Bishop Visitor Logo

Bishop Visitor's Center

Photo: @parentsthatrock
Suggested itinerary for a 5-day family winter vacation in Bishop. 

5 Day Adventure Itinerary

Bishop in winter offers the perfect family getaway that has a little (actually … a lot) for everyone in the family. Get out of the big city and into the mountains where the snowy peaks rise up on either side of this broad, beautiful valley. The nights are chilly, the days are often warm, the air is clear and crisp, and our big backyard is a natural playground.

Pack up your toys: bicycles and skateboards, skis and toboggans, fishing gear and tennis togs, paints and sketchbooks, binoculars and cameras, and make sure to pack suitable winter clothing to layer for warmth and protection. Yes, you’ll need sunscreen too.  

Getting to Bishop

If you’re driving to Bishop from southern California or east from Nevada, you will most likely spend 4-5 hours on the road. Winter road conditions from the north can make the trip a bit longer and slower, but wherever you’re coming from it’s going to be an amazing drive. The scenery is spectacular and there are incredible geographical and historical landmarks to see along the way. Request our vacation guide for detailed information on traveling to Bishop, and what to see and do along the way.

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

Holiday Inn. Bishop.

Just perfect for a family winter getaway!
Day One Itinerary

You’ve arrived! And it’s likely you’ve had a number of hours in a vehicle together. Perhaps you can check into your lodgings early, but if not grab a little (or a lotta) lunch and stretch your legs with a stroll in the park.

Lunch: Schat’s Bakkery

The bakery that put Bishop on the map.

Erick Schat’s Bakkery is one of the businesses that put Bishop on the map. After 80 years in business, it’s still fresh and delicious. When you come to Bishop you just have to visit this institution of yumminess. Begin your Bishop adventure here and make up a bag of sandwiches, cookies, sweets and treats to take to the Bishop City Park (across the street) where you can spread a picnic on one of the tables or a blanket on the lawn. Let the kids release a little of that pent-up energy with a game of tag or shred the skatepark.

 
Activity: Walk or bike about town

Go bike about Bishop

And stop in at the Bishop Visitor Center

Bring your own bikes or take advantage of our Eastside Bike Share program from right here in the park. There are some easy car-free paths along the canals around town that are super for a mid-winter’s afternoon stroll or roll. Get a feel for the layout of the town, but before you head off, pop into the Bishop Visitor Center (that cute A-frame building at the entrance to the park) and get maps, directions, advice and info to start your vacation off on the right track.

Food. Fun. Games. Pizza Factory.

Dinner: Pizza Factory

Eat in. Take out. Deliver. No matter your energy levels this is going be the perfect family dinner place. If everyone is still lively then go eat in at Pizza Factory where there’s food and fun for everyone. Big screen TVs show live sports and an arcade can keep the kiddos amused. A fresh salad bar offers great greens and healthy goodness, and the pizzas, calzones, and wings and things are delicious. Food is available for take-out or delivery to your lodgings too.

 

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Bishop

Holiday Inn Pools

Located in the heart of Bishop, this lodging facility has all the amenities that you’ve come to expect from this brand. This Holiday Inn Express & Suites offers great rooms, free full breakfast, high-speed internet, and a heated indoor pool – just perfect for a family winter getaway.

Day Two Itinerary

Photo: @parentsthatrock

Activity: Rock climbing with Sierra Mountain Center

Rock climbing in the Bishop area is world-class and year-round. If you and the kids have done some gym climbing where you live, then it’s time to translate that to real rock in our big backyard. If you’ve never tried rock climbing, now’s your chance to learn the basics in one of the most beautiful settings in the world. We recommend that you contact the great folks at Sierra Mountain Center, in advance, and book a custom package or plan your trip to participate in one of the many clinics offered by the guide services here in town.

Lunch: Bag your lunch at Great Basin Bakery

Great Basin Bakery

A day of climbing is going to need good healthy food to keep you all fueled. This locally owned and operated bakery opens early and makes great sandwiches, cookies, bagels, pastries, salads and more.

Holy Smoke BBQ

Dinner: Holy Smoke BBQ

This is a whole lot of Texas in the outback of California. Choose from pulled pork, hickory smoked chicken, Texas style brisket and tri-tip, pork ribs and homemade chili. Add some cornbread, coleslaw and mac & cheese and you’ll have one happy family.

 

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Bishop

Have a swim in the pool, soak in the whirlpool, or just catch up on some TV … then sweet dreams.

Day Three Itinerary
Activity: Cross-country ski, snowshoe or sledding


Within 20 miles from town is the beautiful Bishop Creek Canyon recreational area where you’ll reach snow. Sometimes lots and lots of it. Head out of town along W. Line St. (Highway 168 W.) towards Aspendell. Depending on the snowpack and what snow sport you’ve chosen you’ll either take the left turn towards South Lake or continue on a little beyond Aspendell. Park at the winter road closure, hop out and gear up for the snow fun. The canyon above Aspendell is great for sledding and snowshoeing. The cross-country skiing is best along the more gently sloping South Lake Rd.

