Bishop’s Peak is the highest peak in San Luis Obispo. While hiking up this mountain you can find wildflowers, pass a friendly jogger, and see rock-climbers scaling a wall at the base of the mountain. There are multiple trails to reach the peak, and depending on your experience, you can choose from moderate to extreme.
On my second day in SLO my roommates took me on the moderate trail. The beginning of the hike was definitely the toughest to get through, but once we passed the shaded forest area and reached the open spaced zig-zag trails it was much easier to catch my breath and hold a conversation.
It was different hiking this trail because it seemed to have so many different landscapes! You enter a wide path viewing the mountain at its base then walk a steep incline to reach the forest. In the forest, you are able to spot deer and listen to varieties of birds. If you’re fortunate, this is where you can spot the rock climbers scaling the steep walls of Bishop!
Once you exit the forest it’s a curved path all the way up to the peak where there are breathtaking views, and maybe photo opportunities with adorable puppies! The zig-zag of the trail can provide open landscapes of the city from different vantage points. Sometimes, you can see the agriculture fields, others, you get a great view of the surrounding peaks; which were made by volcanic activity.
Once you reach the top of the mountain, you can take a few extra minutes to scale up a rock to the highest point on Bishop. This takes upper body strength and maybe a helpful hand from a strong friend (thanks Logan). The view from the top provides the perfect opportunity to watch the sunset over all of San Luis Obispo.
Since it was the first full-day in SLO a few emotions overtook me at the top; I had the exhilaration of just climbing a mountain, the sadness of leaving what’s behind, and the determination to see myself successful. I held back the tears of fear and pushed through the hike just like I will push through whatever comes at me in this journey.
Here are a few things to help when you are hiking Bishop’s Peak:
- Grab an adventurous friend (if available). This makes it easier to get to the peak of the mountain when you have an extra hand.
- Take lots of water. I know you may not want to carry the extra weight, but you need to stay hydrated.
- Don’t worry about expensive shoes (I climbed in Flip-flops).
- Remember to take breaks. Take in the scenery and life around you. I can forget this when climbing because I tend to walk too fast.
- Bring some kind of camera to take pictures of your accomplishment!
Till Next Time,