Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 35.30248°N / 120.69739°W
Additional Information County: San Luis Obispo
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 1546 ft / 471 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Bishop Peak is the highest peak of the Nine Sisters (also known as the Morros), which lie in a linear fashion from San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay.
Bishop Peak stands at 1,559 feet above sea level and offers nice views of SLO. It was named by the Padres at Mission San Luis Obispo, because the Peak was thought to resemble a Bishop's miter. The rocky apex of the Peak sets it apart from the rest of the Morros.

Getting There

The Sierra Club has helped to create the 360-acre Bishop Peak Preserve on all flanks of Bishop Peak. A trailhead is located on Patricia Drive and a neighborhood access point at the end of Highland Drive. These trails offer a great experience with little effort. Check the Hiking Trails of California's Central Coast for more information and directions to the trailheads.

The Bishop Peak Trail, 2.2 miles to the summit (one way) from the Patricia Drive trailhead, is now complete to the top. In a joint effort by government agencies and volunteers, this trail was constructed by the Sierra Club, California Conservation Corps (CCC), and California Department of Forestry (CDF).

Directions to Trailhead (from the Sierra Club Website): From San Luis Obispo head west toward Los Osos on Foothill Blvd. Turn Right on Patricia Drive. Head straight until you reach the stop sign at Highland Drive. Continue straight for 1/4 mile. On the left you will see three black post blocking an open driveway, and a sign "TRAIL" marking the entrance. As a courtesy to neighbors, please park on the Bishop Peak side (west) of Patricia Drive away from homes.

The Bishop Peak Trail is connected with the Felsman Loop and both are thus accessible from the Patricia Drive Trailhead. The Felsman Loop is a 2.7 mile loop trail, exploring the lower reaches of Bishop Peak.


The Nine Sisters run from San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay in central California. All of them are volcanic necks dating from the early Miocene 20–25 million years ago. All formed as an abrupt change in the local tectonic regime opened this subduction wedge to rhyodacitic volcanism. The sticky, high-silica lavas of the Morros, which once were the deep cores of volcanoes, contrast vividly with the surrounding serpentinite and melange of the Franciscan formation.

External Links

For weather information check Yahoo Weather.

More information on geology, typology, archeology, vegetation, wildlife and history of Nine Sisters, please consult the website of the Sierra Club's Santa Lucia Chapter.

CalPoly University maintains a Vegetative Guide of Bishop Peak.

When to climb?

Bishop Peak can be climbed year-round.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Jesus Malverde

Jesus Malverde - Nov 27, 2011 3:15 pm - Hasn't voted

True Summit Info

Bishop peak has three summits (east, central and west). Most hikers climb the east summit as it is non-technical. The true highest point of Bishop Peak is the central summit. The "easiest" climb on the summit block of the central summit seems to be rated 5.6 and is a friction climb. This route on the summit block is about 30 feet in length and faces east. As of November 2011, there were four bolts on this face. There were also two bolts on top spaced about two feet apart. Here's a picture of the summit area courtesy of Note: the climbing guidebook California Central Coast Climbing: San Luis Obispo by Tom Slater covers rock climbs on the central summit of Bishop Peak. I took a cursory look through the section and didn't see the 5.6 climb covered however. Most of the other established climbs to the top of the block were rated 5.10+. On the California forum, Bob Burd rated the friction climb class 4. It seem like 5.2 to me. Go climb it and give it your rating! Guidebook links: Bishops Peak Climbing Guide c/o Rock Climbs of San Luis Obispo's SEVEN SISTERS By Tom Slater, 1995, 1st edition. 68 pp, topos, photos Also: additional information on The Nine Sisters of San Luis Obispo County Also: Mountains of Fire: San Luis Obispo County's Famous Nine Sisters - A Chain of Ancient Volcanic Peaks by Sharon Lewis Dickerson

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