Bishop, California, also known as “The Small City with a Big Backyard” is the ideal winter getaway. Just four and a half hours from the bright lights of Vegas, Bishop provides a serene winterscape packed with all the adventure you prefer. With a town boasting endless possibilities of fun, you’ll want to make sure you get the most of your snowy vacation.
Bunk at the Cardinal Village Resort
Breathtaking beauty surrounds the Cardinal Village Resort. In fact, they are known as “The second happiest place on Earth.” Whether it’s views of the Cardinal Rock, the deep Rock Creek Canyon or the bustling Bishop Creek, Mother Nature is really showing off at the Resort. Each cabin comes equipped with a kitchen and utensils. Outside you can enjoy a fire pit and grill. Don’t worry, there’s a local cafe with delicious hot breakfasts and hamburgers for lunch if you have no intention on cooking during your vacation.
Visit them online at www.cardinalvillageresort.com or call (760) 873-4789. It’s the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day.
Prepare for Your Adventures with the Proper Gear
For days packed with ice and snow, you’ll definitely want to be bundled up. You’ll need all the gear too – skis or boards for the mountains, backpacks and footwear for the trails and more. Forgot something? Don’t feel overwhelmed. You don’t need to spend your whole vacation shopping.
Stop at Sage to Summit, with Ultralight Mountain Gear, or Eastside Sports, the “Mountain Sports Specialists,” for a convenient one-stop shop. They’ll find you just what you need for any adventure you choose.
Hit the Slopes
Ready to head to the mountains? Nothing beats the peaks of the Eastern Sierra. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and backcountry skiing are just a few of the adventures awaiting you. You can access the skiing area through the White Mountains, through the Bishop Creek recreational area or through Rock Creek Canyon.
Looking for a great mountain retreat? Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort is worth a look. There are more than 3,500 acres of terrain for skiing at the resort, located on the north side of Mammoth Mountain. It is the only North American resort to include three different sized half pipes. The slopes even attract Winter Games gold medalist Shaun White. They are truly world famous.
Check out www.mammothmountain.com to see all the countless new adventures you can have including the thrill of Woolly’s Tube Park, snowmobiling, scenic gondola rides and breathtaking mountain tours, just to name a few.
Hike the Trails of Bishop Creek
Bishop Creek runs ten miles in length and has three forks that flow into either North Lake, South Lake or Lake Sabrina. They eventually descend to Owens Valley and converge with the Owens River. Dozens of hiking trails surround the lakes and creek to explore the area. The trails lead to hundreds of thousands of acres of mountain wilderness to see nature’s finest.
Follow Highway 168 west for about 20 miles to reach the trails. There aren’t any gas stations at Bishop Creek so don’t forget to fill up before you go. The area has cabins for overnight stay, a lodge and a cafe. The cafe serves a continental breakfast for guests, burgers and pizza for lunch and steaks for dinner. There’s also a fully stocked cocktail bar. It’s a great place to end an evening. This far from the city, you’ve never seen stars so bright.
Visit the Rock Creek Canyon
13,000 foot peaks surround Rock Creek Canyon. The area is filled with lakes for trout fishing. Bring your snowshoes to explore the wilderness or hike with cross-country skis. There are also opportunities to take in the scenes by horseback. There is also hiking for any skill level. You can hike through Little Lakes Valley, over Mono Pass, through Pioneer Basin, past Hilton and Tamarack Lakes and so much more.
To visit the Canyon, take Highway 395 north from Bishop to the Tom’s Place Exit. Go south on Rock Creek Road to the winter road closure. The area also has a cafe, general store and cabins for stay, so feel free to visit as long as you’d like. The Grill is definitely worth a stop. They smoke their own meats, bottle their own barbecue sauce and all the desserts are homemade. They are open everyday for breakfast and lunch and host a happy hour from 3-5 pm.
Take a Break from the Cold
Nothing beats a dip in the Keough Hot Springs after a day of hiking or skiing. The pools date back to 1919 and they are still using the original pools. At the resort you can relax in the water, which stays a comfortable 90-92 degrees during the winter chill. You can also enjoy a soothing massage while you’re there if the slopes might not have treated you so well. There is also a campsite with a picnic area if you prefer to enjoy your entire stay at the Springs.
Get details about Keough Hot Springs at keoughshotsprings.com and see ticket information.
Sample Fresh Bread at Erick Schat’s Bakkery
The locals rave about Erick Schat’s Bakkery, home of the Original Sheepherder Bread®. It’s origin dates back to the California Gold Rush. Everything in the bakery is made only of natural and fresh ingredients, including well water from the Sierras and stone ground unbleached flour. They never use any chemicals. Everything is baked in state-of-the-art European stone hearth ovens.
Visit www.erickschatsbakery.com to view a menu and get directions to the bakery.
Enjoy a Delectable Meal
Bishop has dozens of delicious restaurants to choose from, ranging from barbecue to American favorites, Chinese cuisine to Mexican dishes.
Sage Restaurant provides an elegant atmosphere for fine dining. The tables feature tabletop fires for an ideal ambiance. The menu includes steak, pork tenderloin, lamb, duck and more. They are only open for dinner and closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It’s a must for a special evening with a loved one.
Holy Smoke Texas Style Barbecue serves smoked meats and delicious sides. Everything served is homemade. The menu includes interesting items such as Hog Heaven, High on the Hog Ribs, Big Bubba and the Texas Ranger. The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays. It’s a must for those missing old-fashioned favorites.
The Back Alley Bowl and Grill is a twenty-year-old facility that offers food and fun for the family. The lunch menu includes hamburgers and hot dogs and dinner offers steak and grilled chicken breast. Come for the food and stay for the fun. Back Alley is open until 10 pm Sunday-Thursday and until midnight Saturday and Sunday with cosmic bowling. It’s a must for those looking for a fun night out of the cold.
Mountain Rambler Brewery uses local farmers to create fresh food from scratch. The menu includes burgers, pizza, salmon tacos, bratwurst and, of course, world class craft beer. The brewery is open seven days of week for lunch and dinner. There is also a late night menu with empanadas, desserts and bar snacks. It’s a must for those eager to try out the local flavors.
Nothing spells winter like snow-capped mountains and invigorating icy adventures. Delicious homemade meals and rustic surroundings complete the scene. Get your trip booked today for that break you so desperately need. Bishop won’t disappoint. +