Hike up to Bishop's Pass

Bishop Pass Trail

This is truly one of the most scenic trails in the area for day hikers, backpackers, and those who like to fish. If you want to experience the beauty of the Eastern Sierras this is it.

To get to the hike drive twenty miles west from the town of Bishop, California up Hwy 168 to South Lake. There are two parking lots  but make sure to get there early because later in the day it's harder to get a spot. 

The trail starts from South Lake at an an elevation of 9,750 feet. Initially it drops down a few dozen feet paralleling the shore line, then it begins to slowly gain altitude as it enters the forested area. Your next landmark is the intersection with Treasure Lakes Trail, at 10,170 feet. Stay left and continue toward Bishop Pass. Your next landmark is the intersection with Marie Louise Lake trail at an elevation of 10,410ft, and shortly after the junction with Bull Lake Trail at 10,638 feet.

After about an hour or so you reach the next major lake along Bishop Pass Trail. This is Long Lake at 10,725 feet. The views of Mount Goode become breathtaking. The junction with Ruwau Lake is next, then you pass by Spearhead Lake that is almost connected to Long Lake. Your next stop is the drainage from Timberline Lake where you will have to hop on many rocks to cross the creek. This creek crossing is after you make a sudden turn to the right. As you hike toward your next objective, Saddlerock Lake, you will notice a pyramidal mountain which is to the right and up the valley. 

Continuing on the trail past Saddlerock Lake and reaching Bishop Lake. Past sometimes partially frozen Bishop Lake you get a perfect view of Mount Goode and Mount No Goode together.  This is a great area to spend the night if you are backpacking. Continuing toward Bishop Pass, at this point the trail switch backs up a very steep slope. Past this steep section it's a short steep climb to Bishop Pass to an elevation of 11,972 feet.  At the top you are treated to incredible views all directions with the string of lakes you hiked earlier to the north, Mount Agassiz to the east and Dusy Basin directly to the south, a popular backpacking destination. Have a great hike! 

Pack List

  • This is bear country so you are required to bring a bear canister if you are backpacking. 
  • Camera is a must
  • Plenty of sunscreen
  • Water
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Snacks
  • If you are spending a night you must get a permit that you can pick up at the White Mountain Ranger Station in Bishop. 
  • If you are fishing you must get a fishing license
Show More
RT Distance 12 Miles
Elevation Gain 2200 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Breathtaking

I loved this area. I did the JMT NOBO this past summer and came back south for 4 days & used Long Lake as my base camp. I hiked over the pass every day and was amazed each time. Would definitely recommend for families - there are camp sites all over.


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