Bishop Visitor Logo

Bishop Visitor's Center

Intro

This is the train ride of the year. In fact it’s a magical train ride into yesteryear and it only happens once every year. Do you believe in holiday magic and that wishes really do come true? Well then get your Golden Ticket and receive a happy holiday bell when you ride the Railroad Express at Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site.

Santa & Mrs Claus

Come celebrate the holiday season with your kids (and your inner kid) during a day of old world charm and magical holiday train rides. Hop onboard the restored Death Valley Railroad Car with a host of angels and elves for the annual Railroad Express.

This festive family fun happens every second Saturday in December at Laws, near Bishop, for a day filled with joyful activities and live entertainment. There’s caroling and story telling, crafts and refreshments, and best of all, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there to share the holiday spirit and give the gift of seasons past.

Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site celebrates the rich history of this railroad and tells of a time when the railroad station was the heart of a bustling western town. Come experience it at the most joyous time of year.

What Makes It Great

History preserved

A mere six miles north of Bishop on US Highway 6, Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site is not just another theme park. It is a beautifully preserved reminder of the small, once lively town of Laws and the railroad station it served.

The narrow gauge railway that ran through this valley for 76 years from 1883 to 1959 was known as the “Slim Princess.” Until 1931 when the full length of US Highway 395 was paved the Slim Princess was a major means of transportation in the Owens Valley.

The museum and extensive outdoor site has a section of track and working railroad cars in addition to many original buildings, salvaged and restored structures, train engines and cars, and thousands of weird and wonderful artifacts. It safeguards the memories and experiences of a not-so-long-ago era of railway magnates, miners, farmers, fortune seekers, high Sierra adventurers, and travelers who rode the Slim Princess.

Who Is Going to Love It

All Aboard!

The museum is a window to the past that can be enjoyed by folks of all ages and all walks of life. The annual Railroad Express is a journey back in time that can be experienced nowhere else.

Train buffs will be enchanted by it. Historians will relish it. Kids will love it. Families will rejoice in a shared experience of hands-on learning and happy holiday activities.

The Season

The holiday season is a magical season at Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site. The Owens Valley is often warm during the day with a bright blue sky and sparkling sunshine. The mountains that rise high above the valley are covered with a blanket of pure white snow and offer a stunning backdrop to this enchanting place. The views from the museum site haven’t changed a bit since this railway town was built.

Winter adds so much more to the railway magic.

Remember to dress in layers as temperatures vary from inside to outside and can change rapidly at any time of day during winter. There’s always a good chance of winter wind, rain or snow any time so be prepared for seasonal surprises.

Directions. Parking. Regulations.

Start your holiday experience at the Bishop Visitor Center at 690 N. Main Street. Pop into the A-frame building at the corner of Main & Park streets to get maps and information about all the holiday happenings in Bishop. Tickets for the Railroad Express can be purchased in advance at the visitor center or at Laws on the day of the event. Admission is $7 for children ages 3-12, and $15 for adults and kids over 12.

To get to Laws head north on US Highway 6 for six miles until you reach a sign for the museum at the intersection of Silver Canyon rd. Turn right and in a couple hundred yards turn left into the parking area for the museum site.

Making Christmas Magic

Gates open at 10am and the holiday fun lasts until 4pm. Train rides are limited so get your tickets early and don’t miss out on this magical holiday journey. The railroad museum is open daily year round. Sumer hours are 9:30am – 4pm and train rides on the old Death Valley Brill Car No. 5 are scheduled to run on holiday weekends from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Amateur photography, video, and filming during the Museum’s normal operating hours are always welcome. Any other photography or filming requires special permission. The use of any sort of aircraft such as drones, radio controlled airplanes, helicopters, etc. is subject to rules and regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration because of the proximity of the Bishop Airport. Dogs are not allowed on the grounds of the museum site.

 

Read more about the history of the Slim Princess in a previous blog here.

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

This message is only visible to site admins
Problem displaying Facebook posts. Backup cache in use.

Error: Error validating access token: The user has not authorized application 1332798716823516.
Type: OAuthException

5 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?

View more comments

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
... See MoreSee Less

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!

View more comments

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
... See MoreSee Less

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.....

View more comments

1 week 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! ☺️
... See MoreSee Less

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!!!

1 week 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
... See MoreSee Less

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

View more comments