Harman Patil (Editor)

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

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- elevation  3,410 m (11,188 ft)
Area  113.3 km²
- elevation  3,000 m (9,843 ft)
Biome  Great Basin Desert
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
Address  White Mountain Rd, Verenigde Staten, CA 93514, USA
Management  United States Forest Service
Similar  White Mountains, Owens Valley, Mono Lake, White Mountain Peak, Great Basin National

A walk along discovery trail at the ancient bristlecone pine forest inyo national forest

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.



The Methuselah Grove in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is the location of the "Methuselah", a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine that is 7003484800000000000♠4,848 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 For many years, it was the world's oldest known living non-clonal organism, until superseded by the discovery in 2013 of another bristlecone pine in the same area with an age of 7003506600000000000♠5,066 years (germination in 3051 BC). "Methuselah" is not marked in the forest, to ensure added protection from vandals.


The 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.


On September 4, 2008, an arsonist set fire to the Schulman Grove Visitor Center and several bristlecone pines. The building and all the exhibits within were destroyed. Activities to rebuild the center began the next day and are now complete.

Methuselah Grove trail

The Methuselah Grove trail starts from the visitor center at 9,846 feet and makes a 4.5-mile loop that includes the side valley of the Methuselah Grove where the oldest tree lives, a high section looking out eastward over Nevada's basin-and-range region, and side trails to old mining sites. Numbered natural-history markers are explained by a booklet.


The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is generally open from mid-May through the end of November, weather permitting.

  • Schulman Grove and Schulman Grove Visitor Center – daily interpretive talks and natural history lectures mid-June through Labor Day, and hiking trails.
  • Patriarch Grove – home of the world's largest bristlecone pine, the Patriarch Tree, and a self-guided nature trail.
  • References

    Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Wikipedia