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Have your kids outgrown camping your backyard? Bring them for a camping vacation in our big backyard. Here in the Eastern Sierra, Bishop has many wonderful options for camping that offer the gamut from full hookups to dispersed camping.

Camping is a great way to experience the natural world and a chance to learn new and valuable skills. It’s a fun way to connect with your kids and gives you a chance to unwind.


There are numerous websites and articles online with tips on planning, packing and being prepared for a camping holiday. If you and your kids are new to camping check out the good advice offered in this article at

Happy camper

Involve your kids in the initial planning and decide on your camping ‘style’. If you’re going for a serviced campground, call ahead or book online to reserve your campsite. If you’re looking for a more remote camping experience, make sure that the area you want to visit is approved for dispersed camping. Wilderness camping requires a permit so be sure to get that arranged before heading out.

There are numerous campgrounds and campsites in and around Bishop where you can find that special spot for you and your kids. Take a look at this list of “10 perfect places to camp” for great spring camping that we compiled.


Make this time with your kids one that is enjoyable and educational. Learning to set up a tent, cook a meal, and administer basic first-aid can be great fun. These can also be valuable skills for the future. Play a game where a budding actor in the group pretends to be the victim of a fall with an injury that needs to be dressed or splinted. Prepare a few scenarios at home with extra supplies in your first aid kit.

Dressed for hiking success

Although many camping areas near town have good cell phone signal, and Bishop offers free WiFi all along Main St., this could be a great time to disconnect from the digital world. Teach your children map reading skills and how to navigate using a compass. Set tasks for them to hike to a specified destination or find a ‘hidden treasure’ – something you could prepare in advance. Their smart phones could still be used to document their adventure, or give little ones inexpensive digital cameras to take snapshots.

Learn to dress for outdoor success. Here in this mountainous high desert region the weather can change quickly and dramatically. Dressing in layers that can be removed during the day as temperatures increase, and replaced as the day cools, will ensure that kids are comfortable throughout the day. It might even be a good time for kids to learn about caring for their clothes. For example, the wind could blow a jacket away if not safely stowed in a backpack or tent.

Flower Child

Give your kids flower power. Spring is a super time to learn about the high desert flower bloom. Learn to identify the flower species that blossom on the hillsides and along the streams. See who can spot the most number of different species by looking for color and size. Show little ones that flowers can be little too.

Teach your kids to identify cloud formations and the significance of different types of clouds and the wind patterns that create them. Clouds are an excellent indicator of changes in weather patterns. This is a good read about clouds for kids.

In this part of the world we get a particular cloud formation known as wave or lenticular cloud. Often during the late afternoon and evening when the winds aloft are strong and stable, the air is moist, and dew point is at the crest of the wave of air, a lens or saucer shaped cloud will form, sometimes with successive layers. If the clouds last until sunset, which they frequently do, the setting sun will tinge the cloud from light yellow to pink to a vibrant blood orange. Here it’s called Sierra Wave and it really is amazing.

On a clear night the lack of light pollution here presents another wonderful learning experience. The Milky Way has captured the human imagination since time began and on a night when the moon is new, this ribbon of bright stars is as obvious here as it was when Galileo first focused his rudimentary telescope at this phenomenon in 1610 to discover that it was made up of stars. In so many parts of the world where this spectacle can no longer be seen, there are countless children and adults too who have never set eyes on it. Come and see it for yourself and teach your children about its mysteries.

Roughing It

Tuckered out and tucked in.

Perhaps you’re not all ready for a primitive camping adventure, then consider just a few hours of ‘roughing it’ by taking a wilderness hike, or going fishing. There are many trailheads and streams in close proximity to Bishop that can be accessed by road that will get you into the mountains and well away from crowds. There are also great guide services that can prepare you, or take you, into the wilds for a fun and safe experience.

If all are willing and someone in the group has the necessary experience for primitive camping, there are excellent options near Bishop. Dispersed camping on US Forest Service land offers the opportunity to car camp with a sense of remoteness. With few or no neighbors, if you choose well, you and your kids (and the family’s furry best friend) can explore right from the door of your tent.

