Bishop Peak Trail from Patricia Drive

MODERATE 440 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

trail running

walking

bird watching

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

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.

hiking
1 month ago

I would definitely recommend this trail. It’s nice at the top. ❤️

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Great steady climb, some smooth areas as well as lots of rocks to step on, up and over. Beautiful views and definitely a trail you can hike alone, easy free street parking.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike! Saw people of all ages coming and going...it is a pretty steady climb to the top, but as many other reviewers have mentioned, well worth the beautiful views.

hiking
1 month ago

Went around 11. A bit crowded but it was New Year’s Day. Lots of dogs on leashes minus one, who kept on having to call her dog to her as they would approach other dogs. Vultures were out. Fresh sage smelt great. Kid with drone kind of was a bit distracting noise wise. Lots of kids. Great hike for families. Would definitely go again, just at a less busier time. Wonderful views!

1 month ago

Great hike but really crowded.

1 month ago

Beautiful hike with magnificent views! Not to be missed if you are in San Luis Obispo Area!

1 month ago

Loved it!

hiking
2 months ago

Great sunset views!

hiking
5 months ago

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

hiking
5 months ago

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

5 months ago

amazing hike

hiking
5 months 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
5 months 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

5 months ago

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

5 months ago

Good hike in winter; pretty hot in summer

6 months ago

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

6 months 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
6 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
7 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
7 months ago

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

hiking
7 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
8 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
8 months ago

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

hiking
8 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

8 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.

8 months ago

Fun, not super strenuous hike! Absolutely great view.

hiking
9 months ago

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

9 months ago

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

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