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

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

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.

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful hike with rewarding vistas! Fun to explore the boulders at the summit.

hiking
1 month ago

Great views. Tough at the top with the optional rock climbing, but worth it.

1 month ago

amazing hike

hiking
1 month ago

Started from Patricia drive. It was a steady uphill climb from the start. I'm 51, overweight, but still managed to get to the very top on the rocks overlooking the entire area. My hikes are mostly on flat land in Austin area so this was a bit challenging. I'd rate Bishop difficulty a 5 to Cerro San Luis 3. The 20 somethings I was with had little difficulty. Once on top, it was a worth it. Surreal views of the area were incredible! Highly recommended. As others mentioned, watch out for Poison Oak and the climb was a bit on the rocky side. I have partially torn tendons in the right foot so just had to pay close attention to each step.

hiking
1 month ago

The Bishop Peak Trail from Patricia Drive is an moderate hike and the views are spectacular of the Central Coast. This hike of of the Bishop Peak Trail from Patricia Drive is well worth doing, great all year long, maybe not so much in rainy season. This video was shot in the summer so very little of both ticks and Poison Oak as hazards if you don't get too close to the sides or go off trail. Lots of wildlife if you look for it, mostly squirrels and rabbits, so hawks can always be present.
So the heading is incorrect for these two hikes and I sent in a correction. The map for the hike starts out from PAtricia Drive not Highland. The other Bishop's Peak Trail starts from Highland.
A Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

1 month ago

Such a good hike and great 360 views up top. Go early to avoid crowds and heat.

1 month ago

Good hike in winter; pretty hot in summer

1 month ago

Moderate to hard. Good for mountain running. gotta be cautious.

1 month ago

hiked it today got there at 8am,fogged in, but it was amazing. 4 and 1/2miles ..

The views are beautiful. I love the smell of wild rosemary along the the entire trail.

hiking
2 months ago

I started at Patricia, did the Felsmon loop, than connected with the Bishop peak summit. By the time an old man bicycles across town and hikes this, it's a good workout, throw in a little bouldering. Humbling, I don't care for inflated egos. Too my credit I go very slow. Went throuh 2L of water, phone needed recharging. I like the Aveenza offline map app. Find topo map, "Share" it to Aveenza, there you go, up to 3 maps free, can use store if desire. Been up this peak several times I consider this training. Also have become interested in climbing again, see how this goes.. You people should consider leaving your pooches at home, it is exposed and hot. Also watch out for poison oak, it is all over, stay on path. $20 bucks, tie me in, belay an old dude.

hiking
3 months ago

Hike is fun, pretty. We went in the am and it was overcast making the trail not as bad...however many big rocks throughout the whole trail. Was not a fan of the rocks but the top view is very pretty. Poison oak is not too bad just keep an eye out for little bushes hanging out! Fun hike on a cooler morning

hiking
3 months ago

This is one of the definitive hikes for San Luis Obispo. The views from the top are gorgeous.

hiking
3 months ago

Highlight of my trip and especially great on a cloudy day when it's too cold to visit the beach. We made it up in under an hour and enjoyed climbing on the large boulders at the summit. However, be warned that there is poison oak everywhere (thanks for the tip random passerby), especially around the top. Wear long pants and enjoy the view.

hiking
3 months ago

Really special hike, with a big payoff in views and landscape for the short length. The first stretch across the pasture is mostly fire-road style and a bit of an uphill slog, but by the time you get to the forest and start switchbacking as you circle up to the summit the trail design is really nice. The rock outcrops and desert wildflowers towards the top remind me of Pinnacles NM minus the $25 entrance fee. The main drawback is that there is tons of poison oak along the path in the forested area; don't get led astray by the desire trails in this section if you don't have Tecnu with you––the right trail is the most obvious one. There's also some poison oak at the summit in around the boulders that people like to climb up for the views. I wouldn't recommend this trail for beginner hikers. I passed a few pretty grumpy folks who seemed like they thought this would be an easy break from tourist things in SLO and a nice view; the relatively quick elevation gain makes this a decent workout, and the exposed trail for most of the route means you shouldn't forget your sun protection and adequate water.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Fairly strenuous but great views. One negative point was we had some ticks on us at the end.

hiking
4 months ago

I’m completely unfit, and the switchbacks were a little tough but I still enjoyed the hike and loved the views untitled the clouds rolled in

4 months ago

Nice distance. Elevation. Was warm today. Recommend early morning if no cloud coverage. Well maintained trail. Wear good trail shoes to prevent slipping. Hydrate.
Gorgeous views.

4 months ago

Fun, not super strenuous hike! Absolutely great view.

hiking
5 months ago

Classic slo hike. Beautiful on a clear day! Also fun to do a sunrise or sunset version.

5 months ago

Awesome hike and has a lot of rocks to climb through and over at the top! A lot of fun:)

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike! And beautiful scenery all along the way

5 months ago

it was a fun short hike. not difficult and there are shaded areas to get a break from the sun.

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome views! Go early if it’s going to be a hot day, and wear good shoes.

5 months ago

I've been wanting to hike this trail for some time now and over this past weekend I finally did! It was a great hike. I couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather and scenery. My mother-in-law joined me and at her short stature she had some difficulty climbing some of the rocks on the trail, but it wasn't at all too difficult. The subtle incline (due to frequent switchbacks) made for almost a leisurely hike. It was a busy trail, but everyone was so pleasant. This trail will be added to my "Will Hike Often" list.

5 months ago

It was ok

hiking
6 months ago

This is a beautiful hike. Steep climb to the top but worth the views. Try and go in a weekday to avoid crowds. We hiked it on a Sunday and there were too many people. The trail doesn’t have a lot (if any shade) so be aware of that during warmer temps. Watch for poison ivy along the lower portion of the trail. The climb does have rocks to go up and down and around etc. so be sure to wear appropriate clothes and shoes.

6 months ago

I love this trial. it never disappoints,it has amazing views and is a great hike. You should take the time for this hike.

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome hike! Probably the best hike in the area!

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike. My son enjoyed the climbing part. Good workout and a rewarding view.

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