The closest large cities to Bishop are Reno, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. Reno is about 200 miles away and Los Angeles and Las Vegas are both about 270 miles away. Fresno is only about 80 miles – by air – from Bishop but the drive is a winding and mountainous 225 miles when the passes are open in the summer and a long 340 miles in the winter. Although Bishop is near a modern general aviation airport, there are no scheduled commercial flights into Bishop. Scheduled flights are available into Mammoth Lakes, about 40 miles away.
Bishop is in the rain shadow of one of the highest parts of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Being in the rain shadow means the mountains take all of the rain and snow out of the air before it gets to Bishop. As a result, Bishop gets very little rain and snow, only amounting to about 5 inches a year. Even though it doesn’t get much precipitation, runoff from the mountains makes the Bishop area lush and green during the early summer. Summers are hot and dry except for afternoon thunderstorms, falls are warm, winters are cool with occasional rain and snow, and spring is variable and often windy.
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