Bring your snow gear, or get what you need at these great stores and guide services for a wonderful day of snow play. You could even book a guide to take you and your kids out for a half day of safe snow fun in the mountains. If you need gear and guiding, do your research and planning beforehand. On the day, make sure you are all dressed in layers to keep warm as you start out. Then shed a layer or two if the day warms up. Stay together and only challenge yourselves to a level of activity that you can all achieve safely and happily. If the kiddos are under 12, go sledding. Take teens snowshoeing. Young adults might be ready for, or experienced in, cross-country skiing. Know the risks and be prepared. A morning is all you need to experience the thrill of a safe Sierra Nevada snow adventure.

Lunch: Great burger and fries at Bishop Burger Barn

Warm winter day at Burger Barn

After a few hours in the mountains, drop back to town where the day is likely to be warm and sunny at the Burger Barn. Statistically speaking, Bishop and the Owens Valley have about a 92% chance of dry days, that means an adventure in the heart of the Eastern Sierra offers 335 sunny days a year to play outdoors.

The outdoor seating at this rustic burger spot is great for families. If it’s a little too chilly there’s a cozy, enclosed seating area upstairs. The food is fresh and delicious and locally sourced as much as possible. And there are vegetarian and gluten-free options. It’s closed on Tuesdays … so, be sure to plan for that.

Activity: Keough’s Hot Springs

Keough’s Hot Springs is a marvelously soothing and fun hot spring resort, a mere 8.5 miles south of Bishop. It’ll be just what you all need after an invigorating morning in the snow.

Founded by Phillip Keough in 1919, the resort harks back to its bygone era with much of the original wooden structure intact. There are two pools that have a constant flow of warm, fresh mineral water. It’s the perfect place for energetic kids. It’s also great for adults who need little restorative soaking. The large swimming pool, which measures 100’ long by 40’ wide, is great for lap swimming or just splashing and floating. The slightly smaller soaking pool is kept at an even 104 deg F and is perfect for easing muscles and soaking away stress. And you can keep an eye on the kids from a seated spot in this hot pool.

Keough’s is also closed on Tuesdays. So, perhaps don’t plan for day three to fall on a Tuesday! 🙂 

Dinner: Back Alley Bowl & Grill

Back Alley Bowl & Grill

After an easy afternoon of soaking it’s time for some lively family entertainment with food and fun all rolled into one. The Back Alley Bowl & Grill serves up steaks, seafood specials, salads, light dinner fare, and children’s options. Adults can enjoy the nightly drinks specials from the full bar. Book a lane and go bowling with the kids. If it’s Saturday night … it’s Cosmic Bowling.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Bishop

We suggest freshening up in your room(s) before you head to dinner and bowling. The Inn and the Alley are across the street from one another. No need to drive. So, you can have a drink with dinner and walk back safely to your lodgings afterward.

Day Four Itinerary
Activity: Winter Fishing

Gone fishin’

Bishop has long been considered a world-class fishing destination and is best known for magnificent seasonal fly-fishing in the streams of the Sierra Nevada. But, did you know that fishing in the Lower Owens River is legal all year long? Miles of canals, large reservoirs and protected ponds in the Owens Valley, some offering handicapped-accessible fishing piers, are easily accessible by car. Get a guide and / or get some gear and information from our local outfitters.

The knowledgeable and experienced folks who live and fish in the Eastern Sierra can help you plan a fishing excursion or take you and your family out on a fishing trip that will be safe, fun and rewarding. There are many guide services that cater to beginners as well as experienced anglers. The sporting goods stores and outfitters carry something for everyone to build a basic kit or add to your tackle box. Check out Reagan’s Sporting Goods to get kit and info, or contact Sierra Bright Dot Fishing to book a guided excursion.

Do some fishing preparation with the kids before you get here to get them excited and ready for this adventure. Take a look at this previous blog on getting your kids ready for fishing.

Delicious Deli at Mahogany Smoked Meats

Lunch: Pack a picnic from Mahogany Smoked Meats

Fishing with the family would be best from mid-morning to mid-afternoon during winter. It’s the warmest part of the day. It’ll work up an appetite so buy a bag of delicious goodies for lunch from Mahogany Smoked Meats. Get made-to-order sandwiches and some jerky treats to keep everyone happy and remember to keep hydrated … even in winter.

 

 

 

 

 
Dinner: Astorga’s Family Mexican Restaurant

Family Fiesta at Astorgas

No need to dress for dinner. It’s casual and friendly. Astorga’s Family Mexican Restaurant is family owned and operated and families are welcomed here. Serving quality, authentic Mexican food for 17 years this is a great way to end your vacay in Bishop. 

 
 
 
Lodging: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Bishop

Pool hours are from 7am to 9pm. If you get an early dinner, you’ll make it in time to a take a last dip in the pool or soak in the whirlpool before heading to bed.

Day Five Itinerary

Morning coffee and a full breakfast at your lodging will fuel you up for the drive home. And if you get it early, you’ll still have time for a little trip back in time.

