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Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

National Forest
The Bristlecone Pine trees have survived for thousdands of years in their dry, high altitude groves.

ADA Accessibility Notes

Small sections of the trails are accessible.

“Methuselah,” which is more than 4,800 years old, is one of the oldest living trees on earth, and stands with its brethren in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest on the other side of California in Inyo County. "Methuselah" was 4,789 years old when sampled in 1957 by Edmund Schulman and Tom Harlan, with an estimated germination date of 2832 BC. Methuselah is the oldest known living tree and non-clonal organism in the world—4,842 years old as of 2011.

Several walking trails depart from the Schulman Grove Visitor Center that allow the public to explore these ancient, living marvels. The Methuselah Loop trail is 4.5 miles long and climbs over 200 vertical feet and winds up and around a hillside of the ancient trees. Another longer trail takes you through another grove. Past the Shulman Grove, the road is dirt and leads to the Patriarch Grove.

This ancient grove of trees sits at 2,900–3,000 m (9,500–9,800 ft) above sea level in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains within the Inyo National Forest.

Directions:

Take U.S. 395 to Big Pine, and turn onto State Route 168 (Westgard Pass). After 13 miles of paved road, take Forest Road 01, which is paved and marked as the route to the Bristlecones, and leads to the Shulman Grove of trees. The road to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is closed during the winter, but is typically open from May through November.

Recreational Opportunities

Camping, hiking, photography, and hands on science.

Hours

Seasons Accessible

Summer, early spring and early fall.

Pricing

$5.00 / vehicle