Bishop is known as a popular Sierra Nevada mountain range resort community, home to the annual Bishop Mule Festival, which has been held every Memorial Day since 1969. It is also a popular spot for rock climbers around the world, offering several internationally-renowned volcanic tuff and granite climbing spots.
1.Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
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Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is a protected area of the White Mountains of Inyo National Forest that is home to a famous stand of bristlecone pine trees. The trees within the forest are home to some of the oldest trees on earth, including several that are over 4,000 years old, such as the famed "Methuselah" tree which has grown for at least 4,773 years. Many of the forest's trees have grown in twisted and colorful formations over the past several millennia, making for spectacular scenery. The trees grow at high elevations of over 10,00 miles above sea level and are accessible to visitors by via a series of self-guided trails. A visitor center is open during summer months at Schulman Grove, offering picnic tables, educational programming, and information about the region's trails and trees.
White Mountain Rd, Bishop, CA 93514
2.Laws Railroad Museum
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Laws Railroad Museum is a designated California historic site, featuring a restored turn-of-the-century pioneer village. The museum is set on 11 acres of land, offering over 40 historic buildings for visitors to explore, including the original Laws Railroad Depot. The depot is one of the city's most historic and symbolic sites, as the village was initially built in the late-19th century following the implementation of Southern Pacific Railroad service to the region. The site also features historic steam engines, along with a wide variety of artifacts of pioneer life, most of them donated by citizens. In addition to exploring the site, visitors are able to purchase tickets for a short train ride aboard several of the museum's historic engines.
Silver Canyon Rd, Bishop, CA 93514, Phone: 760-873-5950
3.Little Lakes Valley Trail
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Little Lakes Valley Trail runs for seven miles between Little Lakes Valley and Gem Lakes near the village of Bishop. The trail takes hikers past a series of scenic lakes formed by snow melt and glacier activity, along with stretches of wildflower groves and displays of abandoned historical mining equipment. The moderate trail also provides access to fishing spots on both lakes and is popular among day hikers and backpackers, with well-behaved dogs permitted on the trail on leashes. Visitors should note that the trail's high altitude, reaching heights of over 10,000 feet, makes the climb significantly more strenuous than its route would suggest. Additionally, visitors should be aware that Little Lakes Valley Trail is an active bear area, with proper food and trash storage required for bear and human safety.
4.Keough's Hot Springs
© Keough's Hot Springs
Keough's Hot Springs is the largest natural hot spring pool in the Eastern Sierra region, in use as a public hot springs facility since the pools were built in 1919. The site contains two pools that are cleaned out weekly and flow freely, containing over 27 minerals. A large nighttime pool is offered, reaching depths of 8.5 feet and temperatures of 92 degrees Fahrenheit, along with a smaller hot pool that reaches depths of two feet and temperatures of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Other amenities at the site include a rock garden, a snack bar with picnic areas, dressing rooms, and massage services. Water aerobics classes are offered at the site, along with overnight tent and RV hookups and luxury tent cabins.
800 Keough Hot Springs Rd, Bishop, CA 93514, Phone: 760-872-4670
5.Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center
© Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center
Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center is dedicated to the history, heritage, and culture of the indigenous people of the Owens Valley region, with a focus on the Paiute and Shoshone tribes. The museum, which was founded in 1973, is home to several living history displays and a vast collection of ancient indigenous artifacts and historic archives. A memorial hall honors indigenous veterans, and a garden walking trail showcases facts about plants with medicinal uses. Crafts by local indigenous artisans are available for purchase, along with a variety of tribal publications. Once a week, the center hosts a public community market with live music, vendors, food, children's activities, and artisans.
2300 West Line Street, Bishop, CA 93514, Phone: 760-873-8844
6.North Lake Campground
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North Lake Campground is located near the 13-acre North Lake, a popular spot for angler fishing in the Eastern Sierra region. The campground features 11 first-come, first-served tent camping spots, with well-shaded areas offered and picnic tables, vault toilets, fire rings, and bear-proof storage available for all campers. It serves as a trailhead for popular paths to nearby Lamarck and Piute Lakes. Visitors should note that water hookups and showers are not provided, and that RVs, campers, and motorized boats are prohibited at the campground and surrounding recreational facilities. All sites have a maximum stay time of seven days, with a maximum number of six people allowed per campsite.
