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Bishop Peak via Foothill Boulevard

Santa Maria Valley + Santa Lucia/La Panza Mountains, California

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Bishop Peak via Foothill Boulevard

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  • The trail to the peak is visible from the parking area along Foothill Boulevard.- Bishop Peak via Foothill Boulevard
  • The trail skirts a tall grove of mustard.- Bishop Peak via Foothill Boulevard
  • Increasingly wide views of the San Luis Obispo foothills as you gain elevation.- Bishop Peak via Foothill Boulevard
  • A shady oak marks the end of the ascent on the wide dirt path and the beginning of the steep scramble.- Bishop Peak via Foothill Boulevard
  • Slick rock makes up a portion of the trail.- Bishop Peak via Foothill Boulevard
  • A sign marks the intersection with the trail that starts at the Highland Drive Trailhead.- Bishop Peak via Foothill Boulevard
  • Views of Cerro San Luis, one of the Nine Sisters and the ocean in Guadalupe.- Bishop Peak via Foothill Boulevard
  • Bishop Peak.- Bishop Peak via Foothill Boulevard
  • Bishop Peak viewed from Cerro San Luis.- Bishop Peak via Foothill Boulevard
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Epic views! Most direct route to Bishop Peak.
Cons: 
Can get crowded. Least scenic route to Bishop Peak.
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Region:
Santa Maria Valley + Santa Lucia/La Panza Mountains, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,220.00 ft (371.86 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.80 mi (4.51 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
200.00 ft (60.96 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Bishop Peak is the tallest of the nine Morros, also called the Nine Sisters, a chain of peaks stretching from San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay. As the hardened plug to an ancient volcano, much of the land that once surrounded it has eroded away, leaving a rugged hike with epic views over the surrounding land, stretching out to the ocean in Pismo Beach and Guadalupe.

It is a very popular hike, and it can get pretty crowded on weekends. And as far as the hike goes, of the multiple trails that climb the mountain, the trail beginning at Foothill Boulevard is the shortest and steepest route.

The trail begins up a dirt path through a ranch before becoming steep and slick, requiring some scrambling up rough and silty rock. Eventually the trail meets up with the trail that begins at Highland Drive, and the remainder is steady switchbacks to a couple of benches nestled in a saddle near the top. (It is possible to hop large boulders to get to the actual summit. However, this can be dangerous and people have died here, so proceed only if you have the ability.) The peak is high enough to make the visible city below feel far away. From here, retrace your path back down to the trailhead.

There are no amenities of any kind anywhere along the hike. Much of the hike has no shade, so make sure to carry water and sun protection.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(19 within a 30 mile radius)

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Adventure Community

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