What? : At the Ancient
Bristlecone Patriarch Grove you can find interesting view of the old Ancient
Bristlecone pine where they are in their highest location along the ridge. There
is also a nice nearby high viewpoint to the east. This beautiful and quiet
grove includes the world's largest bristlecone pine, the Patriarch Tree.
Where? : Located far
within the White Mountain range, from Big pine on highway 395 head east on
highway 168, after 13 miles turn left into White Mountain Road, take this road
up the mountain ridge for 10 miles. Additional 16 miles from the visitor center
on dirt road will bring you to the Patriarch Grove.
When? : Summer only, the
road is covered with snow at winter, it is close usually from late October
through late June or early July (depending on snow).
Due note 1: Remember that
you are at high altitude, and altitude sickness (AMS) can be deadly, as always listen
to your body and do not push it.
Due note 2: This is a high
mountain range, far from any service, bring enough fuel with you, nearest gas
station is at highway 395 (Big Pine or Bishop).
Due note 3: Make sure you
have a good shape spare tire and that you know how to replace a flat.
Due note 4: Bring enough water
and food and watch the weather and potential storms. High temperatures in summertime
at the mountain top are around 73f so you should plan for potential cold and
windy situations, including summer thunderstorms with lightning.
Due note 5: Surprisingly,
even though this is a remote mountain range far away from any nearby settlement
you will find that you have a good cell reception in many locations along the
Due note 6: You don’t need
a permit to hike to the White Mountain Peak or park for the night at the
trailhead (end of the dirt road).
Due note 7: At Patriarch
Grove you'll find picnic tables, restrooms, and self-guided interpretive
Due note 8: Camping is not
allowed in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest.
My thoughts: Highly recommend
visiting in this remote Ancient Bristlecone grove.
There are 2
shorts hike but it worth it.
Patriarch Grove hikes:
Once you will arrive
the parking lot at the end of the side road leading to Patriarch Grove you will
have 2 short hiking options, my recommendation is to do them both.
Start with the
Timberline Ancient Nature Trail, a quarter mile long easy trail that will take
you between the trees near the picnic area.
trail, Cottonwood Basin Overlook Trail, start at the east side of the parking
lot. Short and easy climb to the nearby viewing point, from here there is a far
as the eye can see view to the east. The trail going down from the other side
of the hill and pass through many big old trees. Take your time in this section
and enjoy the trees, soon after you will be back at the parking lot.