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.
This is one of the most popular places in the Eastern Sierras, so get you 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. As you gain altitude the scenery just gets better. I once was on the trail and asked an old man, who had hiked the Eastern Sierras for years, where his favorite place was. His reply was anywhere I happen to be. He was right. Go on Google and look for the images of Bishop Pass; they tell the story. In the beginning this is not a hard hike. I would rate it moderate for about 3 miles. You pass some of the most beautiful lakes you can imagine, which have some very large fish in them. About half the people I have seen on the trail are fishing. At about 3 miles (this is a guess) you come to a lake and you can see the pass with its numerous switchbacks. From here you put your head down and climb about a mile to the summit. It is extremely rocky in this area, but the footing is not bad. You can expect some snow on the trail in the spring and lightening storms in the summer and early fall. Make sure you check the weather reports. Once you reach the summit (11,972 feet) the fun has just started; the views are stunning. You now cross the pass and descend into Dusi Basin. If you are day hiking this is the area where you probably need to turn around, unless you started very early. If possible you want to spend several days in the basin because it is so vast and so beautiful. You can spend hours just hiking off trail with no possibility of getting lost. There are so many lakes in this area that you cannot count them. It is a photographers paradise. The two things you must be aware of are bears and cold weather. You are required to bring a bear canister to keep your food away from the bears. Unfortunately, the few trees are not high enough to hang your food. Finally, it gets cold at night. The first time I came down I thought that since it was in Southern California it would be warmer; not so. Be prepared for cold nights. In the spring and early fall the temperature will go below freezing. I was there in October and the temperature at night was near 0 degree Fahrenheit; everything froze. But those are things you can prepare for and should not be a problem. There are many trials in this area (from Bishop to Lone Pine) that are 4 to 5 stars. This is a 5 star, which varies from moderate to a somewhat strenuous.
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.
Beautiful hike! Strenuous but worth the hike!
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.
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.
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.
Beautiful hike. Spent a week going from lake to lake fishing and soaking it in.
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.
Backpacking for a week from lake to lake. This is where I learned how to gut and clean fish!
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.
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.
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.
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!
What a beautiful route from South Lake all the way to Bishop Pass. Climbing up the pass itself is quite a challenge, especially with a full pack. The last section of the climb is basically stairs assembled out of the rock, so lots of elevation gain. The views and lakes along the way are breathtaking. The view of Mt. Agaziz is awesome. On the way back we heard a pack of wild coyotes howling at us.