Bishop feels like a town, with a modest population of under 5,000. Sitting on the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain slope, the small city is proud of its outdoor assets such as mountain hikes, fishing lakes, and spectacular scenery. The Bishop Chamber of Commerce proudly boasts that National Geographic declared Bishop as one of America's top adventure towns, with Buttermilk Boulders 13 miles outside the city ranking among their favorite visits.
Surrounded by the Sierra National Forest to its west and Death Valley National Park to the East, nature lovers are going to enjoy the natural assets surrounding the city. The temperatures are not for everyone, however, and if you are not well prepared for the dry, desert heat, you can suffer illness. Be sure to heed local warnings. Pack and carry a supply of water wherever you go during the summer especially. During the months of June, July and August the temperature in Bishop is normally higher than 90 degrees during the day and in the warmest month (July) the average temp is close to 100 degrees.
Although a small city, Bishop and its surrounding area is the primary commercial and population center in the region. Primary industries include tourism and recreation, government, and related support services. However, mining and agriculture are also important to Bishop's heritage.
Although Bishop's modern economy thrives, it is unique among desirable small communities because it stays much like it has for decades a great place to visit, to live, and to work.
The City of Bishop covers slightly less than two square miles and is governed by a five member City Council, including a mayor and mayor pro tem. It accomplishes its duties through five main departments: police, fire, administration, community services, and public works.
One odd an interesting thing you'll notice in this Owens Valley area is the name, Los Angeles. Why would L.A.'s Department of Water and Power (DWP) have anything to do with a rural oasis some 225 miles away? The answer is "Water".
Los Angeles and the Department of Water and Power purchased land from farmers and ranchers in the early 1900s, building the Los Angeles Aqueduct which was completed in 1913. The 223-mile pipeline carries the annual snowmelt that flows from the Sierra Nevada mountains into the Owens Valley, using gravity siphons instead of pump stations, and supplying millions of residents in the Los Angeles basin with water. 70% of L.A.'s water supply comes from Owens Valley and the Eastern High Sierra. Los Angeles DWP allows unrestricted access to most of its lands with Owens River open to year-round fishing.