N Lake Campground, California 93514, Phone: 760-873-2400
7.Bishop Pass Trail
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Bishop Pass Trail is a popular day hiking trail within the White Mountains that begins at the Large South Lake and extends to the Dusy Basin. A trailhead is offered at Lake Road, providing public restrooms, picnic tables, and bear-safe storage lockers for hiker. From there, the Bishop Pass Trail winds up and over a series of granite benches and passes several regional lakes, including Long, Ruwau, Saddlerock, and Bishop Lakes. For more experienced hikers, an option to extend the hike is offered at the loop around Chocolate Peak. A small campsite is provided for overnight hikers at the base of the pass, with permits for overnight stay available at the visitor centers of Inyo National Forest.
S Lake Rd, Bishop, CA 93514
8.Lake Sabrina Boat Landing
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Lake Sabrina Boat Landing is a marina and boat launch located within Lake Sabrina, a man-made reservoir that was created in 1907 by the damming of nearby Bishop Creek. The marina's public shop facility offers day-use and long-term boat rentals, including rentals of motor boats, pontoon boats, canoes, and row boats. Life jackets and launching services are included in all rentals, with fuel included for outboard motor rentals. In addition to the rental shop, the marina offers full fish cleaning facilities for daily catches and a tackle and bait shop. An onsite cafe serves full breakfast and lunch menus, with homemade pies and ice creams available for purchase. Wine, beer, and snacks are also sold at the marina for takeout.
State Route 168, Bishop, CA 93514, Phone: 760-873-7425
9.Rock Creek Pack Station
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Rock Creek Pack Station is a family-owned business that was originally opened in 1947 by Herb London. Today, the pack station is under the care of London's son, Craig, and operates a variety of horseback excursions and wilderness adventures throughout the region. A wide variety of daily trail rides are offered during the station's peak season, including two-hour excursions to Rock Creek Lake or Rock Creek Canyon. Half-day scenic rides are also offered, lasting approximately four hours, along with all-day combined fishing and scenic ride trips that depart at 7:30am and last six hours. Horses and saddles are provided for custom excursions, along with food, kitchen items, and camping equipment for longer trips.
9001 Rock Creek Rd, Bishop, CA 93514, Phone: 760-872-8331
10.Bishop Country Club
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Bishop Country Club is a picturesque country club and golf course that is located within Eastern California's White Mountains, offering an 18-hole golf course that was originally constructed in 1963. The club is a member facility with both the Professional Golfers' Association and the Northern California Golf Association, with experienced PGA professional instructors on site to aid with golfing technique. The course spans an area of 6,595 yards and is rated as a par 71 course, with all but two holes traversing waterways. Practice bunkers and a chipping area are offered, along with a fully-lit driving range. A pro shop is offered on site, along with a full-service restaurant and bar.
1200 US-395, Bishop, CA 93514, Phone: 760-873-5828
11.Great Basin Bakery
© Great Basin Bakery
Great Basin Bakery is a local community bakery that was originally opened in 2003 by biologists Brooke Yarnell and Robin Bolser. It is committed to the production of high-quality baked goods and to sustainable and community-oriented business practices prioritizing the environment and local Bishop citizens. A wide variety of artisan breads and bagels are sold, from traditional dinner rolls and sourdough breads to cleverly-flavored pizza, jalapeno, and chili cheese bagels. A full menu of light lunch fare is also served, including deli meat sandwiches and gourmet salads. Visitors can also pick up a variety of to-go pastries, including scones, cookies, muffins, and cinnamon rolls.
