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Bishop Peak

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* Bishop Peak Bouldering 
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Bishop Peak  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 1,546'
Location: 35.3026, -120.697 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 246,143
Administrators: andy patterson, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Kristin McNamara on Jan 11, 2004
This Afternoon

68° | 50°

75° | 48°

83° | 49°
Labor Day

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79° | 53°
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As you drive into San Luis Obispo from Highway 101, 1, what have you, you'll be struck by the volcanic peak with the big "P" painted and running down the side of the face. You can't miss it. This is the most popular local cragging spot in the county. You'll find bouldering, sport, trad, mixed, you name it.

Being an extinct volcanic plug and one of the seven sisters, you'll find the rock very uniformly featured, some crack, mostly face, a lot of slab. Close to town (five minute drive), Cal Poly, and everything you'll ever need, this is the sure-fire classic spot to get your fix.

Great little hiking spot, too. Take the Felsman Loop around from Patricia's entrance and then go up to the top after finishing that trail. Nice, long, and perty.

Overview of Major Bishop Peak Climbing Areas.
Overview of Major Bishop Peak Climbing Areas.

Getting There 

From Highway 101, take the Highway 1 exit (North toward Hearst Castle). You'll find yourself on a large street, Santa Rosa. Follow this street north about 1.5 miles until you get to Highland Drive (right across from the entrance to Cal Poly). Take a left. Follow Highland Drive west about 1 mile or so (bear left) until it ends at a cul-de-sac. Park on the street. A well-marked trail will be visible. Please be courteous of neighbors, as it is a residential area.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.6 miles from here

155 Total Routes

['4 Stars',11],['3 Stars',61],['2 Stars',52],['1 Star',27],['Bomb',1]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Bishop Peak:
Mushy   V3 6A     Boulder, 15'   * Bishop Peak Bouldering : Chlorissa
Ejakulator   V4- 6B     Boulder, 15'   * Bishop Peak Bouldering : True Summit Blocks
Peanuts   V4 6B     Boulder, 16'   * Bishop Peak Bouldering : Boulder In The Woods
Pete's Problem   V5 6C     Boulder   * Bishop Peak Bouldering : Pete
60 Seconds Over Soledad   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   Cracked Wall
Shadow   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Shadow Rock
P-Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 80'   P-Wall
Mouse Maze   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13     Trad, Sport, 40'   Cracked Wall
Desperado   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Shadow Rock
Impacted Stool Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 50'   P-Wall
Thin Man   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   Shadow Rock
Civilized Evil   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Cracked Wall
Corridor Crack   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13     Trad, TR, 45'   Hidden Gully
Gold Rush/High Noon   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   Wild, Wild Western Pinnacle...
Camel   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Cracked Wall
Lama   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   Cracked Wall
Only Way To Fly   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Cracked Wall
Western Airlines   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Cracked Wall
Mickey B Way   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a R     Trad, 70'   True Summit Block
Namasté   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, Sport, 70'   Cracked Wall
Browse More Classics in Bishop Peak

Featured Route For Bishop Peak
Catching a nice rest after making it to the top of...

Western Airlines 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  CA : Central Coast : ... : Cracked Wall
The "classic" line on cracked wall. Just to the right of 60-seconds follow up the shield to the "bung-hole" mono and traverse onto the tiger stripes. Finish at either 60-seconds or Only Way anchors....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Bishop Peak Slideshow Add Photo
Cracked Wall
Cracked Wall
little gem on the northwest flank of bishops, awes...
little gem on the northwest flank of bishops, awes...
Highland trailhead
BETA PHOTO: Highland trailhead
The dreaded P.O.
BETA PHOTO: The dreaded P.O.
Overview of Bishop Peak 5/2004
BETA PHOTO: Overview of Bishop Peak 5/2004
Compilation showing the various topos that make up...
BETA PHOTO: Compilation showing the various topos that make up...
View from near the top of Bishop Peak.  San Luis P...
BETA PHOTO: View from near the top of Bishop Peak. San Luis P...
Adopt a Crag - Scheduled for Sat., Sept. 24th at 9...
BETA PHOTO: Adopt a Crag - Scheduled for Sat., Sept. 24th at 9...
Short description of each of the pitches that make...
BETA PHOTO: Short description of each of the pitches that make...
Overview of Major Bishop Peak Climbing Areas.
BETA PHOTO: Overview of Major Bishop Peak Climbing Areas.
Overview of selected routes on P-Wall & Shadow Wal...
BETA PHOTO: Overview of selected routes on P-Wall & Shadow Wal...
Topo of the Two Hour Tecate Challenge Linkup (see ...
BETA PHOTO: Topo of the Two Hour Tecate Challenge Linkup (see ...
Great Guy
Great Guy
Bishop Peak, from left to right: Cracked Wall (bel...
BETA PHOTO: Bishop Peak, from left to right: Cracked Wall (bel...
Bishop Peak Cloud Tower
Bishop Peak Cloud Tower
Description that goes with Two Hour Tecate Challen...
BETA PHOTO: Description that goes with Two Hour Tecate Challen...

Comments on Bishop Peak Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 29, 2013
By Nick Fitton
Jan 20, 2004
Public comment is currently being sort by the city council on the draft Bishop Peak Conservation Plan. You can find the draft here:ci.san-luis-obispo.ca.us/natur...

Of note to climbers is the issue of raptor nesting. In the Pinnacles NM they close certain routes during raptor nesting. Possibly this is being considered at Bishops Peak? I don't know. But if we want to be involved, get your feedback into the city by March. Then again, it may be more prudent to not rock the boat :-)
By M.Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Feb 21, 2006
The rock of Bishop Peak (and the surrounding morros) is Dacite. It is an extrusive, high-silica, igneous, volcanic rock (similar to andesite).

