Bishop and highway 168 west into Bishop Creek Canyon
What? : Bishop is the
largest town in the central east Sierra highway 395 corridor. The town is sounded
by beautiful Sierra mountains, narrow valleys and alpine lakes from the west side
and the dray arid mountains to the east.
Where? : The town of
Bishop is located at the Owens Valley on highway 395, 172 miles north of Mojave
CA and 205 miles south of Reno NV. Highway 168 will take you 20 miles west into
the Sierra mountains valleys.
When? : Year round
town, excellent place to visit at spring and summer, autumn time may be the
best when all aspen trees changing color to yellow and red. Winter introduce
access challenge to the high sierra sections where road and trails are covered
Due note: This is one of
the best places in California to see the Aspen trees fall colors, the season is
short and exact peak color time is different every year, if you are 2-3 weeks
late than you can miss the season.
My thoughts: I must admit I
did not visit Bishop town but always went straight to the Sierra mountain west
of town, taking hwy 168 east into the mountains. Many beautiful, picturesque mountain
and alpine lakes, hiking opportunities up into the mountain’s and one of the
best California location for late autumn aspen trees red and yellow colors
the alpine Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west and the arid White Mountains to
the east, Bishop is the largest town in the Owens Valley.
At 4,150 ft
(1,260 m) above sea level, at winter it has a much drier and warmer weather than
the nearby ski town of Mammoth lakes.
Nearby you can
go and do sightseeing, bouldering, hiking, mountain biking, off-road driving,
backpacking, birding, and fishing, among other outdoor adventures.
environment of Bishop changes quickly from the dry high desert, the wide-open
Owens Valley floor to an alpine wonderland of pine forest, rushing streams and
gorgeous deep-blue alpine lakes surrounded by the mountain peaks of the Eastern
You can spend a
short night stop at Bishop as part of your highway 395 Eastern Sierra road trip
or use this town as a basecamp for few days, exploring nearby attractions.
High in the
Sierra-Nevada not far from Bishop, California, hikers can embark on strenuous
day hikes or multi-day backpacking adventures. No matter which way you go, you
will be immersed in beautiful Southeastern California Sierra wilderness.
Bishop, Bishop Creek Canyon is a natural wonderland of nature. Mountains peeks,
lakes, streams, forests, and waterfalls, with a variety of campgrounds and recreational
opportunities. You can visit the lakes and admire the view from the viewing
points and hikers can embark on strenuous day hikes or multi-day backpacking
Highway 168 will
take you west from the town of Bishop into the mountains.
The Bishop canyon
area is super scenic to drive through, especially if you visit in the fall
where all the Aspen trees change their color into yellow/orange/red.
This road is
close at winter at Aspendell.
The drive along highway 168 into Bishop
There are many outdoor
camping options at this location, better to get a reservation, most has first
come first serve campsites.
How long the visit will take:
You should plan
for a few hours’ drive if you just want to explore the aria and enjoy the
viewing to a full day activity if you plan to hike.
Buttermilk glacial boulders:
On your hwy 168
drive, just before it starts to get into the high sierra valley turn right into
Buttermilk dirt road. The Buttermilk glacial erratic boulders look like giant
marbles, Buttermilk Road is a dirt road and a rough drive in a regular sedan, drive
slowly or come in a 4WD.
is very popular for bolder climbers.
The small Intake-II
lake is located just near the main road, it has a picturesque location, perfect
for photography or a short-stop.
North Lake is
located 9,350 feet above sea level. The steep, narrow, and winding dirt road leading
to this non develop lake. The road leading up the cliff starts just before arriving
to lake Sabrina campground near the end of the hwy 168 road. If you reach to
this point do not miss the short drive up to North lake.
When the road reaches
the lake level there is a small parking on your left just before arriving the
lake and there is another one at the end of the dirt road on the far side of
You can hike
around the remote slide of the lake, need to boulder-cross the river draining
This lake is
probably the best photo spot in the area, especially in the fall when all the Aspen
trees leaves, mainly on the west slide of the lake, are turning yellow and
hours where the sun highlight the mountain to the west and windless day create
a perfect picturesque colorful mirror view.
19 miles from Bishop at the end of highway 168 west. Lake Sabrina is created by
the damming of the middle fork of Bishop Creek, and you can stroll the walkway
along the edge of the lake.
Boat Landing features a magnificent view along with boat & pontoon rentals,
a café that offer both food and drinks.
at Lake Sabrina is a start point for a day hike or multi-day backpacking adventures.
The Blue lake Trail is about 6 miles round trip and rated strenuous where it will
lead you up into the alpine lakes area nested deep in the sierra mountains.
scenic lake, South Lake (9,868 f) is a popular angling destination. The lake is
located at the end of the 7 miles road that is forking left from main 168
highway (around 15 miles out of Bishop).
South fork scenic
road climbing in the valley near the running river, the road itself is prime
location for colorful fall pictures where all the Aspen trees change their
color into yellow/orange/red.
Depending on the
water levels in the reservoir and the season, boat rentals, including tandem
kayaks, motorboats, and pontoon boats are available.
Inyo National Forest:
area extending 165 miles along the California/Nevada border and includes 1.9
million acres of lakes, meadows, winding streams, and rugged Sierra mountain peaks.
1919 and the same pools are still used today by locals and visitors. This is
the largest natural hot springs pool in the Eastern Sierra. It offer a large
hot pool as well as a intimate hot soaking pool.
drive 7.4 miles South on US-395. Turn Right on Keough Hot Springs Road.
Continue straight for .6 miles.