275 S Main St, Bishop, CA 93514, Phone: 760-873-9828
12.Erick Schat's Bakkery
© Erick Schat's Bakkery
Erick Schat's Bakkery is a European-style bakery that is known for its Original Sheepherder Bread, which is believed to have been produced continuously since 1907, though official records trace its trademark back to 1938. The bread is shaped by hand, based on the recipes of Basque sheepherders immigrating to the region following the California Gold Rush. All of the bakery's breads and baked goods are baked within fine European stone hearth ovens, with all ingredients made from scratch, including baker's yeast. The bakery is known for producing more than 10 times as much bread daily as there are residents in Bishop and serves as one of the region's top tourist attractions. Deep-fried olliebollen doughnuts are also available, along with a variety of sandwiches and light fare offerings served at the bakery's sandwich bar.
763 N Main St, Bishop, CA 93514, Phone: 760-873-7156
13.Mountain Rambler Brewery
© Mountain Rambler Brewery
Mountain Rambler Brewery is Bishop's only craft brewery, opened in 2014 by Joe Lane. The brewery serves a variety of their own craft beers on tap at their brewpub restaurant, including their Peaklet Porter, Sheeplet Coffee Porter, Black IPA, and signature red, brown, and pale ale styles. Guest beers are also tapped, with an emphasis on small local breweries not commonly available within the region. A full restaurant menu is served, using farm-to-table ingredients from local farmers and artisans whenever possible. Flatbread pizzas and locally-sourced beef burgers are offered, along with an extensive selection of vegetarian and gluten-free menu options, including tempeh reuben sandwiches and parmesan polenta tots.
186 S Main St, Bishop, CA 93514, Phone: 760-258-1348
14.The Bishop Burger Barn
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The Bishop Burger Barn is a pick-up window burger joint located within a mobile home park in Bishop that serves classic burgers crafted with locally-sourced, grass-fed Angus beef. The restaurant strives to cultivate a throwback retro vibe, offering classic American diner favorites at reasonable prices. Meals are ordered from a walk-up window, with a drive-through window also offered. Menu options include classic cheeseburgers, veggie burgers, and turkey burgers, along with a variety of American-style side dishes such as French fries and tater tots. The restaurant also makes its own milkshakes in a variety of flavor options. Outdoor seating is offered around a patio, weather-permitting.
2675 W Line St, Bishop, CA 93514, Phone: 760-920-6567
15.Mahogany Smoked Meats
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Mahogany Smoked Meats was originally opened in 1922 as part of the privately-owned Meadow Farms, which was known for its ham and bacon smoking practices using mahogany logs. Today, the company is nationally renowned for its unique signature mahogany-smoked ham, bacon, and other meats. It operates three public stores and restaurants in Bishop and nearby Tahoe and Huntington Beach. A variety of hot and cold deli sandwiches are served at all three locations, including classics such as California cubans, BLTs, and pastrami on rye. Small-batch beef jerky is also available for sale, produced according to old-fashioned curing methods and infused with a wide variety of flavors.
2345 N Sierra Hwy, Bishop, CA 93514, Phone: 760-873-5311
15 Best Things to Do in Bishop, California
- Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Photo: Courtesy of Samy St Clair - Fotolia.com
- Laws Railroad Museum, Photo: Courtesy of lizziemaher - Fotolia.com
- Little Lakes Valley Trail, Photo: Courtesy of Kushnirov Avraham - Fotolia.com
- Keough's Hot Springs, Photo: Keough's Hot Springs
- Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center, Photo: Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center
- North Lake Campground, Photo: Courtesy of Jacob Lund - Fotolia.com
- Bishop Pass Trail, Photo: Courtesy of Videowokart - Fotolia.com
- Lake Sabrina Boat Landing, Photo: Courtesy of Kushnirov Avraham - Fotolia.com
- Rock Creek Pack Station, Photo: Courtesy of johannmadec - Fotolia.com
- Bishop Country Club, Photo: Courtesy of antpkr - Fotolia.com
- Great Basin Bakery, Photo: Great Basin Bakery
- Erick Schat's Bakkery, Photo: Erick Schat's Bakkery
- Mountain Rambler Brewery, Photo: Mountain Rambler Brewery
- The Bishop Burger Barn, Photo: Courtesy of azurita - Fotolia.com
- Mahogany Smoked Meats, Photo: Courtesy of HandmadePictures - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Mary Lynn Strand - Fotolia.com