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Bishop Visitor's Center

Bishop City Park. Photo: Tucheh Stone

“We believe the freedom and exhilaration of outdoor challenges changes lives. No one should be left behind simply because of a disability!” — Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra.

A Paradise

The Eastern Sierra is known as an outdoor paradise.

Anglers come to fish the crystal clear streams and beautiful lakes. Hikers walk the awe-inspiring trails of the magnificent mountain ranges and foothills of the region. Cyclists ride the rugged mountain bike trails and the quiet roads of the hills and valleys. Climbers ascend sheer rock faces and surmount the giant boulders strewn across this landscape. Snow sports bring families together for wonderful winter fun and summer offers swimming, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding on the many bodies of water.

The Eastside is a place of limitless beauty. Sunsets and sunrises are spectacular and the night sky is a splendid sight to behold. The mountains are majestic and the oldest living organisms on the planet live here. The many museums and interpretive centers provide a window to the natural and human history that shaped the land as we see it today.

There is so much to see and do, and so many opportunities exist for persons with disabilities to participate fully in these activities. Through partnerships and programs by various agencies, municipalities and businesses there are paved trails, ramps, piers, and services that provide accessibility to folks who are confined to wheelchairs or require adaptive gear and / or assistance to get around.

Note: Many activities and services are only available or offered seasonally. Please make sure to check websites or call ahead to plan your trip and know what you might encounter during your visit to the Eastside.

Lakes & Fishing

Specially designed accessible piers for fishing are located at some lakes and ponds in the Owens Valley and Bishop Creek Canyon. Fishing is legal all year on the Owens River and the recently restored Buckley Ponds, that lie on the canals alongside the river, have access for the physically disabled to be at the water’s edge to fish or just enjoy the view.

Another such pier is built on the shores of Intake II, a small lake situated at just over 8,000’ above sea level, in the heart of Bishop Creek Canyon. This reservoir is regularly stocked with fish during the fishing season (last Saturday in April to November 15th) and is a favorite fishing area with easy access.

Convict Lake, situated 36 miles north of Bishop on US Highway 395, is highly regarded as a premier fishing destination in the Eastern Sierra. Fish planting at the lake is done weekly by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and supplemented by the owners of Convict Lake Resort during fishing season. A loop trail around the lake has a paved section along the eastern side of the lakeshore that provides magnificent views of the lake, towering mountains, and forests in this glacial valley. A wheelchair accessible fishing pier is built over the water on this lakeshore too. Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year for a stroll along this path to witness the changing colors of the leaves. Six of the cabins and houses at the resort, which is nestled in the groves of Aspen nearby, are handicap accessible.

In the magnificent alpine scenery 55 miles north of Bishop is June Lake. This sparkling clear lake is set in another of the ubiquitous horseshoe shaped valleys created by glacial action that defines the topography of this region. The rugged peaks rise dramatically from the shores of the lake and the changing colors of the seasons adds to the magic of the scene. A summertime swim or float adventure, atop a kayak or stand-up-paddleboard, is freeing and refreshing. The Dick Noles Accessible Pathway makes access to the lakeshore along the sandy beach possible by wheelchair. A number of generous donors and organizations in the area made the installation of this pathway in 2016 possible.

Trails & Parks

The Mammoth Lakes Trail System offers many miles of paved pathways through and around the town of Mammoth Lakes and adjacent parks and forests. The hub of the entire trail system, which comprises some 300 miles of trails that vary in surface type and usage, is the Town Loop. This 7.3 mile paved trail provides a family-friendly, wheelchair accessible tour of this lovely mountain town. It offers access to other outbound trails, many of which are also paved.

One such paved outbound trail is the 0.8-mile Shady Rest Path. It is one of the most popular paths in the system with connections to the Old Shady Rest and New Shady Rest campgrounds as well as the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center. It meanders gently downhill through a forest of red fir and Jeffrey pine to the ball fields, playground and picnic area at Shady Rest Town Park.

