Bishop Peak is a 1,546 feet (471 m) volcanic plug near San Luis Obispo, California. It is the tallest of the Morros or “Nine Sisters”, a chain of similar peaks stretching to Morro Bay. It takes its name from its resemblance to a bishop’s miter, and is frequently referred to by locals as “Bishop’s Peak”.
Bishop Peak’s thin, rocky soil supports many plants that are not common in the surrounding area. Vegetation includes an Oak woodland, sage scrub and chaparral. Woodland areas are composed of species like coast live oak and California bay trees, as well as poison oak and California blackberry. Scrub areas support many aromatic varieties of sagebrush, coyote bush, and monkey flower.
Bird life includes large numbers of jays and other passerine birds, as well as birds of prey including golden eagles, bald eagles, owls and vultures. Animals include deer, raccoons and opossums as well as predators like foxes, coyotes, bobcats and mountain lion. The Vultures are the only ones I see on the hike, but I am sure I will be back.
There are several trails in the Open Space with trail heads on Patricia Drive and at the end of Highland Drive. The Felsman Loop trail covers the North East base and connects with Bishop Peak Trail which climbs the South slope to the summit. There is a third possible trail head on Foothill Blvd. accessing a steep fall line trail on private property which intersects the Bishop Peak Trail partway up.
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