Bishop Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by Yaqui
  • Things to Do
    by Yaqui
  • Things to Do
    by Yaqui

Best Rated Things to Do in Bishop

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    Pine Creek Mine Marker

    by Yaqui Updated Sep 28, 2009

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    West of this spot, gold was discovered in the Pine Creek drainage by Civil War veterans. It was not until April, 1916, when tungsten was discovered by four men: O.E. Vaughn, A.E. & C.C. Beauregard, and James Sproul on their claims, Blizzard 1, 2, 3 and 4, high on the mountain. Years of development and production went by and the mine was acquired by U.S. Vanadium, a division of Union Carbide Corp., on May 14, 1936. After more development, this mine became the world's largest tungsten mine and is now known as the "Mine in the Sky".

    Dedicated June 27, 1987
    E Clampus Vitus
    Slim Princess No. 395

    Marker is on Highway 395 next to a wonderful vista point pullout.

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    Kittie Lee Inn 1924 Mural

    by Yaqui Updated Jan 18, 2015

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    This wonderful mural is painted on the side of Whiskey Creek Restaurant, which was the original site of a popular inn that many Hollywood stars frequented. Painted by Robert Thomas, John Knowlton and Rich Perkins.

    The Kittie Lee Inn was built in 1924 and was considered to be the height of luxury. During Hollywood’s heyday of filming movies in the High Sierra, almost all of the great stars stayed here at one time or another. Will Rogers, Randolph Scott, Hop-a-long Cassidy, Cary Grant, John Wayne, Bing Crosby, Curly Fletcher and Pat O’Brien are just a few of the names found in the old guest register. Many of the executives of the U.S. Vanadium Mine, a Tungsten Mine up Pine Creek, along with Wah Chang of the Blackrock Mine were also guests here.

    The Ohio Buckeye tree you see planted in the deck of the front door of the gift shop at the Whiskey Creek Restaurant was brought here in 1924 from Ohio and still bears buckeyes every fall.

    During World War II, the Kittie Lee dining room was closed and used as a dormitory for U.S. military pilots training at the Bishop Airport. After the war, the dining room was remodeled and reopened as the Copper Kettle Coffee Shop, which was known far and wide for its excellent food and extensive Royal Doulton Toby Jug Collection. The Kittie Lee Inn was torn down in 1965 to make way for a new dinner house known as the Carriage Room. Its Bar, Charlie’s Room, remained in operation.

    In 1976, Sam and Shelly Walker purchased the business from Will Whorff, son of the original owner of the Kittie Lee, and changed the name to Whiskey Creek. In 1999, the Walkers sold the business to its new owner, Greg Alexander….and a new era began.

    The second half of the mural is dedicated to some local Bishop Mural Society members William Whorff, Mazle Whorff, and Sam Walker

    Please check with the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
    690 N. Main Street, Bishop , CA 93514

    Kittie Lee Inn 1924 Bishop Mural Society Members
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    The Ernest Kinney Teamster Family Mural

    by Yaqui Updated Jan 18, 2015

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    The mural depicting 1860 timber operations by the first settlers in Owens Valley, 1905 22 animal team hauling a generator to plant tree, packing mules at Champion Spark Plug Mine. Painting by Robert Thomas, John Knowlton, Kathy Sexton and Marilyn Hayden.

    The middle Panel:
    Power Plant and teaming mainly in 1904-1905
    This mural illustrates a twenty-two-animal team (horses and mules). Eighteen in front and four pushers in the back going up and over Sand Canyon to Power Plant #3 on Bishop Creek.

    A long-line team can stretch out 140 feet or more in front of the wagon. When going up hill and the land cresting, half of the team may be out of sight with a loss of pulling power; The same losses occur on sharp curves and switchbacks.
    The four pushers in back and the two large wheelers in front of the tongue largely controlled wagon and weight until the team again lined up. Some loads to the power plant had 32 animals in front and four pushers in back with a load of 32 tons on one wagon. The pushers here were invaluable with this load in heavy sand.

