If You Can Walk You Can Snowshoe | Bishop Visitor Information Center
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Bishop Visitor's Center

Getting out in the winter can seem like a daunting venture. The cold, the clothing, the weather the skills needed and all sorts of other reasons. The hardest part of any mountain trip is often getting out the door and for a snowshoe trip into the winter wonders of the Sierra this is true.

But forget the image of a grizzled Alaskan trapper strapping on five-foot long snowshoes constructed of hickory and moose sinew and heading out into minus 40-degree weather – Modern snowshoe equipment is light and user friendly constructed of lexan or aluminum with quick release straps and buckles that make getting them on a cinch. If you can walk you can put a pair on and head out there and experience a Sierra very different to the summer one.

Generally, we have snow storms of short duration that can certainly drop a lot of snow but once the storm passes the weather turns back to blue skies and warmer temperatures and the snow quickly compacts giving easier travel.

The most important thing is a good pair of warm boots. Light weight hiking boots work but often get wet and once that happens the feet get cold quickly. Better to find a pair of “Sorrel” type snow boots and a pair of snowboard boots will suffice.

A set of ski poles, a day pack with water, food, clothing, gloves, sunscreen and a good pair of sunglasses and you are set to go.
From Bishop we have a number of ideal places to get a feel for things. These are often snow-covered roads and the South Lake Road, Lake Sabrina Road or especially Rock Creek above Toms Place all give you great place to learn the techniques and provide safe comfortable learning environments.

Once you are familiar with the gear then step it out and go a little further. On a full moon night try booking a dinner at Rock Creek Lodge and snowshoe up under the light of the moon. Head to the White Mountains and for a unique experience try to reach the Bristlecone groves. Even if you do not you will be rewarded by the finest views possible of the Sierra.

Just get out and do it. Once out the door it is not as bad as it might seem from inside.

About the Author: Julie

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16 hours ago

Visit Bishop

Our last share of the night regarding the Moffat fire burning north of Lone Pine... we will try to post an update in the morning as soon as we learn of one.The Moffat Fire continues to burn into the night. We hope and pray the weather calms and fire crews will get an upper hand on it soon! ... See MoreSee Less

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20 hours ago

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U.S. 395 is open again... and here are some photos of the fire posted by CHP - Bishop.Here's a few more pics of the Moffat Fire and it's aftermath. Photo courtesy: Officer Jeff Pelham. ... See MoreSee Less

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23 hours ago

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U.S. 395 closed Lone Pine to Manzanar due to a wildfire.... please be careful!***UPDATE*** (5:06 PM)

Both northbound and southbound lanes along US-395 have been re-opened.

***UPDATE*** (4:45 PM)

CHP is now escorting south bound traffic along US-395 through the closure.


U.S. Hwy 395 is closed from Manzanar (just south of the town of Independence) to Lone Pine due to a wildfire that began next to the Owens River near Manzanar this afternoon.

Presently there is no detour available to negotiate this closure and no estimated time for reopening the highway.

For the latest highway information please visit the Caltrans QuickMap site at quickmap.dot.ca.gov or call the Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).
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1 day ago

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Interesting history of how the age of the bristlecone came to light and how the protection came about. Have you visited Schulman Grove?Al Noren, White Mountain District Ranger in the 1940s-1950s, helped lead to bristlecones being known as the oldest trees. He harvested some bristlecone wood to use for cabinets, since it was locally known for being good for woodworking and firewood. He noted the close rings, started counting, and realized that there was something very special about the trees. He initially protected an area in the Patriarch Grove and the Patriarch Tree, which he named, because it was the largest tree. Nickolas Mirov, a friend of Noren’s and researcher of pine trees, suggested to Edmund Schulman that he take a look at the trees in the White Mountains of California. Schulman’s research was on old trees and the Whites became a focus for him in the early 1950s. This research by Edmund Schulman determined that the oldest bristlecones were not the largest, most striking, or most picturesque. Patriarch Tree is not the oldest bristlecone; in fact is rather young for bristlecones. ... See MoreSee Less

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