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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.

Planning

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 Recreation.gov.

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.

Learning

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.

Help!

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.

Check out the Digital Bishop Visitor Guide!

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19 hours ago

Don’t forget to visit the Bishop Mule Days Celebration official souvenir shop located on the fairgrounds for 50th anniversary commemorative t-shirts, belt buckles, coffee mugs and more! Open now through Sunday, May 26th. ... See MoreSee Less

Don’t forget to visit the Bishop Mule Days Celebration official souvenir shop located on the fairgrounds for 50th anniversary commemorative t-shirts, belt buckles, coffee mugs and more! Open now through Sunday, May 26th.

 

Comment on Facebook

Can we purchase items online when we can’t attend in person??

Teresa Nunez

Are you online?

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3 days ago

Mule Days is open to the public; no charge to enter the fairgrounds and there is a lot to see and do all weekend! Bring the kids and enjoy all the fun activities Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Junior Packer Corral. Happening this coming weekend, Friday May 24 - Sunday May 26th. ... See MoreSee Less

Mule Days is open to the public; no charge to enter the fairgrounds and there is a lot to see and do all weekend! Bring the kids and enjoy all the fun activities Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Junior Packer Corral. Happening this coming weekend, Friday May 24 - Sunday May 26th.

 

Comment on Facebook

Gary Dutter

Silly Question I guess... But What Month???

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4 days ago

Winter just doesn’t want to leave!The winter that wouldn’t end! ... See MoreSee Less

Winter just doesn’t want to leave!

 

Comment on Facebook

What's with the snow??

Still wintery here right now in May!!

Down here at the very beginning of the PCT we are very wet and cold and wondering how all those PCT hikers in just tennis shoes are doing right now. Some of them look so ill prepared when they finish the first 22 miles and stop here at our Malt Shop for a pizza and hot breakfast before starting up into the Laguna Mts.

Great place to stay

I guess it must be the Sierra answer to that surfing movie, "The Endless Summer." And even here in Berkeley, CA on this side we turned on our heater today. Well, we needed to dry out the interior of the house. Pretty pictures, though. Thanks.

We had snow in Mc Cloud last night.

No snow but rainy and chilly on the Central Coast . We feel the same....😁

I like cardinal village

Geeeezzz!!! R-2 conditions over Donner Pass today, which is my home territory.

Oh no!❄️☃️

Can't wait to go up in August.....back in the early 1970's, there would be patches of snow on the mountain across from Camp Sabrina around Memorial day!

Well WE are raining, cold with thunder and lightning here in the Sonoma County area.

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1 week ago

Fishing and conditions report from Lake Sabrina Boat Landing: Mother Nature definitely didn’t want us to forget her this week – lots of fun weather. Beautiful sunny days, then rain, slush, snowball snow, lightening, thunder, big flake snow and lots of it and then back to beautiful sunny days. And it looks like we’ve got the same instore for us this coming week. We woke to 14” to 16” of snow on Friday, it was a pretty quiet Friday. We stayed hunkered down by the woodstove that day. Pretty much by Sunday that snow was gone.

The Lake was icing off fairly well prior to last week’s storm. The manmade part of the Lake is totally ice-free, but may have some skim ice in the early morning. We’ve got open water behind the Island in the first natural Lake. There’s open water showing in the back natural Lake over by Little George Inlet, but is still iced-over where the Lake narrows down by Cookie’s Point. With the cooler temps, the run-off has shut down a bit and the Lake is not rising. We’re hoping that will change and we’ll have boats on the Lake by Memorial Weekend – just need 6’.

If you’re fishing, might want to try back behind what is normally the Island – can’t really tell you what’s working cuz haven’t had many fisherpeople out there yet.
... See MoreSee Less

Fishing and conditions report from Lake Sabrina Boat Landing: Mother Nature definitely didn’t want us to forget her this week – lots of fun weather. Beautiful sunny days, then rain, slush, snowball snow, lightening, thunder, big flake snow and lots of it and then back to beautiful sunny days. And it looks like we’ve got the same instore for us this coming week. We woke to 14” to 16” of snow on Friday, it was a pretty quiet Friday. We stayed hunkered down by the woodstove that day. Pretty much by Sunday that snow was gone.

The Lake was icing off fairly well prior to last week’s storm. The manmade part of the Lake is totally ice-free, but may have some skim ice in the early morning. We’ve got open water behind the Island in the first natural Lake. There’s open water showing in the back natural Lake over by Little George Inlet, but is still iced-over where the Lake narrows down by Cookie’s Point. With the cooler temps, the run-off has shut down a bit and the Lake is not rising. We’re hoping that will change and we’ll have boats on the Lake by Memorial Weekend – just need 6’.

If you’re fishing, might want to try back behind what is normally the Island – can’t really tell you what’s working cuz haven’t had many fisherpeople out there yet.

 

Comment on Facebook

Would really like to go up there and fish.

Jessica Caballero Yolanda Wren Joseph Caballero

We are coming up early June! Staying in Lone Pine but plan on driving up to visit. Hope we can see Sabrina

Luv it there caught my share

Filling up, can’t wait

JJ Garcia

Joe Powell

Scott L Barnes

Jo Nathan let’s goooo!

Roberto Villegas look familiar?

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