide-open spaces, snowy peaks, and babbling creeks. You may even see mule deer foraging for food in their winter habitat down here.

Drive your own 4-wheel drive vehicle out here or rent a recreational off-highway vehicle (ROV) for the morning. These versatile and fun vehicles, the ATV (all-terrain vehicle) or side-by-side UTV (utility task vehicle), will give you greater access and more freedom to explore our big backyard.

ROV rentals from GSC Off Road Adventures are reasonably priced and include the ATV, trailer, helmet and maps. You will need a tow hitch on your vehicle to tow the trailer and a bit of practice at home reversing a trailer is good preparation for this great Sierra adventure. Make sure to have helmets for every member of your party. Dress in layers – especially if you’re taking an ATV or UTV. And take plenty of water and some snacks.

Lunch: Tu-Ka-Novie

Prime Rib at Tu Ka Novie restaurant in the Wanaaha Casino

Hungry? Chilly? Warm up, fill up and enjoy a good meal at the Tu-Ka-Novie Restaurant in the Wanaaha Casino. Sandwiches, salads, burgers, senior specials and a super kids’ menu offers great choices to satisfy everyone. And now… do you feel lucky? The Wanaaha Casino is the Eastern Sierra’s only 24-hour Vegas style casino. There are over 300 machines to play slots or video poker and live table games – all for over 21’s. A small gamble might add a little ka-ching to your vacationing.

Activity: Main Street Walkabout

Murals depicting Bishop history

Back in downtown Bishop the late afternoon sparkles in the warm winter sun. An easy stroll will stretch your legs and open your eyes to the good old-fashioned main street ambience of a small town. Most of the downtown stores are independently owned by Bishop locals. Stop in, peruse the goods, and chat with the friendly, knowledgeable staff. There are outdoor sporting goods stores, western wear, art supplies, books, crafts, and gifts stores. Pick up a memento of your visit, treat yourself to a little indulgence, or find the perfect gift for someone special.

On buildings throughout Bishop the history of the Owens Valley is depicted on the exterior walls in the form of historically accurate and visually beautiful murals. As the sun begins to set, a walk around town is a wonderful way to learn a little of its history from the beautiful murals that tell of its past. The Bishop Mural Society was established in 1997 “to display our heritage in a spectacular outdoor art gallery surrounded by natural beauty.” Today there are fifteen murals, the most recent of which is made up of 421 sculpted ceramic tiles and mosaic, created by 216 community members. The society is a founding member of the California Public Art and Mural Society and mural projects are ongoing through the generous support of the community. Download this Mural Map, or load this google map on your device, and check out the Bishop Mural Society’s webpage.

Dinner: Thai Thai Restaurant

Thai Thai delicious

This is a local’s favorite. Thai Thai Restaurant is located inside the Bishop Airport building. A 6-minute drive of 3 miles will take you out of the Bishop town limits and into the darkness of an Owens Valley night. The soft glow of a low building beckons and here you continue your experience of “a world away from big city life.” It’s relaxed and convivial and the freshly prepared Thai food is delicious. Bring your own bottle of wine to enjoy with the meal.

Dinner is usually an early activity in rural communities and Bishop is no different. The kitchen closes at 8 and we suggest getting in by 7:30 to enjoy a leisurely meal here. Note that Thai Thai is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Lodging: Red Roof Inn

It’s been long and adventurous day so perhaps the last 2 or 3 hours you’ll be snuggled in a warm bed at the Red Roof Inn.

Day Three Itinerary - the last 12 hours

Continue sleeping for at least another 6 or 7 hours into the morning. Your 48 hours is almost up, but not quite yet!

Breakfast: El Ranchito

Diner-style breakfast at El Ranchito

Open eyes. Yawn. Stretch. Up and at ‘em – only 5 more hours left for adventure. Get a hearty breakfast at El Ranchito. This diner-style Mexican restaurant is locally owned and operated. Opening at 7am daily, the breakfast menu, features breakfast burritos, enchiladas and omelettes, with gluten-free and vegan options. You’ll be fueled you up for one more auto tour and your drive home.

Activity: Photography & Sightseeing self-drive tour

Good news. Some of this tour includes locations along the highway on your way home. But first start with a few magnificent photo op hotspots in our big backyard. A big loop around Bishop will present views and scenes that will take your breath away. You may not get to all in one go-round. It all depends on how long you stop at each vista to look, point and shoot the shots that will be the memory album of your visit to this magical place.

Here’s a route guide with points pinned along the way to stop and snap Instagram-worthy photos to share with family, friends and the world. Remember to include the hashtag #visitBishop so we can see our big backyard through your eyes.