A longer and steeper paved trail of 5.3 miles is the Lakes Basin Path. It connects the North Village to Horseshoe Lake and one mile of the path is relatively flat as it runs alongside Lake Mary to terminate at Horseshoe Lake.

A steep, but short paved trail of 0.2-miles descends 100 feet down to the hot springs and boiling pools of the Hot Creek Geological Site. This is a fascinating natural feature where one can see geology in action. Boiling water bubbles up from the creek bed, fumaroles let off steam, and periodic geyser eruptions can create new hot springs overnight. The area is a stark reminder that a chamber of hot magma lies a mere three miles below the surface of the earth here. The main parking area on the rim of the canyon is accessed by road from US Highway 395 near the Mammoth Lakes airport. When visiting this site follow all signage and stay within fenced areas to avoid unstable ground. Swimming and bathing are not allowed and the area is closed from sunset to sunrise.

Bishop City Park comprises 44 acres of parkland where the city maintains a swimming pool (open from Memorial Day to Labor Day), baseball fields, tennis courts, a skate park and bike park, an off-leash dog park, picnic tables and picnic pavilion, a beautiful pond and over-water gazebo, children’s play structures, outdoor fitness center and bocce court. A paved path meanders under shade trees, alongside a burbling stream, around the pond and out onto the gazebo on the pond. See the fish swimming in the clear waters below and watch the ducks and colorful birds on and around the pond. The city park is the heart of Bishop with easy access on safe sidewalks to shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities – many of which have access for the handicapped.

Sight Seeing

Take a trip to what feels and looks like the top of the world. The Mammoth Mountain Panorama Gondola delivers panoramic views of the Sierra and White Mountains, Minarets, Mono Lake, Yosemite peaks and the town and valley below. At 11,053 ft. discover the history and wonder of the Sierra at the Eleven53 interpretive center with fun, interactive exhibits for all ages. Enjoy lunch with a view at the Eleven53 café. The gondola runs from 8:30am to 4pm daily – weather dependent.

High above Bishop in the White Mountains are the world’s oldest living non-clonal organisms, the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva). Growing between 9,800 and 11,000 feet in an all but inhospitable climate these trees live for thousands of years. A beautiful drive of about an hour (38 miles) on a paved, winding, mountain road takes you to the Schulman Grove Visitor Center. The interpretive center, open annually from approximately mid-May to November, weather permitting, has a large patio with picnic tables and boardwalks around the center from which many of the old trees can be seen. The center houses exhibits, video presentations, bookstore and gift shop. In the summer months rangers and staff give talks and lectures about these remarkable trees.

Museums & Visitor Centers

Throughout the Eastern Sierra from Lone Pine to Lee Vining there are numerous museums and visitor centers that present historic and culturally significant aspects of the region. Each is unique in its subject(s) of interest and a road trip along US Highway 395, with visits to each of these museums and centers could yield many, many hours of interesting and informative learning. All have suitable wheelchair access and many have accessible technologies for hearing- and vision-impaired guests.

Bishop is the heart of the Eastern Sierra. Within little more than a one-hour drive either north or south on US Highway 395, or up into the White Mountains to the east, or west up to lakes and trailheads of the Sierra Nevada there’s a lifetime of exploration and grand experiences to be had. Begin your journey of discovery at the Bishop Visitor Center at 690 N. Main St. in Bishop or call (760) 873-8405 to get current information on weather, road closures, and hours of operation for local attractions.

Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center – 2 miles south of Lone Pine at the junction of State Route 136

The Museum of Western Film History – Lone Pine

Manzanar National Historic Site – 10 miles north of Lone Pine

Eastern California Museum – Independence

Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery – 3.5 miles north of Independence

Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center – Bishop

Laws Railroad Museum & Historic Site – 6 miles north of Bishop on US Highway 6

Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center – 0.8 miles north of Lee Vining

Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra

This article began with the motto from (DSES) Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra. It is more than just a motto for the organization – it is a heartfelt belief that all who live and play here know that nature is restorative and regenerative and should be accessible to all.

