Bishop (formerly, Bishop Creek) is a city in Inyo County, California, United States. Though Bishop is the only city and the largest populated place in Inyo County, the county seat is Independence. Bishop is located near the northern end of the Owens Valley, at an elevation of 4,150 feet (1,260 m). The population was 3,879 at the 2010 census, up from 3,575 at the 2000 census. The town was named after Bishop Creek, flowing out of the Sierra Nevada: the creek was named after Samuel Addison Bishop, a settler in the Owens Valley.
Bishop lies west of the Owens River at the northern end of the Owens Valley.
It is on U.S. Route 395, the main north-south artery through the Owens Valley, connecting the Inland Empire to Reno, Nevada. US 395 also connects Bishop to Los Angeles via State Route 14 through Palmdale. Bishop is the western terminus of U.S. Route 6. The Paiute-Shoshone Indians of the Bishop Community of the Bishop Colony control land just west of the town. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) controls much of the upstream and surrounding area.
Bishop is immediately to the east of the Sierra Nevada, and west of the White Mountains. Numerous peaks are within a short distance of Bishop, including Mount Humphreys (13,986 ft.), to the west, White Mountain Peak (14,242 ft.) in the northeast, and pyramidal Mount Tom (13,658 ft.) northwest of town. Basin Mountain (13,187 ft.) is viewed to the west from Bishop as it rises above the Buttermilks.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), over 97% of it land.
Bishop is known as the “Mule Capital of the World” and a week-long festival called Bishop Mule Days has been held since 1969 on the week of Memorial Day, celebrating the contributions of pack mules to the area. The festival attracts many tourists, primarily from the Southern California area.
Bishop is well known in the rock climbing community. Near the city are numerous climbing spots that attract visitors from around the world. There are over 2,000 bouldering problems in Bishop. The two main types of rock are volcanic tuff and granite.