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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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2 days ago

Dreamy... 'til the last star in the Milky Way.
#visitbishop
Video by Paul M Dillon of Life Of Symmetry
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Comment on Facebook

I miss my starry,starry nights⭐🌙

Beautiful just beautiful😎😊🙋‍♂️

Gorgeous 💕

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3 days ago

Packed and ready for an adventure. Yay for the weekend!!
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Photo by @lilifrommars
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Packed and ready for an adventure. Yay for the weekend!!
#visitbishop
Photo by @lilifrommars

 

Comment on Facebook

Terrific picture

Beautiful, where were you when you took this?

Daneen San Pedro

That’s a dog not a sheep. No horns

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3 days ago

Oooh, Christmas gift???
#visitbishopWheat Whiskey gets released tomorrow (Saturday, Sep.21)! We’re expecting to sell out between batch releases so swing by, say hello, and claim your bottle of this first release!🥃
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Oooh, Christmas gift???
#visitbishop

 

Comment on Facebook

Good stuff and great rum also Thank you Guy's

excellent label design! Is there a tasting room in the Bishop area?

Christmas is coming up Uncle Eric. Just sayin.... ;)

There’s always something good to do when your there

Mark J Christensen

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4 days ago

Love seeing kids out fishing in our backyard. What age did you first take your kids fishing?
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Photo by @fish_hunter_2007
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Love seeing kids out fishing in our backyard. What age did you first take your kids fishing?
#visitbishop
Photo by @fish_hunter_2007

 

Comment on Facebook

What a happy life!

Great fishing in that area

So beautiful

My kids were always around it when we were fishing, hunting, hiking and camping.

My kids went fishing since the day they were born.

We used to go to Green Creek. Just off the 395 South West of Bishop. We would drive our motor home and park it next to the creek. So much fun. So much trout. Oh, and beavers. So many fun memories. It's kinda a long drive on a wash board road. But worth every bump. Good hiking too.

Where is this. I would love to take my grandchildren. They have never been to a place like that.

I love bishop.. It’s beautiful and relaxing

Age two! Our daughter started cleaning her own fish at about age 9 with a filet knife. Our son would watch and they would inspect all the organs in the trout and identify them! She now teaches AP Science!!

My boys were 3 and 5 when we went fishing.

2 months! To Bishop!

What river is that it's beautiful

Be there in Oct 🍁🍂🍁

Can we camp here with rv?

Is that Hawbeggers?

Toddlers

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