Just 40 minutes north of Bishop on Hwy 395, about 2 miles south of Mammoth Lakes is Convict Lake Rd. turnoff, to the left of Mammoth Airport. Going west up this road you feel as if nothing is here, until you drop back down into the valley and see the Convict Lake Resort and the lake and mountain further on. You just might stop right when you first see the lake because this oasis of blue with the soaring mountains seems like a beautiful mirage. It is a great place to just relax and enjoy the scenery.
Fishing for rainbow trout is the game and the shores or boat rentals on the lake is how to fish. The view alone is worth a visit. Pictures say more than a thousand words and I trust my picture captured the awe and beauty of Convict Lake. Camping is allowed and there is the resort. The Convict Lake Resort has a restaurant and cabins and the story of the naming of Convict Lake is told like no other than the one told by the Resort website on their history tab. So, I'll save my comments on the story surrounding the Lake and leave it to the Convict Lake Resort to relive that fateful time in 1871 when Mount Diablo Lake changed to Convict Lake. Make sure you read the fascinating story told by the resort.
Just 4 1/2 miles N.E. of Bishop, California on Hwy 6 sits a rebuilt railroad museum and historical site. All kinds of shops and buildings of the turn of the century, from 1880's to 1920's, a little bit of the old west is here in LAWS (Bishop).
Open all year from 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M., it is a museum town for all ages with a 1909 Narrow Gauge Engine and Freight Cars as a highlight. Over 20 some buildings with indoor and outdoor exhibits. If you have children, this is a fun way to show them how it was in the old days.
At the northern end of the White Mountain range lies the highest mountain in the state of Nevada, Boundary Peak. It is so-named since it is right on the border with California. People looking to climb the highest peaks in different states come here to wander up its slopes, most coming from the east. The peak is not difficult - the hardest part is finding the correct approaach road and then driving up it without incident:+0 While atop Boundary Peak, Mt Montgomery looms nearby, slightly higher - in California.
Going north out of Bishop on US 6, you will rise 3000 feet to the 7167 foot high Montgomery Pass. Mt Montgomery and Boundary Peaks rise high above the desert landscape. After the pass, turn right onto Nevada 264 and head south for Fish Lake Valley. It is off from this road that a dirt track goes off to the west for those who wish to visit Boundary Peak closer. This is high desert country - barrren and dessicated. Which is why the irrigated fields found further south near the little settlement of Dyer look somewhat incongruous and slightly surprising. You can continue back over the White Mountains using California routes 266 and 168 going over Westgard Pass - off of which the Forest Service road climbs to the bristlecone pine groves, lying high in the central sections of the White Mountains.
Bodie is one of the well preserved ghost towns of the west. It is in Mono county, 120 km south to Lake Tahoe, at an elevation of 2,550 m (8,400 feet). To reach Bodie, you must drive a dusty 8 km (13 miles) long road, off of state highway 395. The fork to Bodie on Highway 395 is 20 miles north to Lee Vining and Mono Lake and 85 miles north to Bishop.
The town was abandoned around WWII and became Bodie State Historic Park in 1962. Since then, it is ruled by the California State Park System and kept “in a state of arrested decay”.
In Mono County, near Lee Vining, at an elevation of 2067 meters (6781 feet), Mono lake is a green oasis in the dry Great Basin which makes it a unique ecosystem. This gives it a great importance as a birds’ heaven. It is about 7.5 km x 7.5 km. It had been almost sipped off by Angelinians. It is now a recovering endangered ecosystem. For more, look at my Mono Lake page
It is 65 miles north to Bishop on Highway 395.
Located about 40 minutes to an hour south of Bishop, CA is Mt. Whitney. Known as the the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states, Mt. Whitney is on the east side of the Great Western Divide and stands at 14,491 feet (4417 meters).
Mt. Whitney is the most frequently climbed peak in the Sierra Nevada, so please contact the National Park Service or US Forest Service for information and permits.
Located just near the city of Lee Vining (and about an hours ride north of Bishop) is the awesome spectacle called Mono Lake. One of the oldest lakes in the western hemisphere (and 6381 feet above sea level), Mono Lake reflects the snow-capped Sierra Nevada in its blue waters. A large inland sea, the lake fills a natural basin (695 square miles in size) and together with nearby volcanoes, ghost towns and trout-filled streams, this area is a natural wonderland for the entire family