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Bishop is legendary for its road biking. The perfect basecamp for visitors and residents alike to get outside and ride pretty much year-round. You’ll also find that the roads are so lightly trafficked that you may not see another soul or encounter a traffic light or stop-sign for many miles. But if you really want to delve into the unknown, consider heading out on a gravel grinder. 

What is Gravel Grinding? 

No, it’s not mountain biking. There’s plenty of that here in Bishop as well but we’re talking the latest endeavor on two wheels. You can use a mountain bike but normally it’s done by using a road bike with bigger tires. The routes typically include plenty of rough gravel roads, a bit of singletrack, and even a whiff of smooth pavement. It’s also a great alternative to when the mountain bike trails become a little dusty towards the end of summer. 

Chalk Bluff 

Distance: 6.1 miles one-way / Less than 150’ climbing
MTB Project 

A good introduction for first timers, this dirt road parallels the Owens River and provides up close views of the water throughout it. As the name Chalk Bluff alludes, this gravel ride passes by some of the most iconic bouldering areas in Bishop – the Happy and Sad Boulders. This means you can attempt to climb in the morning and finish off with a ride in the afternoon. 

Chidago Canyon Road 

Distance: Varies but can be made into a 27-mile loop / Up to 2,400’ of climbing
Gravel Map 

The Volcanic Tablelands offer a treasure trove of gravel rides waiting to be explored. Among these, Chidago Canyon stands out as one of the most picturesque options. As you ascend gradually from the valley floor and navigate a sweeping turn, you’ll encounter the breathtaking red rock canyon. The path gradually narrows until it transforms into a single-lane gravel road. Here, the volcanic rocks, shaped over time into intriguing formations, create an otherworldly atmosphere, making it feel as if you’ve been transported to a distant planet. And don’t miss the annual Mammoth Tuff Race that winds through this canyon! 

Note: Since there is no shade, we highly recommend doing this route only in cooler weather. 

Silver Canyon Road 

Distance: 14.5 miles one-way / Over 6,000’ of climbing
MTB Project 

Similar to road biking, Bishop is filled with physically challenging routes if you’re looking for one. A good example is the big dirt road climb up Silver Canyon Road. The route starts just outside of the Laws Railroad Museum. Similar to a roller coaster, the first 2,000’ of climbing is gradual, allowing you to get your legs underneath and even a few creek crossings. But don’t let it lull you into a sense of complacency. As you reach the switchbacks to climb out of the canyon, things get tougher.   

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Bishop Ultras 100K, 50M, 53K, 20M, 6K

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Vendors, Cultural Demonstrations & More at Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center

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Vendors, Cultural Demonstrations & More at Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center

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Vendors, Cultural Demonstrations & More at Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center

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Death Valley Brill Car Train Rides at Laws Museum

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Eastern Sierra Pride

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Concert in the Rocks