Bishop Pass Trail is a 10 mile heavily 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.

Length10 miElevation gain2345 ftRoute typeOut & back
dog friendlyCampingFishingHikingHorseback ridingBird watchingForestLakeRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeBugsRocky
Description
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Getting There

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.

There is a big parking lot at the trail head, but remember this is a very popular place, so parking places may be limited. Check at the Ranger Station.

There are several ways to get there (trails), but only one way by car. You drive to Bishop, California on Hwy 395. Remember you need a permit so you will probably have to stop at Bishop Ranger Station (a.k.a. the White Mountain Vistor Center). You then take 168 west to the trailhead.

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Reviews (234)
Photos (708)
Recordings (206)
Completed (482)
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Alia Kaussar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 27, 2020
HikingGreat!RockySnow

There are 2 road closure signs - first one can drive past, the second one we parked at and walked 1.3ish miles to the trailhead. Epic trail, all but one lake was frozen. Snow and a little ice on the path. Leave more time than you think, we didn’t make it all the way to the top of Bishops pass and turned around at the base of the switchbacks. Can’t wait to do this trail again in warmer weather to see how it compares.

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Neil Dusuki
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 27, 2020
HikingGreat!Icy
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Will Iam
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Hiking
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Jennifer Kingery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking

It is longer than 10 miles. I’m guessing about 13-14 miles in and out but it was a good hike

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Ryan Howell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Mike Y
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 31, 2020
Backpacking

We have our backpack this upcoming weekend. How is the air quality from all the fires along the Bishop Pass Trail? We are planning to camp at Ruwau Lake for 2 nights. Thank you!

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Tiffany Marler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 31, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Incredible- worth every second. If you're backpacking though- right now there is road work on the road leading to the trailhead. There is no overnight parking at the trailhead and you'll have to park in a dirt parking lot about 2 miles away. If you're traveling with people I would drop off packs at the top with your buddies and have someone volunteer to park and *hopefully* hitch a ride with someone going up. We also had a pretty windy night the first night in Dusy Basin, so make sure to check that and find a site that isn't so exposed. Enjoy!

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Alexey Larionov
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2020
Hiking
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Michael Ferlauto
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Top 5. Great and awesome

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Mia White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!

Super beautiful hike. Lake after lake after lake. Nice little last push to the pass which was a bit challenging for us since we came up from LA yesterday. Head up the hill to the right of the pass to get a spectacular view of the lakes below. Didn’t need poles for this one and went through about 3 liters of water. Sunscreen and bug spray are necessary. Look for the herd of deer that got caught in an avalanche or rock slide on the switchbacks near the top.

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Mary Burt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking

Absolutely stunning hike.

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Jared Potter
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Hiking
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Laura D'Aiello
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Jared Potter
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Hiking
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Lexy K
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2020
Hiking

Great hike! The trail is well maintained and easy to follow, especially up the pass. Plenty of water and shade for the first part of the hike. We hiked it in mid August and it was warm but not miserable, afternoon thunderstorm kept us cool on the way out. The pass itself is a little underwhelming so we went down about 1.5 miles to the first lake in Dusy basin which was a perfect rest stop. On the way back we wanted a few more miles so we added the chocolate lakes loop. Total mileage was 17.5 and 3,800 ft gain.

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Jared Potter
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Hiking
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Anna Szymkowiak
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Hiking

Awesome !!!

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sean bobinski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 12, 2020
HikingGreat!

Fun day hike. Incredible views almost the entire route. Multiple creek crossing to refill waters. I think all trails begins the hike at a sign about a half mile in. My GPS says 11 miles and 2600 ft gain. Took us 4 hr 18 min including breaks and photo ops. Would highly recommend this for anyone trying to get a nice day hike in with substantial miles and elevation gain!

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Vera Urbanovich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
HikingNo shade

Amazing trail with all kinds of views. Becomes hard when climbing to the pass from the last lake on the trail, but so well worth the effort! Highly recommend. The trailhead parking was completely full around noon, so please arrive early. We were able to find a spot when some car was leaving. We saw several other cars leave shortly after, so I guess this could be an option, unreliable one. The trail is very popular. Also another point to start early :) Enjoy!

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Michael Martin
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Hiking
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Hannah Dublinski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
Hiking

Such a fun trail!! Once you get to the ‘end point’ that the trail gps takes you, go a little off route and hike up to the peak (it’s close). Hike to the rock that sort of looks like Pride Rock (from the Lion King). It’s SO worth it, extremely beautiful!! But where the path ‘ends’ is just at that sign and it’s underwhelming... you’d have to keep traveling down the trail to get anywhere and if you’re not prepared for a longer hike I wouldn’t keep going! Round trip is 12 miles.

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Gianna Huckaby
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Stopped at Bishop Lake right before the summit. Beautiful vista points from beginning to end. Incredible fishing! Bring plenty of bug spray! Great for overnight backpacking

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John Kang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
HikingOff trailRockyScrambleSnow

We visited Polemoniun Glacier via Bishop Pass, Thunderbolt Pass, Potluck Pass, a lot of boulder scrambling.

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