    They had tendency to raise the load as they pushed and were considered worth 10 animals in the front in this situation. These long line teams were controlled by one single line (like clothesline rope) by the muleskinner riding the near wheeler (left animal on the wagon tongue) with the line going to the front leader only. This line was called the jerk line. With one steady pull, the leader turns with the pull to the left. If the line is jerked two or three times the leader turns to the right. A four-foot-long stick called a “jockey bar” is attached to the near leader’s collar and suspended hanging from a bit of the other leader which pulls the animals head to the right or to the left as the near leader turns. Only the near leader is trained to respond to the line signal. The orange generator part that they are hauling is part of power plant machinery and weighs approximately 20 tons. It is till in use today!
    Spray Kinney was driving long-line teams at the age of twelve.

    Please check with the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
    690 N. Main Street, Bishop , CA 93514

    When I was trying to take pictures of the mural, and since it is located on a bank, I was in the process of capturing the middle mural when a young gentleman pulled up right into the spot I need to get a good shot. Bless his heart, he wanted to move his truck, I told him no it was fine, he said if I wanted to stand on his hood to get the shot I could...RLOL! That is hometown hospitality.

    Power Plant and Teaming 1904-05 Logging Mono Mills 1850-1910 Champion Spark Plug Mine
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    Bishop’s Pine Creek Mine Mural

    by Yaqui Updated Sep 18, 2009

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    This mural is dedicated to the Large Pine Creek Tungsten Mine and the Champion Sparkplug Mines. The Pine Creek mine is closed, but still exists. The gentleman in the circle image is a former miner who is now the caretake there and has worked at the mine for over 40 years. The Sparkplug mine once produced the raw material for ceramics used to make sparks plug insulators.

    Please check with the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
    690 N. Main Street, Bishop , CA 93514

    There is a wonderful memorial stone dedicated to:

    The Greatest Freedom Ever Known "America"
    Talmage Park
    In Memory Of
    Donald H. Talmage
    For Dedicated Service To The
    City Of Bishop
    Councilman 1982-1986 Mayor 1986

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    Dangerous Arrest - 1887 Mural

    by Yaqui Updated Jan 18, 2015

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    The mural "Old West" event from the Bishop's early years.

    The Shooting
    For the first time in many months the peace and calm of the town were disturbed by a succession of pistols shots last Saturday night. The shots were fired by Officer Plumley in arresting one Phillip Staiger for disorderly conduct and it was certainly a justifiable case.

    The Circumstances
    Staiger went into Springsteads Saloon, and being drunk became abusive. Officer Plumley was appealed to and put Staiger out. Staiger was quiet for awhile, but went away and hunted up a pistol. He afterwards commenced to threaten persons on the street, in fact, did draw his pistol on David Hall. Plumley went to hunt him up and found him in the Headquarters Saloon. He searched Staiger, but found no weapon. Staiger went out into the street and became abusive. Plumley started to arrest him. Staiger presented a gun, and told him to stop. Plumley then drew his pistol and fired a shot by way of a frightener. It didn’t work that way though. Plumley fired three more shots to scare his man, but this man refused to scare. Concluding that it was time to act decidedly, the next shot was fired to hit. The bullet just furrowed along his neck, not seriously injuring him. The officer at once closed in on Staiger and handcuffed him. The charge against the prisoner is for resisting an officer. Had his pistol worked satisfactory, Plumley could not have afforded to waste so much time. Staiger’s examination commenced Tuesday before Justice I.P. Yaney and it is not yet concluded. District Attorney Forbes is prosecuting and W.P. George is engaged in the defense.

    Painted by Kathy Sexton, Rich Perkins, Jenna Morgenstein, John Knowlton and Mary Gipson Knowlton.

    Picture 4 & 5 Dedicated to:
    Officer Richard E. Perkins Memorial
    1949 - 2001
    This mural was created by and dedicated to Officer Richard R. "Rich" Perkins
    who died in the "line of duty" on August 15, 2001
    He was loved by all.
    The Angel of Lizard Gulch
    by Joan Scott

    Please check with the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
    690 N. Main Street, Bishop , CA 93514

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    Historical Walking Tour~

    by Yaqui Updated Oct 13, 2013

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    Bishop has many wonderful historical buildings. To fully enjoy them check with the Chamber of Commerce to get a historical walking tour map. Many of the homes are private residence, so respect their privacy.

    Please check with the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
    690 N. Main Street, Bishop , CA 93514

    Historic Walking Tour Pamphlet

    McNally House 1903
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    Bishop Creek Recreational Area

    by Yaqui Updated Sep 18, 2009

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    Bishop Creek recreation area is a vast area where any nature lover can enjoy. There is a vast array of camping, RVing, hiking, biking, fishing, or just sitting a taking in the beauty.