DSES is a non-profit organization that has been in operation in Mammoth Lakes since 2003. In the 15 years that DSES has been serving the community in the greater Eastern Sierra it has grown from an adaptive ski program in winter into a year-round adaptive sporting organization. It now delivers over 3,000 annual adaptive therapeutic recreation lessons in a wide range of winter and summer activities. The sporting lineup includes skiing, snowboarding, rock-climbing, road cycling, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, horseback riding, hiking and camping.

A small paid staff of 10 persons manages the day-to-day operations of the program. Over 250 volunteers contribute 17,000 hours annually to conduct lessons and guide participants in sporting and outdoor activities. Volunteers are required to have intermediate to high-level skills and undergo a rigorous training program prior to coaching or assisting students of DSES. Many volunteers hold top-level certifications in a variety of outdoor sports.

In 2007 the organization began an ambitious project to build the National Wounded Warrior Center in Mammoth Lakes. While fundraising continues with the goal of breaking ground when the target of $17.9 million is reached, the organization has hosted a minimum of two annual Wounded Warrior events since 2007 and has already helped hundreds of veterans find healing and recovery.

Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra is a Paralympic Sports Club and chapter member of Disabled Sports USA. Visit or call the folks at DSES. It could change your life.

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4 hours ago

We appreciate our local businesses as they are working to #KeepBishopSafe. The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Inyo County continue to climb, so we ask you to please do your part to keep our community safe as well!! Thank you. ❤️ ... See MoreSee Less

We appreciate our local businesses as they are working to #KeepBishopSafe. The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Inyo County continue to climb, so we ask you to please do your part to keep our community safe as well!! Thank you. ❤️

Comment on Facebook We appreciate our ...

I'm going to keep telling you Bishop just how much I miss you. 💜💜💜😷🐈

Stay safe! I wan to visit this fall!

Where is the truck located?

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2 days ago

It’s official...WE LOVE THE FAIR, BUT WE LOVE YOU MORE.

Sad news to our friends and families and riders and destruction derby drivers: The Tri County Fair has officially been cancelled for 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic rages on..... Fortunately, it looks like we are planning a major comeback in 2021 and for many years to come.
... See MoreSee Less

It’s official...

Comment on Facebook WE LOVE THE FAIR, ...

Darn, I was thinking about going there for your fair since ours was cancelled here.😏

Ok, but it will be missed!

. Not in Bollings it is going on this week

Sad, but necessary..

This year sucks!!

It will be back bigger and better, than ever. Stay well. <3

It's the Dems again!

Do sorry,. next year.

What ! Ran out of jobs !

Me too.

A couple more months of stuff like this and there will be Prime real estate in Bishop selling cheap!

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5 days ago

Heading into the weekend dreaming of backcountry lakes... which is your favorite?
#DreamNowVisitLater #KeepBishopSafe
Thank you Instagram user @kimonlhi for this spectacular shot!!
... See MoreSee Less

Heading into the weekend dreaming of backcountry lakes... which is your favorite? 
#DreamNowVisitLater #KeepBishopSafe
Thank you Instagram user @kimonlhi for this spectacular shot!!

Comment on Facebook Heading into the ...

Would have guessed Split Mtn, but have only flown over these mountains twice.

Too many to choose, the higher and more remote the better

Saddle Bag Lake. ❤️

Blue lake! The best, at least I know of~!!!

I need a good-looking tour guide(male) to show me around on my next visit. 😉🐈😷

So beautiful. I miss being up there.

Mt. Aggasisz? I probably butchered that spelling.

Blue Lake

Blue lake❣

Sabrina

Dorothy Lake

Horton Lake

Dorothy and Mildred

Beautiful

I'm guessing the trail to Bishop Pass at Bishop Lakes. :)

Beautiful

Upper Lamarck

Beautiful

That’s beautiful.

Nice 👍

Ruwau Lake, Tyee Lakes, upper Lamark lake, Blue lake, & Little Lakes Valley.

