Celebrating Bishop Through Local Craig London’s Eyes (Video)
Bishop stands out as one of the few towns left to strike a perfect balance between tight-knit community yet easy access to the great outdoors. With 99% of the land in Inyo County being publicly owned, this gives Bishop an expansive backyard that’s beyond imagination. Craig London, owner of the Rock Creek Pack Station, shares his deep affection for Bishop and why you should enjoy the simple things in life.
SMALL TOWN, BIG CHARACTERS: Watch the video above to learn what 55 years of packing means to Craig London with Rock Creek Pack Station.
YOU CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO CAPTURE WHAT YOU’RE SEEING…
Flanked by towering mountain ranges, Bishop is enveloped in sheer beauty. When you camp with a packer, they will find a place without people, without cars, and with some of the best stargazing in the country.
MULE DAYS KICKS OFF THE SEASON
One of the biggest things in Craig’s life is Mule Days. For over fifty years, Bishop’s iconic Mule Days has marked the start of summer in the Sierra’s high country. Within three years of its inception, Craig watched it become the greatest Western outdoor event in the United States. During its Memorial Day weekend celebration, over 30,000 fans from across the globe gather in Bishop to bid a fond farewell to the local packers and outfitters. Across its five-day duration, there’s an abundance of activities—from the nation’s largest non-motorized parade to captivating equestrian displays highlighting the remarkable talent of mules.
ENSURING THERE IS A FUTURE GENERATION OF PACKERS
Craig and a few friends in the community wanted to ensure that the tradition of taking guests up and down the mountains continues. To help make this a reality, they created a kids program called “I Wanna Be A Packer” as part of Mule Days. If you have young ones, make sure you visit their booth outside the county fairground and read our Mule Days for Kids guide.
Dive deeper into the event with our comprehensive Mule Days guide. Tickets go on sale FEBRUARY 1. Don’t miss out!
WHAT IS A PACKER?
For Craig London “packing” at its core is taking people into the backcountry with horses and mules. Craig’s father realized though that people wanted more than just a transportation service to get in and out. They wanted to learn about the geology and natural history of the Sierra. Someone to provide the food and cook for them.
A PACK OUTFITTER IS THE WAY TO GO
If it’s your first or hundredth time, Pack Outfitters can unveil the Sierra in an entirely new light. When you’re riding a horse, you can see everything. Spending their entire summers in the high country, they possess an unmatched familiarity with the terrain, sights, and sounds. They can get you to a lake with no people and no cars. With SIXTEEN pack stations serving nearly every trailhead in the Eastern Sierra, you can start your adventure from various points. Whether you fancy a day-long horseback ride or a fly-fishing expedition complete with camp setup and cooking, they ensure you return home with unforgettable stories and pictures.
BACKPACKING? REDUCE THE HASSLE AND SKIP THE PERMIT LINE
Planning a single night camping trip or a multi-day backpacking adventure? It’s highly recommended to hire a pack outfitter, just as miners did almost a century ago. These professionals excel at transporting food and gear into the high country, making your hiking trips significantly more fun. Additionally, a wilderness permit is necessary to visit. However, booking a trip through one of our pack outfitters allows you to bypass this step and concentrate solely on having a blast.
Since the beginning when European settlers were exploring these peaks, it was all done by horseback. And these outfitters ensure that the tradition stays alive and well. It’s no wonder that Bishop has earned the moniker “Mule Capital of the World.”
WINTER IS A PLEASURE AND SUMMER IS YOUR CHANCE TO SWIM
Nested in a deep valley, Bishop enjoys exceptional weather during January and February. It’s ideal for fishing, horseback riding, al fresco dining and even afternoon skiing up high. And while summers might get hot, as Craig says, “That’s what pools are for.”
BISHOP – SAME AS IT EVER WAS
As soon as you pull into the town of 10,000, it’s like stepping into a time capsule. The low-rise buildings, old west facades, and the unhurried pace of old-world community life create an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome. It’s a place that residents and visitors can enjoy a Main Street where people pause to greet each other with a friendly word or chat with a neighbor in town for supplies.
With so many activities to choose from, you’ll find yourself not just wanting to visit for one season. You’ll want to experience them all!