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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

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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