Bishop Pass Trail

HARD 36 reviews
#11 of 123 trails in

Bishop Pass Trail is a 9.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bishop, California that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

9.6 miles
2339 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly





horseback riding





wild flowers




Bishop Pass Trail is one of the most popular routes in the Eastern Sierras that offers great views of beautiful alpine lakes and can be done as a day hike or backpacking trip, depending on the extent of your trip. Day hike options include the hike to Chocolate Lakes and Chocolate Peak or you can choose to turn around once you reach the summit of Bishop Pass. The trail starts at South Lake trailhead and climbs to the valley between the Inconsolable Range and Hurd Peak. As you gain altitude the scenery just gets better. At about 3 miles you will arrive at Long Lake and you can see the pass with its numerous switchbacks. You will climb a series of granite benches, with many lakes and ponds. The highest lakes are are found at the foot of Mt.Thompson and Mt.Goode. It is extremely rocky in this area, but the footing is not bad. Once you reach the summit (11,972 feet), you are rewarded with views of the vast and beautiful basin below. You now have the option to continue on and cross the pass to descend into Dusy Basin and LeConte Canyon where the trail eventually meets the John Muir Trail. If you are backpacking, you want to spend several days in the basin, as there may trails and lakes to explore. The two things you must be aware of are bears and cold weather. You are required to use the bear boxes that are provided. It gets cold at night. In the spring and early fall the temperature will go below freezing. Expect some snow on the trail in the spring and early summer and lightening storms in the summer and early fall. Make sure you check the weather reports before heading out. Since this a very popular place, make sure to secure your wilderness permit and overnight parking permit early or you may be out of luck. Once you get out of your car and throw on your daypack or backpack you are in for an incredible adventure.

3 months ago

Gorgeous trail. Well maintained. Views are spectacular. Hike is quite challenging, primarily because of the altitude, especially toward the peak of the pass... about 1 mile with 1000 foot elevation change up to about 12,000 feet. We went at the end of October and there was a little snow at the pass but overall the weather was gorgeous and the trail was easily passable.

4 months ago

Did a day hike past bishop pass into the lakes beyond. The trail is very well maintained and very moderately graded. Views after the pass are spectacular. We went in October and caught the aspens turning color!

4 months ago

Beautiful trail. When you reach the top of the pass you can continue to dusy basin. Absolutely worth the view. Dusy basin is only about a quarter mile and 100 feet downhill. You will see the trail split into left and right, head to the right for panoramic view.

4 months ago


5 months ago

Only hiked to Long Lake, but the scenery was stunning

6 months ago

Beautiful hike, even on a dark day. I wouldn't rate it as hard since the elevation gain isn't too bad. It's just the altitude (11,972ft) that gets you if you haven't acclimated yourself, so bring ibuprofen. Plan for about 10 miles roundtrip, roughly 5.5-7.5 hours, a few good stream crossings, & manageable snow on the trail. Have a great time! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on IG. Cheers!

6 months ago

Day Hiked on 7/28/17

A couple patches of snowfield remained but no need for crampons/microspikes. Also the stream crossings can be avoided if you look for land crossing. A little warm in mid afternoon on the way back but great scenary, lots of water source. No permit needed for day hike and great view of the Sierras!

7 months ago

Hiked on 6/26/17

three day backpacking trip. This was the year of 2017 where we had so much snow that we didn't know what to do with it.

The trail was almost impassable at the switchbacks before long lake, unless you have microspikes at the least... and should probably have crampons and trekking poles.

In some places the trail was completely swallowed by melted snow and would require crossing water and streams. with crampons, we easily navigated around the edges of these to snow bridges.

We camped at chocolate lakes and it was totally awesome the first night.
the second night we camped right before bishop lakes.

We summited bishop pass mid afternoon. The snow was very soft, but not post holing.
The mornings were crisp and the snow was a hard good consistency for climbing with crampons.

Any questions, feel free to find me on instagram. @_ratzz

Saturday, August 27, 2016

South lake to bishop lake; great day hike. 10-11 miles out and back. Much of it strenuous. All of it amazing. Start early morning so the hard part of the hike is in cool weather. We started at 930 and we're back to car by 230 with a 1/2 hour stop for lunch at bishop lake.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Beautiful hike! Strenuous but worth the hike!

Friday, July 08, 2016

It was spectacular but bring lots of repellant. For a newbie it might be achallenge but worth it. There are several lake to choose from. My favorite is Long lake. Fishing good too.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

I hiked this trail over the pass to get to La conte canyon to meet up with friends doing the JMT. Just amazing !!!!! It was around 16 miles from the trail head to meet with the JMT but worth every mile.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Hiked the Bishop Pass Trail the weekend of October 23-25 of 2015, the temps were cool, the sky was clear during the day with high clouds at night, very few visible stars. No problem getting a permit and there were very little people on the trail and even less camping over night. There was a little snow all the way up to and at the pass, about 6 inches although spotty. It was a 5 star weekend.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Beautiful hike. Spent a week going from lake to lake fishing and soaking it in.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

That was a master trail I must say. as we walk through a canyon at 10000ft viewing 14k giants amazing is the feeling. I had difficulty breathing once crossing the 11k feet. It took me 9 hours to complete the hike. I heard cardiovascular and leg strengthening might significantly allow lesser times.

nature trips
Friday, June 06, 2014

Backpacking for a week from lake to lake. This is where I learned how to gut and clean fish!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

6 day backpacking hike to Florence lake Bishop pass is a awsome hike with amazing views a hike I will definitely do this hike agian.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Definitely a must-hike trail. We were spending five days backpacking in Dusy Basin and so were going pretty slow with packs on. But plenty of dayhikers making good time up to the pass and back.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Absolutely amazing scenery! Weather is unseasonably warm which led to very comfortable temps even while standing next to snow at the top. Only dropped down to 40's at night. Gradual uphill climb all the way from south lake trailhead. Not too difficult but a workout for sure. The last 1/2 mile before the pass is a set of switchbacks up a talus slope. Trail is clearly marked and only had to scramble a short distance where the snow was too deep to pass. Perfect time of year to get up there and do it.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Great hike in the fall! Completed this hike over to Dusy Basin on the other side with some work colleagues. Tremendous views at the top!

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