The trek took me an hour and fifteen minutes to the top, and about 2 hours and forty five round trip, including my lunch break at the top. The trail is beautiful, much more beautiful than the climb up Madonna Mountain. It takes one through grassy fields, shadowy mysterious oak woodlands, through chaparral rich with the scent of sage, and finally over rocks and more rocks. It passes by a rock wall that is popular with climbers. I stopped to take some pictures of the many young people there with their ropes.
It starts fairly steeply, and I had some moments of doubt, wondering if it would prove to be really difficult for me. There were knee moments. And getting out of the car is now a bit of a problem for my right knee particularly. My legs are tired and my feet seem to have a few more blisters. But I didn't feel that total exhaustion that I feared. The round trip is 4.4 miles, and is rated "moderate" by the Sierra Club. I'd agree with that.
Yet I passed someone who was on his way up for the second time that day, and someone else who was running the trail. I am far from the fittest person who attempts that climb. There were several children, including some seven- or eight-year-olds who climbed the rocks like little monkeys, and a three-year-old whose dad said had done "almost all" of the climb all the way up. He said the boy loves to climb rocks, so that was his incentive. When I saw him, right at the top, he was sitting on his dad's shoulders, his faced totally smudged with dirt, and he looked pretty tired.
It was windy and a bit cool at the top. I ate my sandwich there, glad I had made such a pretty one: dark squaw bread with thin slices of cucumber, colorful lettuce, thin red onion, a veggie burger with flecks of color in it. I think anything would taste delicious after a climb like that, though.
Many people trekked up today. I would guess the trail gets literally hundreds on a typical weekend. It is almost unfathomable. Most were young people, mostly couples, but there were families and a few older men and women. And small groups of young men. One young man helped me up the rocks at the top.
I think the Bishop Peak hikes have got to be the most spectacular in this area. Views and climbs that are extraordinary, including views of the peak itself and the lush greenery at its base. I am so very lucky to live here.