Camp in Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Yosemite Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Visitor Center

Added by Erik Sanders

The Bristlecone Pine Forest offers incredible scenery and world-class night skies among some of the oldest trees on earth. 

The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is located in Central California quite close to the Nevada Border in the White Mountains. A short drive South from Bishop, you will come to the small town of Big Pine where there are signs leading you left on HWY 168 to the forest. You will need a decent vehicle to drive up there seeing as the road climbs to 11,000ft before you reach the visitors center! The temperatures during late Spring and Summer can easily reach 110 degrees F so make sure to pack accordingly.

Once at the visitors center, you have the choice of hiking along two trails. The first, and shorter trail is the Discovery Trail. this is a short 1.3 mile loop offering scenic views of the surrounding areas. The second is the Shulman's Grove trail (cabin trail), a 4 mile loop trail that harbors the earth's oldest living tree, Methuselah, at approximately 4,800 yrs old. Both trails are easy in difficulty although the altitude is extremely punishing. So take it slow and bring lots of water.

If you are daring enough, try to hike back up the hill from the campground to get a view of the Southern sky at night. On an moonless night, you will see more stars that you ever have before! This is because the forest is located in one of the darkest sky areas in the country, especially looking South. The Milky Way will shine bright all night long!

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Hiking/Athletic shoes
  • Tripod
  • Camera
  • Jacket
  • Food
  • Sun Screen
  • MORE WATER THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Rating:

Features:

Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Hot Springs
Scenic
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

about 1 month ago

Awesome place for night photography!

Love that the campground was a quick drive away from the Ancient Bristlecone pine grove.

about 1 month ago

Added by Erik Sanders

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to The Tuttle Creek Ashram

Yosemite / Tuttle Creek Ashram Trailhead

The Tuttle Creek Ashram is an abandoned stone building, "church" or place of enlightenment tucked away in the beautiful Eastern Sierra.

Alex Anderson
2 Saves

Camp at Lone Pine Campground

Yosemite / Lone Pine Campground

The Lone Pine Campground is located 6 miles west of Lone Pine California, and 7 miles east of Mt Whitney Portal.

Alex Anderson
8 Saves

Watch the Sunset in El Capitan Meadow

Yosemite / El Capitan Meadow

After entering the park, keep driving the loop until you get onto Northside Drive, and then park once you are right below El Capitan (the 3,000ft granite monolith that is very hard to miss).

Breanne McNitt
6 Saves