Click here to download a .gpx file for your GPS device. 

  1. Buckley Ponds
  2. Laws Railroad Museum
  3. Owens River Vista
  4. Pleasant Valley Reservoir
  5. Round Valley
  6. Pine Creek Canyon
  7. Mt. Tom
  8. Millpond
  9. Red Hill

48 Hours Done.

That’s it! But wait … there’s more. On your way home, about an hour out of Bishop, stop at these wonderful locations for a last look at our beautiful big backyard.

Going south: visit the Alabama Hills and snap the iconic pic of Mt. Whitney framed by the Mobius Arch.

Going north: stop at the Mono Lake overlook and take pic of this incredible, expansive view.

Come Back

We’re pretty sure that this 48-hour tour itinerary will just whet your appetite for more. Stop in the Bishop Visitor Center on you way into and out of town and learn how much more there is to see and do. Get ideas from our knowledgeable, helpful staff. Take some maps to study at home. Then make some plans to come back.

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14 hours 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
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Thank you to the Fairgrounds!!

2 days ago

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

Photo by Julie Faber
#visitbishop
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Look at this sweet foal that was born yesterday!! 😍 Quite a Mother’s Day gift! 

Photo by Julie Faber
#visitbishop

Comment on Facebook

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

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

Beautiful

💞

Sweetheart.

So pretty.

So cute

Ohhhh cute!

Awww 🥰

❤️🐎❤️❗️

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5 days ago

Wishing you and your littles a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend!! ❤️

#visitbishop
Photo by Betsy Forsyth
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Wishing you and your littles a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend!! ❤️

#visitbishop
Photo by Betsy Forsyth

Comment on Facebook

Always enjoyed fishing the canal.

Love Bishop and the Sierras

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

My favorite place 😍🤗

We went a couple of years ago maybe 3 yrs ago what fun times we had there🤗

Beautiful

I think the big Brownies got a few of those

That's so cute.

Love that canal

Beautiful

Thank you 😊

Put any campfire completely out!

Sweet .

Be there soon

❤️😍

So many wonderful memories there!

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6 days ago

Last year... Please #RecreateResponsibly!!!Remember this from last year? The smoke was horrific, and most of the fires weren’t even right here. Please remind ANYONE that is going camping, be it here in Inyo County, or elsewhere, to PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE!!

Earlier this week Mammoth Lakes Fire Department responded to TWO different fires that started because campfires were not extinguished properly (one was a dispersed camping fire, and the other was in an area where fires are prohibited)!! It is going to be a tough year with the dry conditions, so we need to act accordingly!! Extreme fire conditions already exist. If you make a fire, please do it in a campground where there are fire pits, and make sure it is COMPLETELY out.

Please #RecreateResponsibly !!!
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Last year... Please #RecreateResponsibly!!!

Comment on Facebook

We need to stop the lightening and get rid of the power lines. No more electricity 🥰

Just everybody use common sense. And don't forget to pick up after yourselves. Leave no trace. <3

It gripes my ass when people just don't care. It doesn't take rocket science to put out a camp fire and to know how dry it is and we have international signs where people around the world know what they mean even when they can't read. They have no heart or respect for life animal's or human. I pray we don't have a repeat of last year.

It was awful, be careful out there. Be mindful of nature.

Its sound like it will be a dry summer across the west.....be careful....barb

Beautiful

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7 days ago

If you are wondering what it's looking like up Big Pine Creek, here is a shot from a couple of days ago. It is the view up the South Fork of Big Pine Creek from the North Fork trail. Thank you to Alan Haight for this stunning shot!!

We welcome you to send your beautiful photos to us in Messenger, or on Facebook or Instagram make sure to tag us #VisitBishop! Thank you!

#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #mindfultraveler #bigpinecreek
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If you are wondering what its looking like up Big Pine Creek, here is a shot from a couple of days ago. It is the view up the South Fork of Big Pine Creek from the North Fork trail. Thank you to Alan Haight for this stunning shot!! 

We welcome you to send your beautiful photos to us in Messenger, or on Facebook or Instagram make sure to tag us #VisitBishop! Thank you! 

#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #mindfultraveler #bigpinecreek

Comment on Facebook

Gosh this is beautiful!

Some of the most rugged terrain I've ever seen is up that canyon! Truly an amazing part of the Sierras.

Have hiked in this region. So beautiful

I highly recommend visiting Bishop. So much to see and do. 🤠

My old stomping grounds!💕

I LOVE BISHOP! ❤

Love the picture

Went as far as june lake

Gorgeous!

Love it there!

Beautiful

Beautiful

Beautiful!🏔

Beautiful!

Nice

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