Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
2,200.00 ft (670.56 m)
Trail type
11.00 mi (17.70 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Anyone who is looking to go on their first backpacking trip should consider this trail. It is easily accessible from the town of Bishop, where you can spend a night before hitting the trail. The parking lot can fill in the summer, so getting there early can be useful. 

The trailhead is equipped with a restroom and bear boxes to store your scented items that you won't need on the trail. It's highly recommended to use the bear box to store these items in lieu of leaving them in your car. In active bear country like the Sierra, cars can sustain damage from curious bears. 

South Lake is visible to the right from the South Lake Trailhead. This large lake has been heavily impacted by California's ongoing drought, and the waterline has receded greatly. Continue a few more miles to find Long Lake, the first of many lakes on this trail. Along the trail you'll find a little detour for Ruwau Lake, and for anyone who needs more challenges, the route to Chocolate Peak extends beyond Ruwau Lake. Keep following the Bishop Pass Trail and you will pass Saddlerock Lake and Bishop Lake before reaching the base of the pass. Overnight hikers can camp by the small lake at the base of Mount Agassiz just a short off-trail hike from the pass or continue following the trail toward Dusy Basin. For those that are out for the day, the pass is a beautiful place to rest and enjoy the views of the lakes along the trail. 

Summer is an excellent time time to hike this trail, and it is exceptionally beautiful in the fall when the foliage stands out against the blue water of these high lakes. If you can access this area in early winter, the pristine scenery extends as far as the eye can see.



Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Epic views. Beautiful lakes. Maintained trail.


Can be busy in the summer.

Trailhead Elevation

9,850.00 ft (3,002.28 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California


Great backpacking trip! Was fun, yet challenging over the pass. Would do it again!
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