Bishop Pass Trail

HARD 36 reviews
#10 of 118 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.

DISTANCE
9.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2339 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

camping

fishing

fly fishing

hiking

horseback riding

forest

lake

river

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

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.

hiking
1 month 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.

2 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!

hiking
2 months ago

2 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.

2 months ago

Amazing

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

Only hiked to Long Lake, but the scenery was stunning

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 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!

hiking
4 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!

backpacking
5 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

hiking
5 months ago

backpacking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Sunday, November 20, 2016

hiking
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.

hiking
Friday, August 26, 2016

Beautiful hike! Strenuous but worth the hike!

hiking
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.

hiking
Sunday, July 03, 2016

backpacking
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.