Camp in Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Rate this Adventure 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
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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



Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn


Adult Beverages
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Hot Springs

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Added by Erik Sanders

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