Bishop Peak Trail from Patricia Drive

MODERATE 549 reviews

Bishop Peak Trail from Patricia Drive is a 3.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near San Luis Obispo, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,131 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

Bishop Peak, at 1559 feet, is the highest of the Nine Sisters (or Morros) in San Luis Obispo County. The peak is the centerpiece of the Bishop Peak Nature Reserve, and can be accessed from trailheads on either Patricia Drive or Highland Drive. From the trailhead on Patricia Drive, the trail starts as a wide dirt path climbing west uphill to a fenced gate, where you enter the Ferrini Open Space. At a curve in the road, turn left onto a narrow trail just after a short stretch of pavement. Staying on the paved road will lead uphill to a water tank, and the Felsman Loop Trail, which later re-intersects our route. Switchbacking through open oak woodland, the trail emerges into an open area near a seasonal cattle pond. Follow the main trail uphill to another cattle gate, where the signed Bishop Peak Trail branches left. The trail then goes through a shaded forest, passing a popular rock climbing area before emerging into open chaparral on the south side of Bishop Peak. A series of switchbacks lead up to the saddle between the west and east summits of the peak. At the saddle, a bench marks the end of the maintained trail. The east (and slightly lower) summit can be reached from here by a short scramble over sandstone boulders. On top, there are outstanding views of the entire San Luis Obispo area, including nearby Cerro San Luis Obispo to the east.

recorded Recording - Sep 14, 12:26 PM

hiking
no shade
2 hours ago

hiking
12 days ago

I hiked Bishops Peak in November 2018, and it was still warm-I was in a tank top. It’s not that difficult, with a great view from the top.

hiking
rocky
20 days ago

Great hike! It is not that long but you are hiking up a steep Rocky Mountain most of the way. The top is sketchy due to height wind speeds and big boulders, would recommend for experienced hikers. You can also boulder near the base of the hike lots of climbers!

running
rocky
20 days ago

As a trail runner, this is quite strenuous (steep) and the footing is tricky. It would be easy to get injured on the very rocky trail. I recommend slowing down to a hike, in which case you can totally do it. If you really want to *run* then either Cerro San Luis (locally "Madonna Mountain"), Irish Hills, or Reservoir Canyon have safer footing for high speed running.

hiking
21 days ago

A must-do hike in SLO. Best one of the summits in town (IMO). Some minor rock hopping at the top to get to view location. Be safe up there, people get hurt every year. Minor drawbacks: very popular, exposed to sun as it’s south-facing without shade on majority of uphill, poison oak.

hiking
27 days ago

Up hill grind is worth the view at summit. Recommend starting in the morning as mid-day sun can be hot. Southern exposure for most of the hike.

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful hiking all the way to the top.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

What a great hike and workout. It’s pretty much uphill the whole way with a lot of stepping of rocks. The views are amazing and once you get to the top I suggest climbing a little bit more to the peak for the best view. It is over some boulders but not horribly difficult to get up there! Bring lots of water and be aware that not much is shaded so it can get hot.

hiking
1 month ago

Lovely for sunrise and so much fun to climb the rocks at the top.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

This trail is lengthy but the view is truly worth it! I can't think of adjectives that do justice in portraying the beauty of the view you will be rewarded with when you make it to Bishop's Peak. If you have the courage to climb atop the gigantic boulders, you will discover the absolute most spectacular view of all! This is one of my absolute favorite hikes in the Golden State. I'd highly recommend! (:

hiking
1 month ago

Very little shade if you head all the way to the top. Also very busy on the Saturday morning we did it. If you make it all the way to the top be prepared for some amazing views of San Luis Obispo area and beyond.

Hot in July but a really great hike! Good views and some nice rock formations, decent tree shade.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Go early to avoid crowds and the sun. Great views from the top of SLO and neighboring Madonna Mountain.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Nice hike! We went early, so a lot of the landscape was under a blanket of fog. The trail was well marked and easy to follow. It does get a bit more rocky as you climb higher, so it becomes slightly more technical. The view at the top was well worth it.

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

3 months ago

highly trafficked. it is a trail to do just to say you did it, but there are much better hikes in the area.

hiking
4 months ago

A bit challenging for me but there were plenty others running this trail! Pretty steep with lots of narrow trails. Gorgeous views.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike very steep uphill through rocks. Do you early in the morning or winter it was a little too hot this afternoon.

4 months ago

Beautiful this spring with all the wildflowers. Quite a hike up...worth it though!

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

great hike with the green hills right now. the view from the top is amazing

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

Lovely wildflowers and fabulous vistas throughout. Lots of people out enjoying the good weather!

Great day for a hike. Trail was well marked, beautiful views.

Awesome trail. Steep and rocky, but the views are worth it. Very green right now due to all the rain!

hiking
6 months ago

wear good shoes as the trail requires good footing in many parts. take water, go early in warmer weather, little to no shade on upper half.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike, especially in the winter time when its green and at sunset. Short enough to make it back down off the top right as the sun is setting to avoid having to hike in the dark very long. Rock trail so highly recommend a small flashlight. Trail head off of Brittany Cir. is much more scenic to start off with than at Patricia Dr. I've done this hike in the summer, and it gets pretty hot as the west side of the hill is completely exposed to the sun and can get hot. Would probably give this trail a 3.5 star rating during the summer.

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