Hike-in camping in wilderness areas is the final frontier. You and your kids will definitely need adventurous attitudes and a high level of experience by the adult members of your group. Good planning is essential for this. Many wilderness areas may not be accessible in early spring due to snowpack, so a summer backcountry campout in the Eastern Sierra is a great vacation to plan for now. To keep energy up and kids moving forward, consider loading their favorite snack in their pockets.

Mixing it Up

Skateboarding in Bishop City Park

Even the most adventurous kids like to mix things up a bit. Bishop has so much to offer by way of lodging facilities, restaurants, and other fun activities – both outdoors and indoors.

If this is a first time camping for the kids, perhaps dinner at the pizza parlor, a movie, and a night in a hotel might be a great end to good camping beginning. Perhaps an evening at the bowling alley or an afternoon at the skateboard park would be sufficient reminder that city life, as they know, is still fun and familiar.

For the intrepid campers there are activities like hiking, rock hounding, flower spotting, wildlife viewing, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and fishing to keep them occupied in the great outdoors. An excellent summer adventure is onboard a float tube on the Owens River. Bring your own gear or sign up for guided tours with one of the many adventure services here in town.


Primitive Camping in Buttermilk Country

The beauty of a camping vacation in the Eastern Sierra is that whether you’re camping in Buttermilk Country, Bishop Creek Canyon or at Brown’s Town you’re not much more than a 20-minute drive to all the amenities you might need for resupply or assistance in the event of an emergency.

Good planning for successful camping is essential and luckily there are numerous retailers and guide services, with knowledgeable and experienced staff, that will help you make the most of your camping vacation.

Be sure to know the rules and regulations for camping and outdoor activity in the Eastern Sierra and be prepared for sudden changes in weather – especially in spring.

Call ahead (760) 873-8405 or stop in at the Bishop Visitors Center at 690 N. Main St. for more information and maps. We really know and love our big backyard and want all our guests have safe and happy experiences. Visit once. Visit often.

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1 day ago

Hmmmmm... thinking about all of the things I'm grateful for...
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!!

Photo by Instagram user @pardonmyfrencheee
#keepbishopsafe #Thanksgiving2020
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Hmmmmm... thinking about all of the things Im grateful for...
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!!

Photo by Instagram user @pardonmyfrencheee
#keepbishopsafe #Thanksgiving2020

Comment on Facebook

FWIW, it's interesting that "Visit Bishop" posts a photo of scenery that's 60 miles away. Just sayin'... but I love this photo! <3

Adorable.....just like Bishop! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone❤️🦃🍁

What a great photo !!

Great picture thanks for sharing 🙂🙂❤❤🦃🦃

Happy Thanksgiving!

See you soon!

Shana Gordon

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1 day ago

Members of the Emmy-award winning CBS show “One Day at a Time” and state health expert Dr. Diana Ramos share important tips and information on how to have safe family holidays in the time of COVID-19. Check it out!

Happy Thanksgiving!! (English) (Spanish)
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3 days ago

This is Bishop from the Tungsten Hills looking east. Our little town is almost like an island. We have to travel hours to do most major shopping, or for any major medical issues. For most of us, it is absolutely worth it because we love the Eastern Sierra and although our town is small, our “backyard” is big and full of majestic natural beauty. We know many of you who live far away love this place as well. ❤️

So as you are making holiday plans this year, please remember to protect the people and places you love to play in. We appreciate it!!

Photo by Betsy Forsyth Johnson
... See MoreSee Less

This is Bishop from the Tungsten Hills looking east. Our little town is almost like an island. We have to travel hours to do most major shopping, or for any major medical issues. For most of us, it is absolutely worth it because we love the Eastern Sierra and although our town is small, our “backyard” is big and full of majestic natural beauty. We know many of you who live far away love this place as well. ❤️

So as you are making holiday plans this year, please remember to protect the people and places you love to play in. We appreciate it!! 

Photo by Betsy Forsyth Johnson

Comment on Facebook

We were campground hosts at Mammoth & went to Bishop for nice dinners on our days off, get haircuts, do laundry & see dentist. Enjoyed Bishop Mule Days too.. Besutiful area to spend the summer... Had to edit & add Schat's Bakery 💞💞

My first trip to Bishop was 57 years ago and have been back more years than not. I plan to keep coming back until my legs can’t walk the trails anymore. It’s truly a special place.

