Bishop Field Office

Frequently Asked Questions


Camping

How many campgrounds does the Bishop Field Office operate in the Eastern Sierra?

  • Bishop Field Office operates four campgrounds in the Eastern Sierra, from Lone Pine area in the south to Crowley Lake in the north.

When are the campgrounds open and what do they look like?

  • To view photos, amenities, and open/close dates of each campground visit our Campground Page.

How can I become a campground host?

  • If you are interested in becoming a Campground Host, please contact Becky Hutto (760) 872-5008, or Jeff Yanez at (760) 872-5026.

Can I camp on BLM for free?

  • Yes.  You can camp on BLM land for free up to 14 days per calendar year.  Some areas are closed to camping, such as developed day use areas, parking lots and some other areas that are posted as closed to camping. 

How can I camp longer then 14 days?

  • The Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA) permit program was established to accommodate the increasing demand for long-term seasonal visitation and to provide natural resource protection through improved management of resources. The program assures that specific BLM campgrounds in the Eastern Sierra between Lone Pine and Crowley Lake are available for long-term use and that inappropriate areas are not used for extended periods. The annual LTVA use season is from the first Saturday in March to November 1st. During this use season, visitors who wish to camp on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office for extended periods greater than 14 days, must stay in the designated LTVA campgrounds and purchase an LTVA permit.
    The intent of this program is to provide full time camping opportunities to the public. It is not designed for residency, intermittent usage, or recreational vehicle storage.

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Maps

The Public Lands Information Center at 798 North Main Street, Bishop CA 93514 (Phone: 760/873-2500) sells 1:100,000 scale maps that show BLM ownership as well as other ownerships. The maps are $4.00 each. Topographic maps, both 7.5 and 15 minute scales, are available at the Public Lands Information Center, as well as many local sporting goods stores in Lone Pine, Bishop, Mammoth, June Lake, and Bridgeport.  The BLM status maps are available online: Maps available for sale

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Hunting

Hunting is allowed on most public land unless posted as closed, e.g. hiking trails, developed recreation areas and safety zones near housing.  Access may be limited by privately owned lands.  Permission from the landowner will be required in these cases.  Game species found on BLM lands include quail, deer, waterfowl, and dove.  Seasons, closures, limits and other regulations are specified by the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG).  For information about hunting regulations visit California Department of Fish and Game Website.

Shooting Areas:

Bishop Area:

  • Poleta Pit located at the end of east Line Street. Follow Line street about 3 miles past the White Mountain Research Station, you will make a left onto a dirt road off of the paved road and enter an old borrow pit, this is the location to shoot.
  • Tungsten Hills located north out of Bishop about 6 miles. Take Hwy 395 north and make a left onto Ed Powers Road and go about a mile until you come to Tungsten City Rd. Make a right turn, this is a dirt road, the Tungsten Hills are straight ahead, the shooting area is on the right side of these hills in the Sand Canyon. Four wheel drive vehicles are recommended.

Mammoth Lakes area: 

  • From the Junction of Hwy 395 and State Route 203, take 203 away from town approximately 1/2 mile.  Hwy 203 deadends at Old Hwy 395.  Make a left, and travel approximately 1 mile to Antelope Springs Road (well maintained dirt road).  Make a right and shooting area is on the right hand side of the road in the pine trees about 3/4 of a mile.

    Shooting Rules:
  • Always have a solid earth background to shoot towards.
  • Only use paper or clay targets.
  • Do not shoot across roads!
  • Do not shoot glass.
  • Remember to pack out what you pack in.

The Public Lands Information Center at 798 North Main Street, Bishop CA 93514 (Phone: 760/873-2500) sells 1:100,000 scale maps that show BLM ownership as well as other ownerships. The maps are $4.00 each. Topographic maps, both 7.5 and 15 minute scales, are available at the Public Lands Information Center, as well as many local sporting goods stores in Lone Pine, Bishop, Mammoth, June Lake, and Bridgeport.  The BLM status maps are available online: Maps available for sale
 

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Homesteading & Land Exchanges

Public lands are no longer open to homesteading.  The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 repealed the homestead laws in all states except Alaska which was closed to homesteading in 1986. 

Learn more about the Bureau of Land Management Land Exchange program in California

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Self Guided SUV Trips

The Bishop Field Office has produced several self-guided interpretive brochures in cooperation with other land management agencies and chambers of commerce in the Eastern Sierra.  Each brochure provides several day trips that you can take and provides a route map, route description and photos of things you may see along the way.  All the brocures are in Adobe PDF format and are available for download.


Off Highway Vehicles

What are the guidelines for riding my Off Highway Vehicle on Public Lands?

Where can I ride my Off Highway Vehicle?

  • There are thousands of miles of established dirt roads in the Eastern Sierra.  Some range from drivable by two wheel drive to very challenging four wheel drive routes.  We ask that you stay on existing dirt roads.  There is one open area east of Bishop managed by  the Inyo National Forest.  This area is called Poleta Canyon and can be accessed by taking East Line Street out of Bishop and traveling approximately 9 miles east.  The area will be marked where open riding is allowed.

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Commercial Filming Permits

How do I apply for a filming permit and how much will it cost?


Gold Panning


Can I pan for gold Public Lands within the Bishop Field Office?

  • Yes.  There is no permit required to pan.  You can pan on any BLM land, except land which is claimed by someone.
  • The most popular area for gold panning is Dogtown.  Dogtown is located 6 miles North of Conway Summit (or 14 miles north of Lee Vining) on the west side of U.S. 395.  Historic landmark signs indicate the site and tell a little of its history.  A road at the sign leads down to the ponds.

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Wild Horse and Burro

Wild Horse and Burro adoptions are occasionally conducted in Bishop in conjunction with the annual Mule Days Celebration which takes place over Memorial Day Weekend.  Visit our Washington Office Wild Horse and Burro website for more information about adoptions and a schedule of events

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Wildflower Viewing

Wildflower Hotspots of the Eastern Sierra highlights the unique ecology, geology, and unparalleled flora along 150 miles of the Eastern Sierra corridor.  Twelve wildflower sites have been selected to represent the diversity of environments that are found throught the area.  Along with this guide Wildflower Updates are posted to give you up to date sitings throughout the season.  Read on for more info.

 

 

 

  • Wildflower Hotspots of The Eastern Sierra - (PDF 4.7mb)
        Wildflower Hotspots Accessible PDF Version - (PDF 620kb)
  • Wildflower Reports 

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