We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Bishop Pass Trail - South Lake to LeConte Canyon

Day 1 of 6 on the John Muir Trail (JMT): Bishop Pass to Kearsarge Pass.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 11 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  This guide represents Day 1 of 6, hiking from Bishop Pass to Kearsarge Pass. The entire 58 mile journey will follow 41 southbound... more »

Tips:  Getting off to a good start: Eleven miles is a big chunk for Day 1. Leaving early and prepared is the best way to make this distance. ... more »

Take this guide with you!

Save to mobile
Get this guide & thousands of others on your mobile phone
EveryTrail guides are created by travelers like you.
  1. 1. Download the EveryTrail app from the App Store
  2. 2. Search for the Bishop Pass Trail - South Lake to LeConte Canyon guide
  3. 3. Enjoy your self-guided tour
Get the app

Points of Interest

1. Bishop Pass Trail Head: Mile 0 @ 9,850'

Just beyond the boat launch at South Lake, you will find paved car parking for back country hikers. Also, bear boxes, a large dumpster, and USFS toilets.
Your journey begins with a stunning view of South Lake. The trail climbs rapidly with the lake in view on your right. The trail then moves into the forest and South Lake drops from view. Prior... More

2. Long Lake: Mile 2 @ 10,800'

As you emerge from the pine forest, the trail will level out and just as you thought you'd catch your breath, this first view of Long lake and Mt Goode will take your breath away. This will be your first main access to water. Water will be plentiful all the way up to the base of Bishop Pass. The trail continues to the left. It follows the... More

3. Footbridge at Saddlerock Lake: Mile 3.5 @11,100'

This is a great little spot for some rest after climbing from Long Lake and is an easy place to water up before the Pass. The water runs fast and clean at this point as it flows down into the Timberline Tarns Lakes. The next trail water is about 1/2 mile ahead at the base of Bishop Pass. If fishing is your thing and you are tired of the common... More

4. Bishop Pass: Mile 5.1 @ 11,972'

Climb Time: 65 minutes, 650'. From the stream crossing at Bishop Lake to the Pass sign.

From the base of Bishop Pass, the trail starts by winding its way up along open ground and then moves to the center of a boulder field and then begins a typical set of switchbacks. Near the top you will head southwest away from the switchbacks up and across a ... More

5. Lower Dusy Lake: Mile 8 @ 10,800'

I call this Lower Dusy Lake because of its proximity to all the other lakes, none of which are individually named. The trail does pass near an upper lake (Mile 6.5) that is quite suitable for camping and water, as is this "Lower" lake.

Camp or Continue? The amazing view down into LeConte Canyon @ 8,750' makes it tempting to continue. From this... More

6. LeConte Canyon & Joining the JMT: Mile 11 @ 8,750'

End of a long Day 1. The Ranger station was occupied during my visit in Aug '10. There is a trail logbook and signs clearly defining the JMT. Within the first 100 yards southbound you will cross a metal footbridge. At that point there are several established campsites on either side of the trail and easy access to water from the Kings River.

If... More