Updated 3-16-2023 Pleasant Valley Rd. is currently closed at 395. Chalk Bluff Road is closed to motorists at both ends due to extensive washouts. The river is currently chocolate colored and fishing is tough. Flows will stay high throughout the runout. The road to Buckley Ponds is also closed. There has been extensive damage to the backroads of Inyo County.
Tucked in a quiet section of Owens Valley you’ll find the Alabama Hills. Although close to the mighty Sierra to the west this locale doesn’t share any resemblance of the tall peaks. Instead, you’ll find a landscape with arches, rounded rocks, and eroded hills that looks otherworldly. It’s no wonder they’ve been featured in hundreds of films over the years.
The Tungsten Hills sit directly beneath the Sierra skyline towering above Bishop. The rocky mounds are webbed with trails and OHV roads. With plenty of options, it’s a playground for winter trail running. This Tungsten City Loop is a 4 mile run that gets you close to the big mountains with no shortage of additional miles if you desire a longer run.
We’re driving home. The hills roll out before me, Mono Lake glistens in the distance, a light dusting of snow splatters the tops of the mountains that define the landscape. This drive, this view, is always a little different, but today it feels like something entirely new. I’ve just learned more about the landscape and begun to understand the science behind it. What I used to look at and think of as hills, are now the lateral and terminal moraines of massive glaciers that stretched from Yosemite into Mono Lake. The sudden rise of the Sierra comes from faulting, the erratic boulders are from ancient massive glaciers, the Bishop Tuft is from one of the most immense recorded volcanic explosions. All the little pieces of a view I see so often, come into focus with entire histories behind them.
The best things to do in Bishop CA in January translates to ALL season fun. Or as we like to call it, “Juneuary” is your chance to have your cake and eat it too in a mountain getaway. Be it snow-free or an all-weather variety vacation, Bishop’s big backyard is THE place to visit in winter.
While everyone up the hill is buried in snow, here are some alternatives to enjoy beautiful exhibits, galleries, bowling, arcades, hot springs, and snow free walks and auto tours.
Instead of sitting in the car for hours upon hours, you’ll now have the opportunity to fly into Bishop Airport, also known as the Eastern Sierra Regional Airport via San Francisco, and Denver. Each of these routes will operate daily through winter giving you access to world class climbing, skiing, and even golf at the Bishop Country Club and fishing on the Owens River.
With so much to discover in the lower 48, we rarely go back time after time to the same destination. But when an area has as much to discover as Bishop, California, it’s easy to book a return trip. This small town with a regional population of 10,000 is nestled in between the Sierra Nevada and White Mountains on the eastern side of the Golden State. Not to be confused with a road-side pitstop on the way to Yosemite National Park, Bishop is a year-round outdoor mecca that knows how to keep its locals and tourists busy.