Elevation: 1,546 ft
GPS: 35.303, -120.697 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 190,018 total · 1,028/month
Shared By: Kristin McNamara on Jan 11, 2004
Admins: andy patterson, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes


As you drive into San Luis Obispo from Highway 101, Highway 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.

Bishop Peak is one of the Nine Sisters or the Morros (which include Morro Rock, Cabrillo Peak, Black Hill, Hollister Peak, Cerro Romauldo, Chumash Peak, Bishop Peak - 1559', San Luis Peak, and Ishlay Hill) that are a chain of volcanic mountains of San Luis Obispo County of Central California. The rock type is primarily dactite.

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.

169 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Bishop Peak

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V3 6A
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
60 Seconds Over Soledad (AKA Dea…
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Flakes to Fresno
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Sport, TR
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13
Mouse Maze
Trad, Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Thin Man
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Civilized Evil
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Trad, Sport, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Sport, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Gold Rush/High Noon
Sport, TR
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Only Way To Fly
Sport, TR
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Trad, TR
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Western Airlines
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Mushy Bishop Peak Bo… > Chlorissa
V3 6A Boulder
60 Seconds Over Soledad (AK… Cracked Wall
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
Flakes to Fresno Summit Blocks - E (Main)
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Shadow Shadow Rock
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R Sport, TR
Desperado Shadow Rock
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
P-Crack P-Wall
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Trad
Mouse Maze Cracked Wall
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13 Trad, Sport
Thin Man Shadow Rock
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R Sport
Civilized Evil Cracked Wall
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, TR
Epidural P-Wall
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Sport, TR
Camel Cracked Wall
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport, TR
Gold Rush/High Noon Wild, Wild Western Pi…
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport, TR
Only Way To Fly Cracked Wall
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport, TR
Llama Cracked Wall
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad, TR
Western Airlines Cracked Wall
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Bishop Peak »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
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/na…

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 :-) Jan 20, 2004
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
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." Feb 21, 2006
Menlo Park, CA
JP.8d   Menlo Park, CA
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! Apr 3, 2007
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! Jul 27, 2009
John Knight
John Knight   Sedona
camping close to bishops peak? Mar 24, 2010
Joseph Stover
Batesville, AR
Joseph Stover   Batesville, AR
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. Feb 15, 2011
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. Dec 12, 2012
Brett Shumate
San Diego, CA
Brett Shumate   San Diego, CA

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! Mar 11, 2013
Ryan Nevius
Chiang Mai, TH
Ryan Nevius   Chiang Mai, TH
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 Mar 11, 2013
Brett Shumate
San Diego, CA
Brett Shumate   San Diego, CA
That's it! Thanks, Ryan. Mar 11, 2013
Hey Guys!
I recently climbed up Life a Life Of Love, and then proceeded up to the N Face of the Main Summit Block to walk around/climb some 5.8 over there. To our surprise we discovered a newly (since Nov 2017) bolted route up what looks to have been either have been Turkey Vulture 11b or Gymnast 11a on the JK super topo. Can anyone confirm this? It was an awkward roue following the dihedral moving right up to a lip pull on small crimps; 5 bolts plus optional pro for the upper crack to anchors. Anyone know about this? Mar 30, 2018