    Please check with the individual parks because times or fees may have changed.

    CAMP GROUNDS

    Check with the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
    10 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday
    10 am to 4 pm Saturday and Sunday

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    Spring near Bishop

    by JLBG Updated Feb 13, 2009

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    Bishop and the plain around stand at an elevation of about 1,300 meters (4,200 feet). The landscape around Bishop is outstanding with on the east the high range of the Sierra Nevada. We had not enough time for any hiking as we were just on our way but hikes are a great many.

    Numerous peaks are within a short distance of Bishop, including Mount Humphreys, 4,263 meters (13,986 feet), White Mountain Peak, 4341 meters (14,242 feet), northeast. I feel that the tallest mountain on photo 1 might be Mount Humphreys. Photo 2 is a close up on the same peak.

    Actually, as stated by Bishopweb, Bishop is a center for “camping, hiking, hunting, climbing, fishing, backpacking, horseback riding, 4-wheel excursions, winter sports”. We will have to come back!

    Spring near Bishop Spring near Bishop
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    FIRST STOP...VISITORS CENTER

    by travelgourmet Updated Dec 21, 2010

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    Arriving in Bishop, California, the first stop should be the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center on Hwy 395. Sitting next to a creek, the A frame building houses all the information and maps you will need to get a full appreciation of this part of California's history and beauty. It is well worth the time spent before heading out and about Bishop.
    One of the friendly faces that greeted me inside the A frame, filled me with enthusiastic facts about the area. I left knowing I was going to enjoy my stay in the Bishop area with more to see than I imagined.

    Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau This room has the answers for Bishop
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    FALL COLOR IN BISHOP AREA

    by travelgourmet Updated Dec 21, 2010

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    Bishop has perhaps the most cottonwood and aspen trees I have ever seen. Late September to the end of October and these trees turn to gold.

    Entering Bishop on Hwy 395 during this time frame and the leaves are gold. Gold in town, for the shops get the tourists and the tourist dollar. The gold of the trees brings in tourists with every type, size, and shape of camera to record for all time these autumn leaves of gold.

    Take Hwy 168 from Hwy 395 to Lake Sabrina in September to early October for the yellowing of trees.

    Closer in, off the Bishop Creek and side roads off West Line Street till the end of October and reds and yellows are still in sight. Hwy 395 , north of Bishop, to Convict Lake, before Mammoth Lakes, and north of Mammoth on Hwy 395 to the June Lake Loop Road past Grant Lake has some brilliant displays of Aspen in all colors till late October, as well.

    So see you in September, Bishop, when the falling leaves of gold are still on the limb.

    Brilliant Yellow Green, Red, Gold, Yellow Leaves of Fall Fall is in the air Fishing season is almost over at Grant Lake THE HILLS COME ALIVE
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    Mule Capital of the World !

    by JLBG Written Feb 10, 2009

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    Bishop may be the Mule Capital of the World but we were not fortunate enough to spot any of them when driving road 395! On several occasions, cows looked at us in an unwelcoming way! Obviously, they knew that was THEIR home and that no intruder should disturb them from grazing the tufts of grayish shrubs.

    Cows grazing the Sagebrush steppe Cows grazing the Sagebrush steppe
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    Sagebrush steppe

    by JLBG Updated Feb 13, 2009

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    Sagebrush steppe (photo 3) covers large areas of the western periphery of the Great basin and provides it’s special aspects. The main plant in Sagebrush steppe is Artemisia tridentata, also called sagebrush, common sagebrush, big sagebrush, blue sagebrush or mountain sagebrush. Sagebrush has a strong pungent fragrance, not unpleasant. Photo 1 and 2 show a Sage brush. Sagebrush provides an important habitat for the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). We were lucky to view one Sage-Grouse from a few meters but it flew away before I was able to take a photo.

    Sagebrush Sagebrush Sagebrush steppe
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    Bishop Pass

    by mtncorg Updated May 6, 2003

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    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.

    Bishop Lake and Mt Goode, north of Bishop Pass
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    Piute Pass

    by mtncorg Written May 6, 2003

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    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.

    Piute Lake from Piute Pass, 11400 feet
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    Desolation Basin

    by mtncorg Written May 6, 2003

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    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.

    Desolation Lake
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Bishop Things to Do

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