Our California Holiday: The Heights Of Bishop Peak

Achievement: #92. Hike Bishop Peak Again

Bishop Peak Hike
In western San Luis Obispo County, there is a really cool series of volcanic plugs known as the Nine Sisters. These majestic formations came into being about twenty million years ago (or, if you’re really religious, over 5,000 years ago). The most famous of these plugs is probably Morro Rock, which is located just off-shore in Morro Bay. Morro Rock has been protected as the Morro Rock State Preserve, and is thus unclimbable. Fortunately, the tallest of the Nine Sisters is still open to the public; Bishop Peak reaches an elevation of 1,559 feet, and takes almost four and a half miles of hiking to get up and down.

Bishop Peak Hike
The hike begins at the Patricia Drive Trailhead, which is located in the midst of a residential neighborhood.

Bishop Peak Hike
The start of the trail is innocuous enough, with a slight uphill grade.

Bishop Peak Hike
Keep an eye out for the signage as you go up — we actually tried this hike on a previous trip out west and lost at least an hour to wrong turns.

Bishop Peak Hike
Here is one such post didn’t exist on our last trip (forcing one of our above mentioned wrong turns) — but that saved us a major headache this year!

Bishop Peak Hike
Incidentally, we recommend doing this hike early in the day; if you do it in the afternoon sun, much like the fellow on Fox’s shirt, Bishop Peak will tear your soul apart.

Bishop Peak Hike
Once you reach the base of Bishop Peak proper, things start to get a little more serious.

Bishop Peak Hike
Even as the climb gets steeper and more strenuous, though, the scenery remains quite stunning.

Bishop Peak Hike
The views outward are even more incredible!

Bishop Peak Hike
As you continue to climb, the terrain does get pretty rocky (which makes sense, seeing as this is, you know, a giant freaking rock) — but make sure you’ve got the right footwear.

Bishop Peak Hike
At times, it might be tricky to discern whether a particular path is actually part of the trail. The trick is this: asking yourself — does this point up? Then you probably need to follow it.

Bishop Peak Hike
After a series of switchbacks, you’ll finally reach the peak of Bishop Peak. At which point it’s time to do a celebratory photo shoot.

Bishop Peak Hike
Or you can just catch a breeze and sweat peacefully.

Bishop Peak Hike
…Or you can recreate the opening scene of The Lion King. (Just us?)

Bishop Peak Hike
From the top of this plug, you’re overlooking pretty much everything else in the area — including some other Sisters of the Nine. Puny Sisters!

Bishop Peak Hike
If you’re feeling frisky, you can climb onto an outcropping and sit for a photo — but seriously, be extremely choosy about where you do this. Folks have died here; Bishop Peak is no joke.

Bishop Peak Hike
We set up the tripod and posed for a nice couple’s photo — except the photo ended up featuring me, Fox, and Fox’s guns. (For real, wife, don’t beat me up.)

Bishop Peak Hike
What kind of Pittsburghers would we be if we didn’t fly our flag?

Bishop Peak Hike
Once you reach the peak, of course, you’re still only half done. You have a couple miles of descent in store, and while it’s less strenuous, you still should save a little in the tank for it.

1 Comment

Filed under #92, #92-16, bishop peak, california, california 2016, hiking, SLO county

One Response to Our California Holiday: The Heights Of Bishop Peak

  1. Woubbie

    Beautiful views, good sweating, awesome Lion King recreation, and nice guns!

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