Bishop Peak Trail

Bishop Peak Natural Area, California 93405

Distance1.2mi
Elevation Gain1,559ft
Trailhead Elevation805ft
Top1,463ft
Elevation Min/Max800/1463ft
Elevation Start/End805/805ft

Bishop Peak Trail

Bishop Peak Trail is a hiking trail in San Luis Obispo, California. It is within Bishop Peak Natural Area. It is 1.2 miles long and begins at 805 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,559 feet. Along the trail there are scrubs and woods. The trail ends near the Bench and Bishop Peak (elevation 1,493 feet).

Bishop Peak Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Bishop Peak, an ancient volcanic mountain, is the signature backdrop for the city of San Luis Obispo. The peak, which stands at 1559 feet, has three distinctive peaks and is the highest in the chain of nine morros. The climb to the rocky peak winds through grasslands and oak woodlands. Near the summit, the trail becomes a scramble over massive granite boulders. From the peak is a panoramic 360-degree aerial view from the inland mountains to the coast. The views include San Luis Obispo, Los Osos Valley, El Chorro Valley and the entire chain of morros from Morro Rock to Islay Hill."

"This is a rare opportunity to hike up the slope of a more than 20-million- year- old volcanic plug. Your dog will be all wags from the smells in the lower oak woodland, while you’ll be thrilled with the panoramic views on the exposed slope. Bishop Peak is the highest of nine morros (volcanic plugs) in this pocket of Southern California.

The Bishop Peak land was donated by the Ferrini family in 1995
and became one more gem in the city of San Luis Obispo’s crown of open- space parklands. The Bishop Peak trail begins in a residential neighborhood at the top of Highland Drive. Fence lines define the corridor off the street for about 100 yards before entering the oak woodland. At 0.1 mile you come to a fork on the right."

Bishop Peak Trail Reviews

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1/12/2013
Awesome Hike with beautiful views. Two ways to enter. Lots of college kids on path due to near by Cal Poly but overall great hike!
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6/22/2010
Good, short, but fairly steep trip (about 1000 ft of elevation) to a peak surrounded by San Luis Obispo. This isn't remote or anything, and the view is of reasonably developed mountains and the town, but the oak forest on the way up is really pretty. The final scramble is pretty easy, some other rocks are also accessible if you want to brave the scramble (and more importantly the poison oak), don't expect solitude. Lots of people here even on a week day.
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5/7/2010
The published description is accurate, although the hike only takes maybe 1 1/2 hours to complete, even with photo ops and waiting for folks to pass you on the mostly single track trail. The trail is well loved, so expect lots of people during the weekends and in the afternoons on weekdays. Great views, but be cautious of the boulder scrambling on the "peak," actually three peaks comprised of large boulders along a short peak ridge.
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4/10/2009
Incredible views, beautiful trail. Went to the end of the trail, but I decided not to go up the rock scramble to the peak
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7/9/2007
I took my 7 year old son on this hike for his birthday. Directions to the trailhead were right on the money. FOr a 4.5 mi round trip the trailhead seemed a little close to the peak and I was worried at first that I had somehow entered the trail somewhere in the middle since there are a bunch of intersecting trails towards the beginning of this hike. But, the trail actually winds back behind the mountain before making its way to the top. The beginning of the hike winds through some nice oak forests and eventually opens up on the backside of the mountain. A lot of switchbacks on the backside. The top is full of huge boulder rocks that form all sorts of outcropping and little "caves". We explored the top for over an hour and could have spent longer...it's pretty fun up there. Great view. We went on a Saturday and saw probably 50 other hikers so don't take this trail of you're looking for solitude. If you don't mind sharing the trail with others this is a pretty nice day hike to get a workout.
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4/25/2004
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5/25/2003
Good review as far as the obvious. I have marked the trail with GPS and I have it as 1.75 miles from the trail head to the top. The trail also has other options to it. A group of us hike this every week for many years. This is one of the best hikes in the area and takes most people about 1.5 hours to go up and down.
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Bishop Peak Trail Photos

Trail Information

Bishop Peak Natural Area
Nearby City
Bishop Peak Natural Area
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
City of San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation, 1341 Nipoma St., San Luis Obispo 93408; (805) 781-7300; slocity.org
Local Contacts
USGS San Luis Obispo
Local Maps