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 For many years, it was the world's oldest known living non-clonal organism, until superseded by the discovery in 2013 of another bristlecone pine in the same area with an age of years (germination in 3051 BC).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.Use our Bishop trip app to visit Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest on your trip to Bishop, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Reviews
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 »
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.
Plan your trip to Bishop
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Hidden gems in Bishop
Side trips from Bishop
See all ›
Casinos in Bishop
Duration: 2 hours
Museums in Bishop
Duration: 30 minutes
Plans to Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest by other users
4 days in Bishop BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 5 days in High Sierra & Reno BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, popular sights Preferences: August Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 9 days in Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes & Bishop BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 5 days in Amarillo & Bishop BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular sights Preferences: September Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium