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San Luis Obispo, CA: Bishop Peak

Climb to the highest of Central California’s Nine Sisters on this 3.5-mile out-and-back to Bishop Peak.

Rating

Spanning the green-tinted coastal plains between Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo is a chain of 20,000,000-year-old volcanic peaks known as the Nine Sisters. Summit the highest of these dormant volcanoes on this 3.5-miler to Bishop Peak. There are three trailheads leading to Bishop: this route begins at the middle trailhead off Highland Drive. Start by heading north through a thick grove of trees featuring gigantic oak trees branching over the trail. At mile 0.2, you’ll hit a Y-junction and connect with the Bishop Peak Trail, which curves around to the west before ducking back into the woods.
Emerge from the forest for a second and final time before circling through Bishop’s open upper reaches. After negotiating a series of quick switchbacks near the summit, turn around for a southern view of Cerro San Luis Obispo flanked by Laguna Lake and the western outskirts of town. Continuing on, climb a short stretch of stairs before reaching Bishop’s boulder-crowned peak. From the 1,560-foot summit, notch aerial views of Morro Bay and Morro Rock to the west, San Luis Obispo and Cuesta Grade to the east, and Laguna Lake to the south. Retrace the route you hiked in on to return to the trailhead. 

-Mapped by Travis Lesicka

To Trailhead

From US101 S, take exit 203B and merge onto Montalban St. Make a quick right on Santa Rosa St. and follow for 0.9 mile. Turn left at Highland Dr. Parking is on left in 1.1 miles.

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