From wikipedia,

"The rocks of this group occur in Romania, Almeria (Spain), Argyll and other parts of Scotland, New Zealand, the Andes, Martinique, Nevada and other districts of western North America, Greece as well as other places. They are mostly associated with andesites and trachytes, and form lava flows, dikes, and in some cases form massive intrusions in the centers of volcanoes.

The word dacite comes from Dacia, a Roman province found between the Danube River and Carpathian Mountains (nowadays modern Romania) where the rock was first described."
By JP.8d
From: Menlo Park, CA
Apr 3, 2007
Visited this place for the first time last weekend. The climbing was unexpectedly good and the grades felt pretty honest. Respect. Even more interesting were all the people we met. All hospitable, fun, funky people with far less attitude then Santa Cruz County crowd I'm used to. Good restaurants and bars and a killer party at "The Stab". Worthy of many more visits. Keep it real SLO!
By Slater
Jul 27, 2009
Letter from John Knight...

"I met w/John Dalbey yesterday and we had a very productive dialogue out at Shadow (Ken Klis and Dave Delkeskamp were there as well). I see how my actions have adversely impacted people. Believe me; I'm as interested as anyone in addressing the concerns that have been raised.

Recently, this has resulted in a "bolt war"? and someone has chopped the Mouse Maze bolts and smashed the Mouse Maze anchor bolts (which were shared w/Ken's route to the right of MM). Bolt wars are UGLY and benefit no one. They typically leave the rock more scarred than if it was left alone. Whoever did this cowardly act of removing MM should step forward and admit to what they did. I would like to meet with them in person and have them explain their actions to me.

Bottom line, JD & I agreed the best thing for everyone was for me to agree to a "cease fire"? for 6 months. This includes NO new routes, bolt replacement, lichen scrubbing, rock scarring, spray painting, vegetation removal/cutting/clearing, bolt installation, base modifications, fiddling w/bolts, etc., etc. for at least 6 months. I have agreed to leave the bolt gun, lichen brush & clippers at home.

Ken Klis later suggested I jack that up to 1 year. One year is fine w/me. In a year, emotions should calm down and people can think more clearly. I suggest in August 2010, we re-visit the issues with those most concerned and discuss how to move forward from there. Perhaps we can all agree to meet out at Bishop's and open a dialogue about climbing/climber impacts and how to address those impacts. Maybe combine this discussion w/an Access Fund Crag Cleanup Day.

Thank you (and others that have gotten caught up in this) for your e-mails and your patience.

I'm looking forward to just spending some time out rock climbing.

Happy Climbing!


Thank you!
By John Knight
Jan 6, 2010

Erosion and exposed routes on the Coastal Live Oak...
Erosion and exposed routes on the Coastal Live Oak Trees at the base of Cracked Wall.
By jaredmartin35
Mar 24, 2010
camping close to bishops peak?
By Joseph Stover
From: Batesville, AR
Feb 15, 2011
If it rains this Friday and Saturday, how long does it take for the rock to be climbable? Is it ok to go out on Sunday and Monday?

Edit: It seems a couple of days is a good idea after heavy rain. We went up about 4 days after a couple days of rain and the rock was nice, some places were still wet though. A cold mostly cloudy day can make afternoon climbing a challenge (it would be nice to add some info about the climbing season and weather to the main Bishop Peak page).

Bishop peak seems to be a great place to go for some adventuresome climbing as well as standard cragging. I've never seen so much poison oak in my life! Don't let that scare you away because most of it is easily avoidable, as least on the walls I visited (Cracked Wall, P-Wall, and Garden Wall). I'll be back to climb here more, as it's definitely worth the 1.5 hour drive from SB.
By Internet Hardman
Jan 3, 2012
Found a chalkbag today, off of the trail. If it's yours, message me and I will get it back to you. Please include brand and color so I know its yours : )
By Josterling
Dec 12, 2012
Has anyone checked out the boulder on the trail up about two horseshoes past wild west pinnacles seems to be unclimbed due to a lot of breaking rock, its up a trail that seems well walked but more like hikers than climbers. It has like 20 feet of unprotected fairly easy climbing that leads to a kinda BIG boulder resting on top of it seems like you can fit a number 3 BD or somethin in here and then the next ten or so feet on the boulder seem quite difficult. any word on it??

anyone up for checking it out with me.
By Brett Shumate
From: San Diego, CA
Mar 11, 2013

There is a pretty cool rock wall just after the start of the Felsman Loop trail on the right hand side. It's bolted (some old, some new) but doesn't seem to be on this side or the e-guide. Does anyone have info. on this area? Thanks!
By Ryan Nevius
From: The Range of Light
Mar 11, 2013
Brett, it sounds like you're referring to the Potato Boulder. Check it out on page 3 of Austin Moore's BP Bouldering Guide: Bishop Peak Bouldering Guide
By Brett Shumate
From: San Diego, CA
Mar 11, 2013
That's it! Thanks, Ryan.
By BBurman
From: Oakland, CA
Apr 29, 2013
I will be in SLO for a quick climbing trip from Sunday, May 5 to Tuesday, May 6. Plan to climb at Bishop Peak and in need of a climbing partner. Otherwise I will be left to boulder. Anyone available? I sport climb in the 5.10s and have gone up a couple of easy trad routes but nothing serious. Happy to follow though.
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