This year’s backpacking trip to the California High Sierra got hijacked by forest fires. When I arrived in late October the sky was thick with smoke from a fire on the Western slopes. As a result, the entire Inyo national forest was closed, so this trip morphed into five days of driving up and down the Sierras. I spent one day exploring the White Mountains east of the Sierras where the sky was a little less hazy. Here is home to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. These rare trees grow between 9,800 and 11,000 feet in very harsh conditions. In one grove a tree named Methuselah, at 4,852 years old, is considered the world’s oldest known living organism. This video reveals some of the brute beauty of these ancient trees, and introduces the austere high country of the White Mountains.
The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is a protected area high in the White Mountains in Inyo County in eastern California. The Great Basin bristlecone pine trees grow between 9,800 and 11,000 feet above sea level, in xeric alpine conditions, protected within the Inyo National Forest.