Photograph the Bristlecone Pine Forest

Yosemite Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Visitor Center

Added by Matt Purciel

Photograph some of the oldest trees in the world. Some of these living trees are over 4000 years of age with their twisted and colored wood. 

To get to the goods head east out of Big Pine, CA  on Hwy 168 into the mountains for 13 miles. Turn left (north) on White Mountain Road to the Bristlecone Pine Forest. The road winds through a beautiful forest of Pinyon Pines and Western Junipers and leads to amazing views of the rugged Sierras. In 10 miles, you'll turn right to arrive at the Schulman Grove parking lot. There are plenty of bristlecone pines to shoot in this area. 

Beyond Schulman Grove lies the remote Patriarch Grove, 12-miles north on a good quality dirt road.

Both Patriarch and Schulman Groves are best to shoot in the early morning light and sunset. There are plenty of unique trees to photograph. Make sure to allow for plenty of time to get your winning composition!

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Batteries
  • Plenty of layers of clothing
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, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

about 2 months ago

Must See!

Go. Go, go, go. I've been passing this turn-off since I was a kid on family trips to Mammoth and finally did something about it at the end of a highway 395 roadtrip this week. The first 24 miles of road off 395 up into the White Mountains is paved but steep - there's a gain of 7,000 ft in those 24 miles. So take it slow and hold your breath going around some of those bends. That will get you to the visitor center and Schulman Grove. There are three trails from the section; I was short on time so did the 1-mile Discovery trail. Blown away. A religious experience (coming from someone who doesn't subscribe to that sort of thing). I've never felt to small, so insignificant, so close to whoever is up there. Breathtaking, tear-inducing beauty and science all rolled into one. They and plaques every so often to explain what you were looking at and benches to sit and contemplate life while admiring the beauty of the eastern sierras across the way. I can't wait to go back and take the dirt road that continues further in to explore some more. Re: weather - sunny out but pretty windy in mid-October. Prepare for anything and have sunscreen with you and bring water. Especially if doing anything longer than the one-miler.

about 2 months ago

Added by Matt Purciel

California native and outdoor enthusiast and who's always in search for the beauty of creation.

More Adventures Nearby

Backpack Gem Lake Loop in Emigrant Wilderness

Yosemite / Crabtree Trailhead

The Gem Lake Loop is located in Emigrant Wilderness, which borders Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park, and offers incredible views, smaller crowds, and diverse terrain.

Nancy Lappetito
4 Saves

Snowshoe to Dewey Point, Yosemite NP

Yosemite / Dewey Point

Take the one-hour shuttle ride from the Yosemite Lodge to the Yosemite Ski Area, so that you don't have to worry about driving in the snowy conditions, or finding parking.

Julie & Brian
9 Saves

Explore Aguereberry Camp

Yosemite / Aguereberry Camp, Death Valley

Pete Agueberry came Death Valley in 1905. After a legal battle, Pete gained control of the Eureka Mine in 1909. He worked the mine alone for nearly 40 years before his death.

John Maurizi
3 Saves