Wish I could be there. Great place to do star watching. Seem to be extra stars in the sky over there. Wishing you all the best for the holidays. Wish that bakery could deliver. So yummy. Stay well. <3

Loved growing up in Bishop, many fond memories there! I bet the town has changed since 75, but never the scenery!

One of my favorite places to camp don't how many times I've been there but I've been a bunch of times love it over 30times

I love it too! Grew up in Big Pine, worked in Bishop and Big Pine! 😊

best town I ever lived in

A place and time far far away! A place named Bishop, where I was born.

Take care! Hope to see you again next year!

Lived in early 50’s I lived in a mine camp Sheelite till the mud slide, moved to Rovanna To a mine housing . Parents bought a house in Tungsten City, up behind Rocking K Ranch, attended school in Round Valley Lots of memory In the area

Maybe you need to stop Blaming people that travel to the Eastern Sierra for your local problems. Its not really that small of a town and With the tax you get from tourism build a real medical facility and hospital!

Best place to grow up ‼️

Bishop is always one of our stopping points if we're visiting Yosemite and Death Valley. Bishop Creek Canyon, Rock Creek Canyon, Schats Bakery, Jacks, Spellbinder Books, Whiskey Creek- all previous haunts. Once normal travel arrangements return, we'll be back to visit one of our favourite places in the USA.

My Dad grew up in Bishop, he actually worked at the Tungsten mines for awhile before heading to El Paso to go to college. Then the war started and he joined the Army Air Corps . I spent many a summers staying with my grandma Duffy, playing with my cousins in that magical place. Still my favorite place on earth.

I know this viewpoint........magic.

I really miss Bishop and the Owens valley.....

Lived at Hilltop Estates/ Swall Meadows for quite a few years in the late 70’s to the early 80’s. Only place in California that keeps me coming back every couple years.

We would love to move there! Love the area.

Thank you for the words and picture you are blessed to live there xo

Our favorite place to go. Always come to the car show.


To bad its in commiefornia. Love bishop

I remember Lone Pine too. Loved it

Small Town, Big Back Yard. 🥰

Can I have a friend request please

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6 days ago

Flashback to Main Street, 1886. Who would like to escape to this scene?

#LoveBishop #historicbishop
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Flashback to Main Street, 1886. Who would like to escape to this scene?

#LoveBishop #historicbishop

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I will take 1986. Had a cool uncle living there. Free lodging, and his Land Cruiser was available for deep snow drives.

Heck no...especially after I saw the video on "the old western hygiene". Talk about funk and stink! Whew, even the women stunk! add on disease, diet and doctoring! 😆

I wonder if they still had to pose to get the exposure by 1886. Probably not.

Hmmm...1886 in Owens Valley? Was there a Sheriff? Or just a bunch of gun toting fools on horseback.

might be a sale but I will think it is a Halter class in the middle of the street and that will make me happy

Love that picture

I would love it. 🙏❤️🙏

I see Rusty’s!! Lol

It would be hard an cold but very free it would be something to go back in time

Every horse looks so healthy (extra shiny coat).... all that great pasture of the area > Owens Valley!

No thank you. I love Bishop, but I can't imagine living there without AC or a swamp cooler. lol

Even tho these days were hard ,they were free to enjoy great days.

Life was harder back then but better in My opinion.

Looks like a stock sale. If it were today, I would call it a horse show.

A busy place!

Early "Mule Days"?

I would buy that Appaloosa .

I would escape in a second :)

great pic

Right on

Can we visit but not stay?


Great picture

Me toooooooo

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1 week ago

Ahhhh, we sure love sunsets in the Eastern Sierra!! 😍

Photo by John Paul DeRousseau
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Ahhhh, we sure love sunsets in the Eastern Sierra!! 😍

Photo by John Paul DeRousseau

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An amazing picture of a beautiful sky. Thanks for sharing 🙂🙂❤❤

The dinosaurs are still around when you see the sky like that

Hermoso,Bishop calf.


Felicidades yerandi que tela pases muy vien

The ponds. Nice

I'm ready to FISH



That's the sky color of snow on the way!! Lovely😍😘🐈😷

That is amazing beautiful blue sky I like winn you took that picture of the amazing beautiful blue sky

Amazing picture to put up on a wall

Gorgeous photo!


So beautiful!





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