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Bishop Visitor's Center

Photo credit: Mike McDermott

Trail runners who know … know that Bishop, California is trail-running heaven. Now all of trail running world knows. Bishop was rated one of the 8 great top trail running mountain towns on the North American continent in the September issue of Trail Runner magazine. Naturally those of us who live, work and play here (it’s tough, but someone has to do it) are not surprised by this accolade.

Nestled between two gargantuan mountain ranges, the Sierra Nevada and the White Mountains, both rising to over 14,000 feet above sea level (ASL), Bishop is perfectly situated to offer a broad range of trail running options. From the wide-open terrain of the Owens River valley, to the rocky outcrops of Buttermilk Country and the Tungsten Hills, to the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada to the west and rugged ridges of the White Mountains to the east – this is the good, better and best of trail running.

Trails vary in length, grade, terrain and altitude to provide something for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or seasoned trail runner. What’s more the town boasts numerous other world-class activities for those whose passions are not so fiercely ignited by trail running. The trails are also great for hiking and mountain biking. The boulders and crags here are a mecca for rock climbers. There are numerous lakes and miles of river for superb fishing, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding. And for the motorheads in your group many tracks & dirt roads are open to off-highway vehicles.

Bishop is the quintessential western American mountain town with an old fashioned Main Street with new-world facilities. In and around Bishop there are 24 lodging properties from the well-known national brands to locally owned and operated B&Bs, mountain resorts and a hostel. Campgrounds range from full service commercial, to serviced & developed, to free-of-charge dispersed locations.

Main Street stores and businesses offer everything from trail running gear to fully guided outdoor adventures, with great local knowledge and advice based on on-the-ground experience. Restaurants cater to just about every palate and appetite with just too much to list here. Check out our home page and see all our great mountain town has to offer.

So pack up your shoes, shirt and shorts – then herd the family into the car – and make Bishop your good, better and best trail-running/mountain-sports/weekend-getaway destination.

Good Run

If you’re a novice trail-runner and want to start out with a good, easy jog on a soft surface with the sun on your shoulders and a cool stream or pond nearby for a refreshing post-run dip then try out the trails that flank the Owens River. There are 40 river miles between Pleasant Valley dam and Tinemaha reservoir and countless tracks and trails undulate alongside the river over grassy banks, between tall reeds and over sand dunes. Running alongside the waterways of the valley floor provides little elevation change, but it has an almost limitless number of miles of diverse open terrain. The recently restored Buckley ponds have access for the physically disabled to be at the waters edge to fish or just enjoy the view.

Buckley Ponds

Buckley Ponds

Better Run

Buttermilk Road bears the Forest Service designation 07S01 and is 13.1 miles long between the two points where it junctions with CA168 near Bishop and 1.4 miles from Aspendell.

This is a major portion of the now well-known trail running race, the Bishop High Sierra Ultra Marathon, which is coming up again in Spring of 2017. This section of the race route runs on a 4-wheel drive dirt road that climbs about 2,000 feet in elevation. There are rocky sections, stream crossings, and a couple of relatively steep inclines. The road travels below overhanging tree arbors, over flat open meadows, and a few small, forested sections. If there has been recent rain the road can be very muddy in places with large pools of standing water.

It’s a great trail for an out and back totaling about 25-30 miles, depending on where you start, or to run either up or down with a mountain biker buddy and/or chase vehicle for recovery. There is an excellent mid point for a picnic alongside McGee Creek, where the trees are tall and shady and the creek is cool and refreshing. Depending on the rate of flow it’s possible to find an eddy for a safe dip in the invigorating water. The non-running members of your group can relax, refresh and cheer you on as you run by.

Buttermilk Country Trail Running. Photo credit: Mike McDermott

Buttermilk Country Trail Running.
Photo credit: Mike McDermott

Best Run

The best trails for the best runners and those aspiring to be their best are tough, high altitude climbs that reward with awe inspiring views and a sense of absolute satisfaction. Numerous single-track trails begin in the Bishop Creek Canyon area and climb to near 12,000’ ASL to summit passes in the John Muir Wilderness.

There is no better place for competitive runners to train at altitude. Few other regions offer such easy access to trailheads that provide an array of options to run long and high. These trails give runners the chance to test their legs, lungs and heart. For the love of trail running is more than just a passion for the sport – it is a driving force for those who live to run.

Winter trail running. Photo credit: Mike McDermott

Winter trail running.
Photo credit: Mike McDermott

Run Bishop Run

There is more than one trail running season in Bishop. High altitude running is best between late May and early October when the temperatures are cool and the trails are clear of snow. The foothills are perfect from late fall to early spring and, depending on recent precipitation, forays to slightly higher elevations are possible if the snow pack is not too deep. A warm winter sun and sparklingly crisp days make winter running alongside the river and valley floor trails a true joy.

Find more information on our web page about Trail Running Near Bishop.

Come on in to the Bishop Visitor Center at 690 N. Main Street to find out more details about trails, access, lodging, restaurants and all things that make a weekend getaway good, better, best!

bishopcreek#1-Grimm

A Fall trail run near Bishop Creek

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6 days ago

We are buried in smoke again today, so we thought it would be fun to share a little about how the names of some of the towns in the Eastern Sierra came about. Thank you, California High Sierra for the article!
californiahighsierra.com/trips/california-high-sierra-towns-the-origin-of-their-names/
Photo by Amy Leist
... See MoreSee Less

We are buried in smoke again today, so we thought it would be fun to share a little about how the names of some of the towns in the Eastern Sierra came about. Thank you, California High Sierra for the article!
https://californiahighsierra.com/trips/california-high-sierra-towns-the-origin-of-their-names/
Photo by Amy Leist

Comment on Facebook

Wow... been a good long while since I’ve been to Bishop. Their high school team was in our league (I went to Tehachapi High) and we traveled there for some football games — something like a 5-6 hour drive each way if I recall correctly. A tough team to beat also. I’m betting it hasn’t changed all that much over all these years (circa late ‘60s).

