The Rock Creek Recreation area is about 30 minutes north of Bishop. This is a scenic area that is great for hiking. If you're planning to head to Mt. Whitney, its a good idea to spend some time, and even a night here. The rock creek road ends at Mosquito Flat and here begins the trail to Little Lakes Valley. At 10,000 feet, you'll have a chance to adjust to the thin air.
The Rock Creek Lodge has rooms available, but there are few and they fill up quickly. There is a campground here which is a more scenic and cost effective option to the pricey hotels in Bishop.
I'd planned to spend the night here, doing a daytime Whitney prep and exploring the area. But when T.S. Ernesto forced me to leave a day later, I had to bag this section of the trip. I made it back here in June, 2007 and saw what I'd missed. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who's heading to Whitney. Its a pretty area that's worth a stop and your lungs and head will thank you if you give yourself some time to adjust to the altitude.
Less than a half hours drive from Bishop, you'll find Little Lakes valley. At 10,000 feet, you'll probably feel a bit lightheaded. If the altitude doesn't get you, then the summertime mosquitos certainly will. Little Lakes Valley is the perfect place for a dayhike and a good place to acclimitize if you've got Whitney or another high peak in your sights.
For more information, feel free to browse my Mammoth Lakes page.
Just like most Indian Casinos you will find this casino in the middle of no where. Its toward the end of town and surprisingly it does get pretty busy there. They have slots, blackjack, poker, $1 megabucks and progressive machines.
they are open 24 hours a day and the Cafe is open from 6am-10pm.
Some of the best fishing in California can be found in and around the Owens Valley. The Owens River offers many types of fish with an abundance of trout (rainbow, brook and brown), and some big & small mouth bass. There are hundreds of places along the river that are easily accessible by a regular 2 wheeldrive car. Of course, there are as many more you can get to in a 4 wheel drive. There are also dozens of lakes within an hour or so from Bishop. Fishing on the lakes is only open from the beginning of April to the end of October - but the river is open year-round. It truly is a fisherman's paradise.
If you are fit and not prone to altitude sickness, take an afternoon out of your trip and walk up to Paiute Pass. Humphreys Basin is my favorite place in the Sierras. You pass lush sub alpine and critter filled alpine zones to get there.
You can walk to the pass from June (most years) to November (most years).
The trailhead is out of North Lake. Park near the packstation.
About 3 hours walk up and 2 hours down if you are a fit-ish hiker.
As you approach from the South end of town, an effigy of a red horse with white eyes greets you. It's kind of a weird juxtaposition, having just passed the huge sign with the names of all our local churches (of which there are heaps).
I love the evil red horse.
If you need some very very fancy and expensive Packer//Western gear or some feed for your livestock, stop in at the attached store.
Bishop is the self-described Mule Capital of the World (there appear to be many).
Mule Days, which includes the country's largest non-motorized parade, is held every Memorial Day Weekend.
Actually, Mule Days was started by the local packers who wanted to drum up more business with the vacationers from "down south" (LA) and the Bay Area.
Mules are lovely creatures AND smarter than horses.
A little over 6 miles from the Lake Sabrina trailhead, lies Hungry Packer Lake. The trail ends here beside this glorious alpine lake, mounatins surrounding. A crosscountry route does go on but the pass crossing is difficult and most will be happy to absorb the scenery from the lake here, 11100 feet high.
The trailheads for both North and South Lakes -on appropriately, the North and South Forks of Bishop Creek - are trailheads for major Sierran trails which go serve for going over the Sierran crest. Each of those trails sport several very pretty lakes. But for the best lakes in the area, go to the trailhead which begins at the end of CA 168 at Lake Sabrina. This trail goes up the watershed of the Middle Fork and unlike the other two trails, it deadends on the eastern side of the Sierran crest. From the roadend, 9080 feet, you come to the first lake after about 3 miles, Blue Lake, 10420 feet. The Thompson Ridge raise high on the SE edge of the lake. It has wonderful campsites and a sidetrail will take you to Donkey and Baboon Lakes, but the main trail goes right and in a couple more miles it reaches the heart of the lake basin - Dingleberry, Midnight, Topsy Turvy, Moonlight Lakes. Mt Darwin, Mt Haeckel and their fellows rise high above. Just ahead lies the lake with the great moniker of Drunken Sailor Lake - see the picture from the Bishop introduction.
This basin lies to the north of Piute Pass. It is above timberline and is a morass of rock with a mulitude of small little canyons in which to either lose yourself or get lost. Mt Humphreys towers on the eastern edge. Several lakes and tarns can be found throughout the basin with the largest being Desolation Lake.
Just before the end of CA route 168 out of Bishop, you will see a sign for North Lake. There is a campground at the end of the road and a trailhead. This trail heads over Piute Pass in about 5 miles going from 9369 feet to over 11400 feet. There are several lakes in the upper reaches of the canyon for fishermen. Backcountry enthusiasts will find Piute Pass to be a doorway to wide-open barren landscapes of Desolation Basin and the adventurous off-trail route looping back to the roadend via the Keyhole (or Alpine Col) - Darwin Canyon and the Lamarck Col.
Outdoor activities are what brings most people to the Bishop area - whether it is hiking in the Sierra - or Whites - or fishing in the Sierran lakes and streams.
Two main wilderness portals lie about 17 miles west of Bishop at the end of California route 168: North Lake and South Lake. From South Lake, starts the Bishop Pass trail, one of the busiest portals to some of the highest areas in the Sierra. From here, many like to start backpacking ventures to as far away as Mt Whitney, many miles a more than one week to the south. The hike up the pass covers about 5 miles, going from 9760 feet high to almost 11900 feet. You pass several gleaming lakes that invite you to stop. Atop the pass lies the barren Dusy Basin and the backside of the towering peaks of the Palisades.