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Suggested itinerary for 48 hours OHV & auto touring in winter in Bishop

48-Hour Adventure Itinerary

If you are traveling the iconic US Highway 395 through the Eastern Sierra then you owe it to yourself to take an extended break in Bishop. Or, perhaps you’re looking for a great place where you can escape for a couple days and get out of the city and into the mountains. Come to Bishop. Come play in our big backyard.

Our beautiful big backyard has so much to offer that we want to share a suggested itinerary for auto & OHV touring in 48-hours in Bishop in winter! If that’s something you’ve never contemplated, or thought possible, then take a look at this.  

The drive from southern California is anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, depending on your starting point. So, beat your early morning traffic jam and get yourself and your friends and/or family to Bishop by noon. Take a look at this great Bishop vacation guide. You could also request a printed guide to be mailed to you. Keep it with you as a handy reference.

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

Red Roof Inn. Bishop.

Central. Convenient. Affordable. Kids & Pets Stay Free!
Day One Itinerary - the first 12 Hours
Lunch: Aaron Schat’s Roadhouse

Aaron Schat’s Roadhouse on Main St.

You’ve probably arrived hungry! In fact, we suggest you arrive hungry. We call Bishop the ‘small town with a big backyard’ — and we also have a pretty impressive kitchen go with it. There are many great food options here and we’re going to send you off to a whole bunch of them while you’re here. Today, start out at Aaron Schat’s Roadhouse.

This large family friendly restaurant serves great burgers and sandwiches with super sides. Try the rotisserie chicken, BBQ ribs or excellent steaks, or a combo. There are delicious salads and vegetarian options too and yummy choices for kids. It’ll be warm and comfy in the spacious interior, but eat up and grab some bottled water and sodas for a very special afternoon drive.

Note that the Roadhouse is closed on Wednesdays.

Activity: Chidago Canyon and the Headless Miner self-drive tour

The Headless Miner of Chidago Canyon

Did you marvel at the magnificent views on the way here? The broad, arid valley and majestic, snow covered mountain ranges that rise up on either side are incredibly beautiful and impressive. The scenery is evocative of the old west and the hardships endured by the pioneers who first encountered this ancient landscape. The old rocks and trails safeguard the history of an adventurous people. The stories they might tell can only be imagined.

Begin your 48 hours of adventure with an easy 12-mile (out and back) drive on a well graded dirt road. It is accessed 20-miles north of Bishop off US Highway 6. The road will take you through a rugged little canyon where eons of weathering of the rock, known as Bishop Tuff, was carved by wind and water. The elements gouged and fractured the soft rock scouring deep pockets and cutting arches through it. It was also hammered and dug by miners over 100 years ago. Look for the petrified reminder of the souls who ventured their livelihoods and lives in the pursuit of gold and glory in this forbidding landscape.

He’s only known to us as “the headless miner” and he is forever etched into the rock face of this canyon. When you find him, pull over and step outside your vehicle and imagine the life and times of those who ventured here over 100 years ago. Safeguard this history. Take only pictures and walk carefully alongside the legacy of others. Turn around and head back the way you came. The sweeping vistas from this side of the valley are magical in the light of the setting sun.

Find out more about this auto tour at the Bishop Visitor Center as you arrive in town. Ask for maps and directions.

Now go get settled into your lodgings and get ready for dinner. If it’s a chilly winter day, dress in layers to keep warm and protected from the wind. If it’s a warm winter day – which could have had temps well into the 50s – be prepared for a significant temperature drop as the sun sets. Dress in layers for a relaxed, casual night out.

Dinner: Perry’s Italian Café

Italian food & wine pairing at Perry’s

Perry’s Italian Café is proud to serve the finest old-world dishes in a modern setting. Traditional Italian dishes are made with quality, fresh ingredients and treasured family recipes. Thick Sicilian pan pizza is a specialty! The menu also offers some classic American dishes too.

It’s a short 6-minute walk from your lodgings to Perry’s. Take some time to relax and unwind with cocktails at the bar, or have a seat in the lounge and watch a game on the large screen TV.

Lodging: Red Roof Inn

Centrally located the Red Roof Inn is an excellent stay at a reasonable price. The rooms are clean and spacious and the staff and friendly and helpful. Guests can enjoy a free continental breakfast and free coffee and tea all day. Plus, kids and pets stay free. One well-behaved pet per room is welcome.

This inn has all you need for a good night to be ready for a great day out!

Day Two Itinerary - 24 Hours
Breakfast: Red Roof Inn

The first 6 hours … you’ll still be asleep. Then we propose that you get going early to make the most of your morning in the mountains. The free continental breakfast is served from 6am – 9am. Eat up. Head out.

Activity: Off Highway Motor Touring with GSC Adventures

GSC. UTV. ATV. OHV. GO!

Winter in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada is a fantastic time for off-highway motoring. The dirt roads are sometimes slightly damp in winter and this reduces dust. The rugged, rocky hills of the Owens Valley with the snow-covered crest of the Sierra Nevada in winter are like a picture postcard. Within a short distance from town, less than 8 miles along US Highway 168 West (West Line St.), you’ll reach the turn off for Buttermilk Rd. Here is a where a world of off-highway motoring opens up for even the most adventurous drivers and riders. There are miles of dirt roads and jeep tracks to explore. You’ll feel like you’re in another world – the natural world of wide-open spaces, snowy peaks, and babbling creeks. You may even see mule deer foraging for food in their winter habitat down here.

