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Bishop Pass Trail

HARD 145 reviews
#8 of 63 trails in

Bishop Pass Trail is a 10 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: 10.0 miles Elevation Gain: 2,345 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

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
rocky
12 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

Gusty wind overnight and 0.25inch snow Oct.29.2019.

hiking
20 days ago

This was an absolutely beautiful hike. We made it to the pass even though there was wind and sleet through the valley. We wanted to see the deer graveyard so we kept going and by the time we arrived there, the sun was coming out and we had a beautiful view from the pass. So so pretty! I would love to backpack this.

hiking
27 days ago

Awesome trail. Loved it! I logged in 12.4 miles . I did an accidental detour however all Trails ping me and got me back on track. I didn’t know all trails did that that was awesome. It’s a beautiful trail. The switchbacks are fun going to the peak. you have to traverse through a snowbank but it’s all very doable.

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
snow
28 days ago

1 month ago

Ashlynn and Bryce camp at Bishop Lake

hiking
1 month ago

Camping at least one night at 8,000' (four jeffry/other) help acclimate me for the push to the summit. Plenty of water if you take a filter.

hiking
1 month ago

Made it to Long Lake & back. Lots of rock steps along the way. Shade was ample. Long Lake is gorgeous.

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

One of my favorites! Labor Day weekend still had plenty of snow on the top half of the trail. Relatively easy considering the altitude. Trail is well maintained and marked. Not very crowded at all, but saw quite a few dogs off leash. Water crossings were easy and there is plenty of parking at the trailhead. I was really surprised at the amount of beautiful wildflowers in bloom at all altitudes. 10 miles out and back and 12,000 at the pass, so I was pretty well beat at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a gorgeous trail — nonstop stunners... but next time I’ll stop at Saddlerock Lake or Bishop Lake — right before starting the push to the summit. The last mile was a slog without enough reward (unless you’re camping in Dusy basin.)

hiking
1 month ago

What a wowser of a hike. This is my 3rd time up and every time I am just awed by the beauty. We first tried to do a route of all 3 Chocolate Lakes, but too much route finding skills required and tough footing to make it beyond the first lake. Then hiked onward to Saddlerock Lake and found a most wonderful picnic spot just at its outlet. Still REALLY need mosquito repellent! One of the premier hikes of the eastern Sierras.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked the round trip from South Lake to Bishop Pass on 8/7/19. I have done Bishop Pass as a training hike and to introduce others to the beauty of the Sierras several times, and never get tired of the views. It is a beautiful trail that climbs along a series of lakes on the approach to the final climb up the switchbacks. It has been a wet year and the mosquitos were viscous on the way up, but the late morning breeze held them down on the return trip. There is snow across the trail in a few places, but the crossings were simple.

Absolutely beautiful! The descent into Le Conde Canyon was tough. If you at planning on hiking from South Lake to Le Conde, it makes for a more enjoyable hike to do it in a couple of days. We did it in one shot on the way in and it was rough. On the way out we broke it into 2 days and had more fun. On the pass there was almost no snow.

hiking
bugs
muddy
no shade
2 months ago

What a great hike / view / spot! We tried this hike earlier in the season but ran into more snow than we wanted for the day. Just a few weeks later (late July, 2019), that's almost all gone with just a few mellow snow patches and some lignering spots on the switchbacks which you can narrowly walk around. The heavy winter does however mean high water and there are a few crossings to rock hop across or boot off wade through (if you don't see a straight forward route, you're not on the trail.) The only notable sun left is at the pass its self where it's sun cupped and annoying but flat so a non-issue. Spikes were not needed, bug spray, waterproof boots and lots of sunscreen was. Beyond the conditions, it's a great trail and amazing areas with incredible views all day long. The elevation gain is not significant for the distance but does stack up at the end on switchbacks which, combined with the altitude, can slow you down. Plenty of water, snacks, and a few key breaks make for a great day out.

hiking
bugs
snow
2 months ago

This was an incredible hike! Lots of everything—shade, sun, stream crossing, mud, rock scramble, snow, lakes, rivers and bugs...lots and lots of them! Bring the bug spray and even then, I had to resort to the mosquito hood. Some heavier snow in some parts had me pulling out my crampons but an easy traverse. I turned back after 4 miles due to time constraints but lots of folks coming down said the pass is accessible. Not too crowded for a Saturday. Do yourself a favor and take this hike!

hiking
3 months ago

Gorgeous but treacherous on the pass right now with all the melting snow. We camped past Bishop Lake to hit the pass early which helped. Snow cups and postholing made for slow going even with an early start. Ice ax not much help as it’s melting fast. We’re already making plans to return later this year and explore Dusy Basin but would not attempt again in current conditions.

backpacking
snow
3 months ago

One of the most beautiful trails I have backpacked. It was just so amazing. The trail starts off without any snow and as you go higher and above 9500ft you will hit a lot of snow. Carry crampons and ice axe. It was a huge savier for us. Just makes it so much easier to walk on ice. We camped at bishop lake the first day. On day 2, wecarried day packs and started early in the morning for bishop pass. The ice was still hard and made it easy to climb the steep slope as the trail was covered with snow in many areas. While coming down we had to scramble through some rocks but it was all good. There are plenty of sources to refill water. Carry a water purifier and you should good. The trail is safe and fun.

hiking
3 months ago

backpacker into Dusy Basin last year about this time. Great scenery the further you go. Anyone been up there this year? 2019

10 months ago

Great hike up. Was disappointed that there was not a good view into the next basin. The last steep part was the most lovingly cared for trail I have seen in years.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Wonderful day hike! You get a real mixed bag of views. The lakes and peaks are amazing! The trail is in great shape. It is getting cold (26 at 7:30am) and there is a small amount of ice on the upper switch backs but very doable. And hitting the pass is well worth the work!!

Friday, October 05, 2018

heading this Friday. and it's going to be our second trip. got to love bishop pass.

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