Terra Rankin

Lake.

Any part of Bishop is fine, I JUST WANT TO BE THERE TO ENJOY THIS BEAUTIFUL PLACE! 😀❤️😄💙

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6 days ago

Our friends at Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association welcome everyone to stop by for in-person visitor service plus a great selection of area maps, books and more. They do a great job of helping our guests recreate responsibly!Thanks ESIA for providing helpful information and advice to visitors on responsible recreation in our region! ... See MoreSee Less

Our friends at Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association welcome everyone to stop by for in-person visitor service plus a great selection of area maps, books and more.  They do a great job of helping our guests recreate responsibly!

1 week ago

Community: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals (Oxford Dictionary)
We are grateful to our COMMUNITY locally and afar, for loving and supporting BISHOP and Inyo County. ❤️

Here is a little glimpse of how our community has pulled together over the past few months:
www.bishopvisitor.com/eastern-sierra-covid-stories/
... See MoreSee Less

Community: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals (Oxford Dictionary)
We are grateful to our COMMUNITY locally and afar, for loving and supporting BISHOP and Inyo County.  ❤️

Here is a little glimpse of how our community has pulled together over the past few months:
https://www.bishopvisitor.com/eastern-sierra-covid-stories/

Comment on Facebook Community: a feeling...

The community stories are wonderful

The big deal when I was growing up was going to the Tri-County Fair rodeo, taking in a movie, and having dinner...all over Labor Day. Then there were the trips from Mammoth to Bishop to go to the grocery store, topped off by a stop at Schatz for sandwiches and to buy bread. What a wonderful place!!!

Used to watch movies at this theater back in the early 70's. Great memories wonderful town. I visit just about every year and enjoy the old school vibe. My parents started AYSO soccer in Bishop. I used to bicycle down the street as a kid, drop a fishing line and pull out lots of trout.

No Bishop does not need a Walmart mart or another supposed better grocery store. We do not have the people to work them. Plus we have new buildings that weren't supposed to be built and a whole mess of empty buildings. We want to keep it a small town feel.

I was sorry to hear that the JC Penny store closed there. I used to work there when I lived in Cali. I had the most wonderful coworkers and the best boss ever!!! Bishop will live on in my heart forever.

Remember Jill Kenmont👍👍

Great little town Bishop is, leave it alone. My mom graduated from Bishop High school, we went to Bishop many years for Christmas with my Grandparents

I was born in Bishop and moved out around 1990. I've moved all over California since then, and no matter where I moved to I always wanted to go back. Some day... Maybe when my kids are all grown and out of the house I'll take my wife and dogs and move back...

Great town. can't wait to come visit when things calm down. Missed Mule days and our family reunion at the lodge but we will be back

Looking forward to visiting as soon and we can! We love Bishop!

Love Bishop! Just passed thru Monday on the way back from Yosemite!

Bishop is in one of the most beautiful settings on Earth. The eastern Sierra and the Owens Valley will persevere.

I love that Bishop is a smaller town. It part id it s charm for visitors. Needed some items last trip , found them in town and what friendly people !! And you should fit your town , not always for the town to fit you.

3 yrs ago we just started driving , landed in Bishop, stayed several days, just loved that trip, no fish but who cares .... 😍🎣🚗💨💨

best town in California

We believe in Bishop. Stay well. <3

Between 1934 and 1939, I spent some Saturday afternoons watching movies at the theatre in Bishop - think the Hollands owned it then - one of the Holland boys was in my elementary school grade. Best wishes to all.

Bishop is fine the way it is.

Please don't change! I love you the way you are!!

We would like to keep it that way, but there are a lot of people coming into the area now who are leaving their trash on the ground & putting graffiti on any available surface. Do that S... at home, not in our town.

You have no idea how badly I need to visit You Bishop.

Saw it has been 100 degrees up there.

Play my brother Danny scene Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at that theater years and years ago

Lived here in the early 80’s

Soon as possible.

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