Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Bishop

4.8
The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is a protected area high in the White Mountains in Inyo County in eastern California. The Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) trees grow between 9,800 and 11,000 feet (3,000–3,400 m) above sea level, in xeric alpine conditions, protected within the Inyo National Forest. Foxtail Pine (Pinus balfouriana) also grow in the forest.MethuselahThe Methuselah Grove in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is the location of the "Methuselah", a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine that is years old. For many years, it was the world's oldest known living non-clonal organism, until superseded by the discovery in 2013 of another bristlecone pine in the same area with an age of years (germination in 3051 BC). "Methuselah" is not marked in the forest, to ensure added protection from vandals.GeographyThe forest is east of the Owens Valley, high on the eastern face of the White Mountains in the upper Fish Lake-Soda Spring Watershed, above the northernmost reach of the Mojave Desert into Great Basin ecotone. The forest's mountain habitat is in the Central Basin and Range ecoregion (EPA) and Taiga and Boreal forest ecoregion (WWF). The Patriarch Grove is the source of Cottonwood Creek, a designated Wild and Scenic River.
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Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
503 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • The visitor center is closed and the forest is lightly visited now. It is over 10,000 elevation and hot. Great short and medium length hiking loops to 4,700 year old trees. Better to visit with a.....  more »
  • This is a must do visit if you are in or going through the area. The trees and natural history are fascinating. Be careful with driving directions, though, as we missed the turn.  more »
Google
  • Very cool place, nice hiking trails, and of course the oldest trees in the world. 1 inch diameter Bristlecones are about 100 years old; oldest ones in the 5,000 year range. Talk about resilience. Easy to get to the visitor center. Elevation 10,000+ feet so bring layers of clothing, water, and take it easy as there's less oxygen than at sea level.
  • An amazing place. So surreal. Respect the area, stay on roads and trails and take in the beauty of the incredible trees, new and old. The drive is easy, even for 2wd cars. But if there has been snow, you're best off with a 4x4 with chains.

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