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If you’re outdoorsy like myself, then Bishop, California is one of those fairytale destinations. You might be rock climbing in the morning and mountain biking by the afternoon. The trail options are limitless, and I bet that even the multi-generational locals won’t have enough time to explore everywhere. Though the town is a bit remote in the Eastern Sierra, there isn’t a dry time with so many shops and restaurants to explore, and fascinating historical and cultural sites to see.

Around Town

On sacred land

A short walk from downtown, I wandered into the Owen’s Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center. In particular, I loved the intricate beadwork, but there were also many more artifacts and environmental collections on display. Departing the museum, I left with a better understanding and appreciation for the region’s roots.

Sip, shop and dine

Most hotels in Bishop are within walking distance of every resource a traveler might need: coffee, food, souvenirs, laundry, etc. I loved starting my morning with a fresh-roasted coffee from Black Sheep Coffee Roasters. From there, my routine would take me down the street to Spellbinder Books and Pupfish Cafe. In one building, I could thumb through books, shop from local artisans, and even get a heaping dose of avocado toast. For family gifts, I visited Nuts n Twigs—an earthy shop with wonderfully eclectic gifts.

Outside of Town

A climber’s paradise

Admittedly, I’m a novice rock climber. Hence, staring up at Bishop’s big walls was a bit intimidating at first, but the community is welcoming and friendly. Fortunately, there are climbing routes around Bishop suited to every skill level. Exploring the Pine Creek area, we enjoyed the cool breeze that tore down the canyon, and couldn’t stop looking around at all the views. Of course, come the cooler months, Bishop becomes quite popular with the bouldering community, with the fire truck-sized boulders scattered throughout the valley.

Hiking through the ancients

“Keep in mind, most of the trees in this area are over 4,000 years old,” advised the Ranger at Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Visitor’s Center.

The 4.5-mile hiking loop took me through some of most incredible, natural “sculptures” that I have ever seen. Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest contains gnarled trees that have weathered and survived for thousands of years! Actually, just saying that statement out loud gives me the chills. Their branches twist and curl, and the bark emits hues of yellow, orange and red. Amazingly, no one was around, and the evening light cast a soft, lovely glow on the hillsides.

Mountain bikers: get ready to roll

Of course there’s great riding in the Bishop area! On the Lower Rock Creek Trail, we came upon a few technical sections, but overall just fun, flowy singletrack. Next time I’m in the area, I’ll be sure to check out the Wagon Wheel Trail, where a historic track was cut into the slickrock. Mountain biking in this area just adds to the endless list of “fun things to do in Bishop”.

So, whether you decide to play in or outside of town, you’ll find heaps of entertaining opportunities. Planning to visit Bishop in the wintertime? Read up on our winter report of fun things to do in the Owens Valley.

This article was created in partnership with Visit USA Parks. All photos by Emily Sierra Photography.

**You can also read this article in German!

Check out the Digital Bishop Visitor Guide!

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2 days ago

Launching into the weekend.... Happy Friday!!!
Photo by @amithsinsta
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
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Launching into the weekend.... Happy Friday!!!
Photo by @amithsinsta
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard

3 days ago

How amazing are the sunsets here? Check out this time-lapse video from a really stunning evening last week.
Thanks @leviaguilera_photography for capturing it and sharing!
#vistbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
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Comment on Facebook

Looks great but gas is $6.00 gallon down there

Amazing!

Beautiful view

Beautiful!

Gorgeous view! 💓❤😃

Lovely 💕

If that slice of California were annexed to Nevada, I’d be back in a heartbeat.

I miss those sunsets

Jan Schray

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4 days ago

Sometimes a little dirt is good for the soul 😊
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
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Sometimes a little dirt is good for the soul 😊
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard

Comment on Facebook

Wow. The snow looks like it's melting already.

Wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve been up or down that road! Looks like The dirt section of Warm Springs Road.

Beautiful view

Beautiful

I like the movie flats place down by Lone Pine!

Beautiful

On my bucket list

Will always be home for me. Thanks for the awesome pic.

Love this dirt!

I wanna go fishing

Breathtaking👍💝😀

What road is that?

I love this view! 😀😃☺

Dirt therapy... good for the soul.

I miss Bishop!!

Be there in 2 weeks!

Miss that so much

Always 💚

Everytime we go we find one

👍👍👍

Buttermilk road

HOME 😎

Amen!

Richard Szoltysik

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5 days ago

Not a bad view!!!
Thanks for sharing, @jamieclimber!!
#visitbisop #bishopBIGbackyard
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Not a bad view!!!
Thanks for sharing, @jamieclimber!!
#visitbisop #bishopBIGbackyard

Comment on Facebook

Superb view!

Love the hot springs outside of bishop

Good view except for the feet

Awesome picture

I cannot describe how much I love this picture.

Amazing

Wow

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6 days ago

Good morning from Bishop!
Thank you, @binggram101 for the photo!
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
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Good morning from Bishop!
Thank you, @binggram101 for the photo!
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard

Comment on Facebook

Looks like a superb morning!

Nice but hopefully more snow!

I grew up in Tehachapi camped and fished there and Mammoth Lakes Beautiful country.

Beautiful. I wish I was there.

Beautiful country

Amazing! Can't wait to visit!

My favorite view

Beautiful picture

Loved fishing this river!

Absolutely stunning lighting and composition

Beautiful

Wonderful.

Beautiful!

Awesome

Beautiful.

Looks like Owens River fished there. BEAUTIFUL

Very pretty

Now, that is a real pretty picture. Great way to start the week. Thanks.

Absolutely DIVINE place. Wish I could buy a home there. oac

Wow! We see so much of Yosemite here in Fresno that we often forget that there are other awesome mountains elsewhere in California! I’m going to Bishop in March no matter what! A beautiful place! 👍

My Dad loved to fish out there. We always had to go with him and did not appreciate being out in the middle of no where as young kids. Now I understand the beauty and serenity he found there.

Love the Lower Owens, Great wild brown trout water in the winter!! Also illuminated sunsets that will make you stop and take a moment.

Nice

Very beautiful picture

Beautiful

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