Bishop California is a little town with a large history. It is located in Inyo County and has a population of under 4,000. Originally named Bishop Creek, it is the most populated place in Inyo County.
Bishop is known as the mule capital of the world and is home to the Bishop Mule Days, a week-long festival started in 1969, which runs annually, for 7 days, right around Memorial Day.
Members of the rock climbing community think highly of Bishop as there are many ideal climbing spots, nearby which draw people from all over the world.
If mules or rock climbing are not your passion, do not scratch Bishop off of your bucket list because there is so much more in and around Bishop to spark your interest.
Bishop is west of the Owens River at the end of the Owens Valley. It was first named after Bishop Creek which flows out of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the creek was named after Samuel Bishop, one of the earlier settlers in the Owens Valley.
Rail fans will enjoy a visit to Laws Railroad Museum. Laws Railroad Museum displays narrow gauge rail cars from Southern Pacific including an oil fired steam engine.
Weekend Activities Guide
Oft times, docents will play the part of a station agent and provide information about the importance of the railroad prior to the building of modern roads-pre 1950-when the only transportation other than horseback and foot was the railroad.
Also as a part of the museum, there are old buildings from early downtown Bishop including the school house and a church.
Above the city of Bishop, the Bishop Piute Tribe has their federal reservation. It was established in 1912, covers approximately 875 acres and is home to over 1,400 tribal members. The reservation itself is on the lower slopes of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.
While there are plenty of historical facts to feed your head, relating to the town of Bishop, there are also great places in Bishop to feed your tummy, as well ~ and these places have history, as well.
For the “carbivor” in your group, consider a stop in at Erick Schat’s Bakery. The best bread ever comes from Erick Schat’s Bakery. It’s Dutch style with no preservatives.
All loaves are hand- made and baked in stone ovens as they have been since 1907. How fresh is fresh? Even the yeast is hand made. Current output of this amazing bakery is some 25,000 loaves per day.
As it was once said, “man does not live by bread alone.” Just as well because right there in Bishop is Mahogany Smoked Meats. This is a smoke house that was established in 1922, just 19 years after the city of Bishop incorporated.
This little business started out by smoking meats using 300 year old mahogany wood for the locals. Word spread faster than the delectable aroma does, during the meat smoking process and as people came and went on the railroad and later the modern roads the demand grew.
Get a sample then pick up some jerky for your hike, your car ride home or someone back home that would be worthy of something this special.
If you intend to spend some time in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains, be sure to carve out some time to take in all that Bishop has to offer. It’s easy to find and the pace is easy to enjoy.
Bishop is a perfect place to stay while exploring California’s High Sierra.
In town, there are plenty hotels and restaurants to choose from. If camping is on your vacation agenda then there are plenty of nearby campgrounds both public and private.
Yosemite Park is within driving distance of Bishop (a long day) but with so many nearby destinations you may want to leave Yosemite for a later trip.
Bishop is located on U.S. Route 395 which is the main north-south artery going through the Owens Valley. U.S. Route 395 then connects Bishop to Los Angeles by way of State Route 14, through Palmdale.