Bishop Tourist Attractions
Inyo CountyLocation and importanceBishop lies at the north end of Owens Valley, between the two highest mountain chains in the state.
From here, climbers set out on extended climbs in the eastern part of the Sierra Nevada; in particular, Bishop is the best starting point from which to reach the Bristlecone Pine Forest (Inyo National Forest), which has the oldest trees in California. One of these trees, which has been named Methuselah, is, according to the findings of Dr Louis Schulman of Washington University in St Louis, more than 4,600 years old, and another, "Pine Alpha", bears this name because it was the first pine over 4,000 years old which Schulman could definitely identify.Routes: pine grovesTo reach this rough terrain is far from simple: from Bishop you take Route 395 southwards as far as Big Pine, then turn east on to Route 168. About 13mi/20km from Big Pine, a wide road climbs up to a height of 11,500ft/3,500m into the Bristlecone Pines region. The total distance from Big Pine to Schulman or Methuselah Grove is 35mi/54km, quite a difficult stretch, but you will not need a cross-country vehicle.After a further 14mi/22km you come to Patriarch Grove, containing more examples of ancient Bristlecone pines. Only rarely do they exceed 23ft/7m tall; the trunks are gnarled and shine from afar. In the raw climate, and in view of the low rainfall, they probably reach such a great age only because they do not have to share the meager water supplies with animals or plants. From Schulman Grove it is possible to do a 4mi/6.5km tour on foot; in view of the height and the rough climate great care should be taken. The best time for a visit are the summer months.
Laws Railroad Museum and Historical Site
Worth seeing is the Laws Railway Museum, lying about 5mi/8.5km northeast of Bishop on Route 6. Here the once bustling but now silent Laws Southern Pacific railway station dating from 1883, as well as a post-office more than 100 years old and other artifacts from that period, have been lovingly restored.