Drive your own 4-wheel drive vehicle out here or rent a recreational off-highway vehicle (ROV) for the morning. These versatile and fun vehicles, the ATV (all-terrain vehicle) or side-by-side UTV (utility task vehicle), will give you greater access and more freedom to explore our big backyard.

ROV rentals from GSC Off Road Adventures are reasonably priced and include the ATV, trailer, helmet and maps. You will need a tow hitch on your vehicle to tow the trailer and a bit of practice at home reversing a trailer is good preparation for this great Sierra adventure. Make sure to have helmets for every member of your party. Dress in layers – especially if you’re taking an ATV or UTV. And take plenty of water and some snacks.

Lunch: Tu-Ka-Novie

Prime Rib at Tu Ka Novie restaurant in the Wanaaha Casino

Hungry? Chilly? Warm up, fill up and enjoy a good meal at the Tu-Ka-Novie Restaurant in the Wanaaha Casino. Sandwiches, salads, burgers, senior specials and a super kids’ menu offers great choices to satisfy everyone. And now… do you feel lucky? The Wanaaha Casino is the Eastern Sierra’s only 24-hour Vegas style casino. There are over 300 machines to play slots or video poker and live table games – all for over 21’s. A small gamble might add a little ka-ching to your vacationing.

Activity: Main Street Walkabout

Murals depicting Bishop history

Back in downtown Bishop the late afternoon sparkles in the warm winter sun. An easy stroll will stretch your legs and open your eyes to the good old-fashioned main street ambience of a small town. Most of the downtown stores are independently owned by Bishop locals. Stop in, peruse the goods, and chat with the friendly, knowledgeable staff. There are outdoor sporting goods stores, western wear, art supplies, books, crafts, and gifts stores. Pick up a memento of your visit, treat yourself to a little indulgence, or find the perfect gift for someone special.

On buildings throughout Bishop the history of the Owens Valley is depicted on the exterior walls in the form of historically accurate and visually beautiful murals. As the sun begins to set, a walk around town is a wonderful way to learn a little of its history from the beautiful murals that tell of its past. The Bishop Mural Society was established in 1997 “to display our heritage in a spectacular outdoor art gallery surrounded by natural beauty.” Today there are fifteen murals, the most recent of which is made up of 421 sculpted ceramic tiles and mosaic, created by 216 community members. The society is a founding member of the California Public Art and Mural Society and mural projects are ongoing through the generous support of the community. Download this Mural Map, or load this google map on your device, and check out the Bishop Mural Society’s webpage.

Dinner: Thai Thai Restaurant

Thai Thai delicious

This is a local’s favorite. Thai Thai Restaurant is located inside the Bishop Airport building. A 6-minute drive of 3 miles will take you out of the Bishop town limits and into the darkness of an Owens Valley night. The soft glow of a low building beckons and here you continue your experience of “a world away from big city life.” It’s relaxed and convivial and the freshly prepared Thai food is delicious. Bring your own bottle of wine to enjoy with the meal.

Dinner is usually an early activity in rural communities and Bishop is no different. The kitchen closes at 8 and we suggest getting in by 7:30 to enjoy a leisurely meal here. Note that Thai Thai is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Lodging: Red Roof Inn

It’s been long and adventurous day so perhaps the last 2 or 3 hours you’ll be snuggled in a warm bed at the Red Roof Inn.

Day Three Itinerary - the last 12 hours

Continue sleeping for at least another 6 or 7 hours into the morning. Your 48 hours is almost up, but not quite yet!

Breakfast: El Ranchito

Diner-style breakfast at El Ranchito

Open eyes. Yawn. Stretch. Up and at ‘em – only 5 more hours left for adventure. Get a hearty breakfast at El Ranchito. This diner-style Mexican restaurant is locally owned and operated. Opening at 7am daily, the breakfast menu, features breakfast burritos, enchiladas and omelettes, with gluten-free and vegan options. You’ll be fueled you up for one more auto tour and your drive home.

Activity: Photography & Sightseeing self-drive tour

Good news. Some of this tour includes locations along the highway on your way home. But first start with a few magnificent photo op hotspots in our big backyard. A big loop around Bishop will present views and scenes that will take your breath away. You may not get to all in one go-round. It all depends on how long you stop at each vista to look, point and shoot the shots that will be the memory album of your visit to this magical place.

Here’s a route guide with points pinned along the way to stop and snap Instagram-worthy photos to share with family, friends and the world. Remember to include the hashtag #visitBishop so we can see our big backyard through your eyes.

Click here to download a .gpx file for your GPS device. 

  1. Buckley Ponds
  2. Laws Railroad Museum
  3. Owens River Vista
  4. Pleasant Valley Reservoir
  5. Round Valley
  6. Pine Creek Canyon
  7. Mt. Tom
  8. Millpond
  9. Red Hill

48 Hours Done.

That’s it! But wait … there’s more. On your way home, about an hour out of Bishop, stop at these wonderful locations for a last look at our beautiful big backyard.

Going south: visit the Alabama Hills and snap the iconic pic of Mt. Whitney framed by the Mobius Arch.

Going north: stop at the Mono Lake overlook and take pic of this incredible, expansive view.

Come Back

We’re pretty sure that this 48-hour tour itinerary will just whet your appetite for more. Stop in the Bishop Visitor Center on you way into and out of town and learn how much more there is to see and do. Get ideas from our knowledgeable, helpful staff. Take some maps to study at home. Then make some plans to come back.

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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

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5 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

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

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7 days 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

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

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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!
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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!

🙏🏻

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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

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