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Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Review Highlights
Best to visit between May and early September

If you would like to learn more about the bristlecone pines it is best to go when the visitor... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
South Central Orange County, CA
Walk among the ancients

WOW! High above the valley floor is an amazing place containing the oldest trees on the planet. The... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Bill E
Read all 461 reviews
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Traveler Overview
  • Excellent84%
  • Very good13%
  • Average2%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“discovery trail”(41 reviews)
“patriarch grove”(39 reviews)
“visitor center”(92 reviews)
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798 N Main St, between Big Pine and Deep Springs, Bishop, CA 93514-2428
+1 760-873-2500
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All reviews discovery trail patriarch grove visitor center living things old trees big pine mile loop long drive dirt road feet elevation amazing trees bucket list beautiful drive winding mountain sea level natural history longer trail
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1 - 10 of 441 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

If you would like to learn more about the bristlecone pines it is best to go when the visitor center is open (May to September). However, if you prefer to go when fewer people are around the off season is still a good time to...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Shiroh
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

WOW! High above the valley floor is an amazing place containing the oldest trees on the planet. The beauty of these trees and the entire area is a mix of stark beauty and awe.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Bill E
Reviewed December 11, 2018 via mobile

Nice to hike among the beautiful ancient trees. These trees are majestic. Easy hiking around them, or stay in your car and enjoy the view. It’s worth the experience.

Date of experience: February 2018
1  Thank nursesharon2017
Reviewed November 27, 2018 via mobile

My children are 8 and 12. Our family enjoyed the beautiful hike with unique trees. The loop we took near the visitor center was 4-5 miles with mild elevation gains. It was a perfect day in the forecast.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank epikodyssey
Reviewed November 19, 2018

These ancient sentients stand thousands of feet above the valley, growing into rocks and soil low in nutrients, carrying on their lives, twisting and winding for tens of thousands of years. Seeing the iconic gnarls, the lightning scars, and everything that creates the character of...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank angela s
Reviewed November 13, 2018

This as a long drive from US395 and CA168 east. The highway has about 6000-7000 feet of elevation gain and is curved and narrow along the way. So be prepared as there are no services along CA168 after you turn off US395. There is a...More

Date of experience: June 2018
2  Thank Michael L
Reviewed November 12, 2018 via mobile

This is a gem! The drive there in itself is just wonderful. The visitor center provides information that enhances this engaging experience. Some trees are older than 5,000 years old. The parking is free too. Please carry snacks, water, or beverages since nothing is available...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank TusharOza
Reviewed November 7, 2018

It's hard to imaging these trees can be up to 5000 years old, the oldest living things on earth. It' a long drive up into the White Mountains and the a little hiking around but for me it's worth the trip. Great for photography especially...More

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank twallis
Reviewed October 28, 2018

We’ve been wanting to do this years..so as luck would have it, our planned trip up the mountain happened to fall on the last day of the season the visitor center.. the drive was spectacular (albeit step and curvy), the scenery was awesome and the...More

Date of experience: October 2018
1  Thank Jay O
Reviewed October 26, 2018 via mobile

What a great experience. So beautiful. The drive is a little windy but well worth the trip. Incredible vistas of the Sierra Nevadas. A very lovely and informative visitors center manned by a staff of very knowledgeable friendly and helpful park rangers. A beautiful setting...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank al10502018
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Questions & Answers
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Diane D
October 6, 2018|
AnswerShow all 11 answers
Response from Judy L | Reviewed this property |
I had to look at my pictures that we took while picnicking at the Visitor's Center. There are some in the area, although they are not as old as some on the trail. There are also baby ones that have been planted recently. The... More
Titika W
June 17, 2018|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from igor5959 |
Uhh, not sure what these people are talking about re: road to Barcroft Gate. 16 miles of some of the worst road, sharp rocks I've been on. I have a high clearance Tundra and you are rolling the dice with a passenger car. I... More
January 14, 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Cali4niahiker | Reviewed this property |
The ranger station is not open in January. I very much doubt that the road is open in January, due to snow and or ice. I drive in Yosemite a lot. I know that even if there is no snow on the road in winter, they still keep... More
Travel Forum Posts
Lee D
Wesley Chapel, Florida
Passing through Vegas - which hotel for one night? (17 Replies)
We will be arriving in Vegas on the evening of July 6 from the Grand Canyon and will heading to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest the next morning. Our only Vegas stop will be a brief visit to Count's Kustoms as a surprise for my 11 year old son who is a fan of the show. So where would you suggest for a one night stay? Just looking for a decent safe place to stay (with wi-fi), although somewhere with suites would be preferable. All the better if it is convenient to our route. This might...More
January 19, 2015|
Response fromplacebets|
What is your budget in $US for the night ?
Mammoth Lakes to LA...what to see and stopby ? (6 Replies)
Hi, Currently staying at Mammoth Lakes and will be leaving to Los Angeles. We will have one full day to reach. Apart from driving and Convict lake (which we already have in our plan), would somebody like to suggest any places to see ? Little off road is also ok. (No to Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, we have seen this in our previous visit). Thanks
July 19, 2015|
Response fromTet14|
Laws museum in Bishop and Erik Schats Bakery is an attraction in itself. Lone Pine with Alabama HIlls and Whitney portal and a nice movie museum. Fossil Falls south of Olancha.
The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest at night (3 Replies)
Hello, I'm planning a trip to The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest soon. After researching the place, I planned to visit two places -- Schulman and Patriarch Grove. I plan to spend all day over there, but I also want to spend all night for night photography. Since this place is so isolated, is this safe at night? Do animals active around those two places?
April 29, 2015|
Response fromkmk1986|
Thank you for the detailed answer. I appreciate it. Yes, it's the Milky Way season :). I plan to photography the Milky Way as background. I will find out where I can stay overnight in the forest. I've seen many Milky Way photos from the area. There should be area where I can stay. Thank You!