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Intro

Around 700,000 years ago, the Volcanic Tablelands were formed from the erupting caldera in Long Valley. Near the small California town of Bishop, the Volcanic Tableland has become known around the rock climbing world as one of the more awesome spots to explore. Before rock climbing and westward expansion, the Paiute-Shoshone Indians resided here in the valley, creating and leaving behind stunning petroglyphs that are scattered throughout the Tableland.While no real hiking or running trails exist in the tablelands, a handful or roads for bikes, ORVs, and cars help make this a great place for trail runners looking for big views, history and desert adventure. The best way to see all this land is by running the Volcanic Tablelands Loop and then exploring the rocks and mountains on your own to find the unmarked petroglyphs.

What Makes It Great

With limited maintained trails for hiking and running, the vast majority of exploration in the region is done on the variety of jeep trails or on your own. There are a few rock climbing maps and guides to good bouldering, but the Volcanic Tablelands are mostly unmarked and wild.

The Volcanic Tableland Loop is one of the few marked areas, consisting of mainly rolling doubletrack routes and dirt roads. The loop run might be nearly a marathon in distance, but this trail is ideal for nearly every level of runner to enjoy. Gaining just 1,308 feet over 24.3 miles, this route will give you the very best views of the entire area, while letting you get in a long run with minimal gain. The land and the views, combined with the ever-present feeling of the history of humanity on your shoulders brings an awareness of yourself and your impact on the environment to the forefront of your brain.

Running in the Volcanic Tableland is what many feel it would be like to run on alien terrain. With each step, the possibility of discovering a 7,000 year old petroglyph on a rock in this stark region. As scrub brush and rock ledges give way to gorgeous panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, wonder, geology and beauty extend out in all directions. Spending the entire day running out here also means you get to stay the night, where stargazing is incredible.

Who is Going to Love It

The roads and bike tracks at Volcanic Tableland will work for all levels of trail runners, but the main trail in the area is for those looking for an ultra distance. While the loop is the best running route, there are smaller excursions you can go on if you need something easier, or you can just take off and literally run for the hills.

If you are a fan of creating your own adventure and keeping locations of incredible petroglyphs a secret, you will love the region. With seclusion, stunning views and the chance to stumble upon some unmarked petroglyphs left by the Paiute-Shoshone Indians that lived here many generations ago, trail running here is just the beginning of discovering this incredible and historic landscape.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From the town of Bishop, head north on State Highway 6 until you reach 5 Bridges Road. Take a left here and drive for five miles until it turns into a dirt road. Soon, you will reach a BLM kiosk that will provide a detailed map and some useful route info on the Tablelands.

Look HERE for more trail running options in the Bishop Area.

Featured image provided by BLM

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17 hours ago

CHRA D9 High School Rodeo starts tomorrow! Gates open at 8:30am both days. Open to the public! ... See MoreSee Less

19 hours ago

"Just some cat tails in front of the mountains." Really??!! 😉
Thank you, @chriscargophoto for the beautiful shot.
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
... See MoreSee Less

Just some cat tails in front of the mountains. Really??!! 😉
Thank you, @chriscargophoto for the beautiful shot.
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard

Comment on Facebook

Gorgeous country!

Beautiful

Dang! That's a lot of "cats" running around 🤣

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2 days ago

The wind is currently HOWLING outside, so here is a little throwback (it is Thursday, afterall) to last summer when "Traveling Robert" met one of our Bishop Visitor staff and was inspired to come visit our Small Town with a Big Backyard. The video he made from that trip is AWESOME!! If you are missing Bishop and our local mountains, check it out on our video page:
www.bishopvisitor.com/gallery/
... See MoreSee Less

The wind is currently HOWLING outside, so here is a little throwback (it is Thursday, afterall) to last summer when Traveling Robert met one of our Bishop Visitor staff and was inspired to come visit our Small Town with a Big Backyard. The video he made from that trip is AWESOME!! If you are missing Bishop and our local mountains, check it out on our video page: 
https://www.bishopvisitor.com/gallery/

Comment on Facebook

Beautiful content of a beautiful place. I have frequented Bishop and the Eastern Sierra for 30 plus years, as I have fly-fished through out the western states and experienced breath taking area's. Bishop and the surrounding area will always be my home waters for this trout bum. Many memories made with family and friends, some that have passed on, but always live on when standing in a stream bed that brings me comfort in the early morning sunrise, or the breath taking sunsets knowing we are United in our special place.

Fabulous video of a gorgeous place!

Very friendly place to visit

Next month 🤗🤗

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3 days ago

The lenticular clouds are always such a fantastic sight. And did you know that they indicate weather coming??
Beautiful shot @schobdog!!
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
... See MoreSee Less

The lenticular clouds are always such a fantastic sight. And did you know that they indicate weather coming??
Beautiful shot @schobdog!!
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard

Comment on Facebook

Awesome photo! Did not know it indicates weather coming. Meaning a storm?

Lovely shot!

Beautiful captured cirrus clouds...love this!

Beautiful picture. Love those clouds

Glider pilots drool over the sight of these clouds! See you guys starting in May! Lone Pine/Bishop here we come! By the way, we only fly the best....Schweitzer 126's!

There's alot of Different Formations of Clouds in the Sky. Beautiful n Unusual Patterns.

They always remind me of flaky biscuits! 😂

These are the most interesting clouds.

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4 days ago

It's Tuesday... is your head in the clouds dreaming about the weekend? Or your next trip to the Bishop?
Thanks for the cool shot ALapomardo
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
... See MoreSee Less

Its Tuesday... is your head in the clouds dreaming about the weekend? Or your next trip to the Bishop?
Thanks for the cool shot ALapomardo
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard

Comment on Facebook

What a beautiful shot. Thanks.

A wonderful place to visit .💕

Just spectacular!

My next trip to Bishop

DEFINITELY BISHOP! 😉☺😍😄

I can’t wait to come

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