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Best Places to Live + Play: Bishop, California
National Geographic Adventure announces this year's top 50 adventure towns, state-by-state.   Text by Dan Koeppel

Wilderness  |  Small Towns  |  Mountains  |  Waterfront  |  Cities  |  Las Vegas 

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The Adventure Radius

In town: Climb classic Chalk Bluff and Volcanic Tablelands.

Within 50 miles (80 kilometers): With ten miles (16 kilometers) of technical descent, Rock Creek has some of the best mountain biking in California.

Within 100 miles (161 kilometers): For skiing and backcountry hiking, head north to Mammoth or south to Mount Whitney.

Where to sleep: Best Western Creekside Inn ($129;

Where to eat: Erick Schat's Bakkerÿ has the best sandwiches (read: home-baked bread) between Los Angeles and Tahoe.

Bishop, California

Hit Your High Point in Bishop
- Population: 9,714
- Median home price: $379,900

For years bishop has been a bedroom community for the town of Mammoth Lakes (and its namesake ski area), an hour north. No longer. Those 60 minutes give the mobs pause, and Bishop's milder climate and freewheeling attitude have made it one of the state's most attractive zip codes.

Set in the craggy Sierra Nevada of Inyo County—which contains both the highest point in the continental U.S. (Mount Whitney, at 14,495 feet [4,418 meters]) and the lowest (in Death Valley, at minus 282 feet [86 meters])—Bishop's happy medium is 4,200 feet (1,280 meters). Between those extremes is a staggering range of top-notch biking, skiing, hiking, and climbing. If you're into name-dropping, Yosemite, Death Valley, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks are all two hours away. But as every Bishop local knows, the real payoff in living here lies in scouting your own classic playgrounds. One such gem is White Mountain Peak: a 14,245-footer (4,342-meter) with views of the jagged Sierra, eerie Mojave Desert, and glowing Las Vegas.

Wilderness  |  Small Towns  |  Mountains  |  Waterfront  |  Cities  |  Las Vegas 

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