I'm so sorry the smoke is bad there still. I missed my annual visit this year. It's on my to do list for next year.

We can see it over the Spring Mountains to the West/NW here in Las Vegas. Fortunately, not much of it made it into the LV valley.

Would LOVE to move there if my hubby can find a job nearby!

We left this morning. Not only is it very smokey the smell of smoke is incredible. I don't smoke and I was ready to light up.

Nice photo. That's the real West.

Miss Bishop, Lone Pine, Big Pine, Tinnamaha campground!!!!

No, that is where the theater and Joseph’s used to be. Joseph’s has been gone for some time now. Penny’s is now Dollar General. Unfortunately a lot of vacant stores. Hi Kent!❤️

Hello and good morning. I am planning to drive up to Bishop from Southern California. The main purpose is to see fall colors. May I know if the fall colors are still at peak this coming next two weeks or is it past peak? Thank you for your advice/suggestions.

We were just there.😔

We have to leave too, I almost threw up it was so bad, got to Lee Vining and blue fresh air..take care of yourselves

so sorry for the smoke crazy time for all this year.

I spent a week here and didn't get to see the beauty through the smoke 😏

When was this picture taken, Sunday at 6 am ? never seen it this quiet.

Awesome pic! I wish a Main Street business had a rooftop deck so you can eat with that exact same view!

No smoke in the photo. ??

Is this an old photo? Joseph’s market was the only market back when we lived in Bishop in 1969.

It’s still Smokey? Where is the smoke coming from ?

Beautiful town

I always love to go threw Bishop.

Went thru Bishop yesterday, it was terribly Smokey 😪💚

I wish it was still small !

Does bishop still have a jack in the box

My favorite place ❤️

Isnt that the Old JC Penney store?

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1 week ago

Wonder if this little sheep was as grateful as we were for a view of the mountains this morning??!! Happy Friday! From Bishop, with love ❤️
#keepbishopsafe #mttom
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Wonder if this little sheep was as grateful as we were for a view of the mountains this morning??!! Happy Friday! From Bishop, with love ❤️
#keepbishopsafe #mttom

Comment on Facebook

Wonderful vacation destination

And a free thinker! This is Good!

🙏praying that it stays like this 💖

I miss Bishop so much and living there too 😢😉❤️

This is one of my favorite places to take pictures when I lived in Bishop. There’s many more.

Sigh. Bishop. Love it.

See you next week little sheep

We loved our visit to Bishop

Miss bishop fun times there

Nice!!!

Oh how I love that view

It was beautiful

Love Bishop

👍

Need snow on them things!

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1 week ago

In case you are wondering what roads and campgrounds are open, here is the latest, as of yesterday, October 14th:
www.sierrawave.net/state-of-inyo-roads-and-campgrounds-whats-open-closed-oct-14
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In case you are wondering what roads and campgrounds are open, here is the latest, as of yesterday, October 14th:
https://www.sierrawave.net/state-of-inyo-roads-and-campgrounds-whats-open-closed-oct-14

Comment on Facebook

I've been on that same road every year at this time...

It sure was smoky today.

Still hazy there.😥

I love the West.

Beautiful picture thanks for sharing 🙂🙂❤❤

We always used to stay at Brown’s Millpond Campground just north of Bishop. Very nice private campground with a stream running through it. So many wonderful memories from Mule Days!

Up her for 4 day little smoke but really nice trees turning colors

It's the hunting and fishing Road 🏞️🎣🏕️🌌🤠🥰

Love Bishop and the surrounding mountains !!!

Hwy 168 going to Lake Sabrina, North and South lakes?

With I was there.

maybe next weekend any hotel suggestions?

Johanna Atwell

GOD HOW I WISH I WAS ON THAT ROAD... CAREFREE HIWAY...

Lots of nice smoke.....

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2 weeks ago

The Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance is hosting a virtual 5K walk and fun run this year!!! Going on NOW!! You can do it from WHEREVER you are!!!Hello Friends!☺️
💥 ESCA 20th Annual 5K Walk & Fun Run! 💥October 11-17th! Virtual Edition!
Please LIKE and SHARE this flyer with your friends and family!
Thank you for your continued support! ☺️
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The Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance is hosting a virtual 5K walk and fun run this year!!! Going on NOW!! You can do it from WHEREVER you are!!!

2 weeks ago

Dog days of summer or fall??!!
Last weekend we had warm temps and blue skies again. Fingers crossed we get some more blue skies this weekend!

Photo by Amanda Zhang
#NorthLake #fallcolors #keepbishopsafe
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Dog days of summer or fall??!! 
Last weekend we had warm temps and blue skies again. Fingers crossed we get some more blue skies this weekend!

Photo by Amanda Zhang
#NorthLake #fallcolors #keepbishopsafe

Comment on Facebook

I heard the colors have peaked in this area. Is it still worth visiting or are there other good spots to hit up?

Beautiful picture.

Wonderful vacation destination

Beautiful

Beautiful picture! Cute dog!

North Lake?

Looking good

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