Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Bishop

4.8
Forest · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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 For many years, it was the world's oldest known living non-clonal organism, until superseded by the discovery in 2013 of another bristlecone pine in the same area with an age of years (germination in 3051 BC).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 5.0
508 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • 109 degrees in Bakersfield. 100 degrees in lone Pine. 74 degrees at the bristlecone Forest. This is a perfect four mile hike. You will see amazing scenery, 3000 year old trees, and fantastic...  more »
  • Not an easy place to get to but well worth the drive! We went off road on the way up (thanks to our guide who is our son in law) then took the road down. We hiked the trails and enjoyed the...  more »
  • One of the most unique and beautiful Ancient Forest i visited,and the other beauty is that the Bishop town and the Bishop Creek,its all there near buy to see ,amazing !! I love eastern Sierra !  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.
  • If you’re in the area these trees are magical! There are just a few trails at the site, for short day hikes. There is camping close by but not in the preserve. These trees are the oldest living organisms on the planet! The pine needles themselves stay on the tree for 40 years!
  • To walk the trails among saplings, up to 8,000 years old, is breathtaking and beyond comprehension. The visitor center does not open until 10:00, but is a lovely place, with a nice variety of souvenirs. Make sure and take plenty of water. Can't wait to go back for a longer visit.
  • Beautiful drive worth the time and the fuel. We had a cool breeze and a hot sun. The road is steep and windy ( lots of turns, not necessarily air flow). There is no water or fuel so be prepared. Lots of flowers, black lizards, and plants. Nice picnic area and a big campground. Fee is $3 per person or $6 per car. Bring exact change to put in the fee box.

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