Activity: Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site

Laws Depot

Take a short 6-mile drive north on Highway 6 to the Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site. This museum celebrates the local railroad history and tells the story of a time when the railroad station was the heart of a bustling western town. Close to 50 authentic structures on eleven acres are filled with artifacts and original objects that depict the lifestyles of the homemakers, artisans, and townspeople of the period.

Lunch: Bishop Looney Bean

Lunch from Looney Bean

Make a quick stop at Bishop Looney Bean for excellently roasted coffee and freshly baked treats to keep everyone happy for the drive home.

Good Bye!

On the road again to home-sweet-home. But when you need a home-away-from-home come on back to Bishop in spring, summer and fall. There’s so much more to explore!

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

2 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
#keepbishopsafe
... 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
#keepbishopsafe

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!

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.

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.

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.

Home🇺🇸

To bad its in commiefornia. Love bishop

I remember Lone Pine too. Loved it

Small Town, Big Back Yard. 🥰

One of my favorite places on earth

View more comments

5 days ago

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

#LoveBishop #historicbishop
... See MoreSee Less

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

#LoveBishop #historicbishop

Comment on Facebook

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! Man-o-man....plus add on disease, diet and doctoring! Nope...lol 😆

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?

Me

Great picture

Me toooooooo

View more comments

7 days ago

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

Photo by John Paul DeRousseau
... See MoreSee Less

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

Photo by John Paul DeRousseau

Comment on Facebook

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.

Awesome

Felicidades yerandi que tela pases muy vien

The ponds. Nice

I'm ready to FISH

Wow

Fantastic!

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!

Wonderful!

So beautiful!

Beautiful

Beautiful

Beautiful!!

Beautiful

View more comments

1 week ago

Just an FYI. Seems fire season is still not over.
MONO COUNTY —U.S. Highway 395 in Mono County Due remains closed from Emigrant Street in Bridgeport to the Nevada State Line due to a wildfire in Walker Canyon. The fire has reached 20,800 plus acres and claimed 80 structures. It is unclear how long this section of the highway will be closed.

Drivers heading northbound on U.S. Hwy 395 should detour to either U.S. Hwy 6 just north of Bishop to NV360 to US 95 or State Route 182 in Bridgeport to Nevada 338. Southbound traffic from Nevada should detour to U.S. Hwy 95 to NV360 to U.S. Hwy 6 or Nevada 208 to Nevada 338 to State Route 182.
roads.dot.ca.gov/

This photo is from 9/11/2020 near Bishop... if you weren't here, the smoke was HORRIBLE!
... See MoreSee Less

Just an FYI. Seems fire season is still not over. 
MONO COUNTY —U.S. Highway 395 in Mono County Due remains closed from Emigrant Street in Bridgeport to the Nevada State Line due to a wildfire in Walker Canyon. The fire has reached 20,800 plus acres and claimed 80 structures. It is unclear how long this section of the highway will be closed.

Drivers heading northbound on U.S. Hwy 395 should detour to either U.S. Hwy 6 just north of Bishop to NV360 to US 95 or State Route 182 in Bridgeport to Nevada 338. Southbound traffic from Nevada should detour to U.S. Hwy 95 to NV360 to U.S. Hwy 6 or Nevada 208 to Nevada 338 to State Route 182.
https://roads.dot.ca.gov/

This photo is from 9/11/2020 near Bishop... if you werent here, the smoke was HORRIBLE!

Comment on Facebook

Hoping for an end to this nightmare. Time for some real rain and snow. Be safe. <3

Blah blah anything from keeping people away ! Come on people clear road a little hazy try and drive back east ! Quit whining!

We used to always camp with my parents at Bridgeport or Topaz lake years ago.

Tanner Ernst

Oh no!

These fires are never ending! Be safe.

Y'all stay safe!

Wow!

🙏🏻

View more comments

1 week ago

How many of you love to take pictures when you visit Bishop and the surrounding areas? With large amounts of open space, stunning scenery and ample wildlife, it might be the perfect place to work on your composition and skills.

Make sure to ready this blog article about photography here in the Eastern Sierra:
www.bishopvisitor.com/4-fabulous-photography-features/

With COVID-19 on the rise, we ask you to please protect the places and communities where we play. Stay SAFE outside.
#loveBishop #keepbishopsafe

Photo by @leviaguilera_photography
... See MoreSee Less

How many of you love to take pictures when you visit Bishop and the surrounding areas? With large amounts of open space, stunning scenery and ample wildlife, it might be the perfect place to work on your composition and skills.

Make sure to ready this blog article about photography here in the Eastern Sierra: 
https://www.bishopvisitor.com/4-fabulous-photography-features/

With COVID-19 on the rise, we ask you to please protect the places and communities where we play. Stay SAFE outside. 
#loveBishop #keepbishopsafe 

Photo by @leviaguilera_photography

Comment on Facebook

Your Bishop is on my list of places I want to visit when all of this is over.

Love the contrast....... nice photo of wild nature!

Mule (deer) Capital of the World!😄

Where is this?great picture

Nice!

Awesome

Beautiful deer

View more comments

Load more