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The Trailhead for Bishop Pass - is the access trail for attempts on the northwest side of Starlight Peak. It begins at an
elevation of 9,800 feet, and gives attempting climbers a great high start.
Most people use the trail for fishing and backpacking at the lower lakes. South Lake dominates the trailhead area, and many
just end up spending the day at the lake. The area is heavily used and most often in peak summer months it can be difficult to
get a parking spot. If this happens, you will be forced to backtrack down the mountain (to overflow parking area) and have to
hike up to the trailhead along the main road.
All in all, however, the area is well maintained, and the scenery alone is well worth the visit to this area of the Sierra Nevada's.
Starlight Peak - Trailhead
The sign to the left is posted at the Bishop Pass Trailhead. It includes a quote
from John Muir, a topo map, and the rules and regulations for the wilderness.
The following rules posted on the sign to the left, are universal for all backcountry
travel in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Wilderness Use Restrictions
THE FOLLOWING ARE PROHIBITED IN THE WILDERNESS
** Traveling overnight without a wilderness permit.
** Shortcutting a switchback on any Forest trail.
** Leaving any garbage, debris, or refuse.
** Depositing body waist within 100 feet of any lakes and streams.
** Entering or using trails, campsites or other areas with a group larger than 15 persons.
** Camping within 100 feet of lakes, streams, or trails.
** Washing and/or discharging soap wastes within 100 feet of lakes and streams.
** Possessing or storing food or refuse in a manner which allows bears or other animals
to access it.
** Entering or using the wilderness with more than 25 head of stock.
** Discharging a firearm, except for emergencies and the taking of game as permitted by
State game laws.
** Possessing or using any mechanized transport, including wheels or mechanized
Most often (as mentioned in other trip reports) we
leave work late afternoon from the Southern California
area and end up spending the night in an overnight
parking area. Here you see Mike just getting up in the
morning and repacking his possessions after a night
stay on the asphalt of South Lake parking lot.
Sean and Matt making last minute preparations before
beginning the approach hike to Thunderbolt Pass.
Our plan was to spend the night in the pass and then
use it as a base camp for the next day climb to the top
of Starlight Peak.