Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
High on windswept ridges in the White Mountains east of Bishop, live the world's oldest known trees - the ancient bristlecone pines. Some of these trees were growing when the Egyptians built the pyramids over four thousand years ago. These trees that botanists call Pinus longaeva (long-lived pine) are protected for public enjoyment and their great value to science. We invite you to carefully explore their home, a special botanical area in the Inyo National Forest.
BRISTLECONE PINE FOREST VISITOR CENTER
The Bristlecone Pine Forest Visitor Center is usually open late-May through the end of October. The center is the interpretive focal point for the oldest living trees in the world, the Bristlecone Pines. The interpretive center has exhibits, a natural history sales area, self-guided interpretive trails, and rangers on duty. From mid-June through Labor Day, daily interpretive talks and natural history lectures are presented at the Visitor Center. The area also has restrooms, picnic tables, hiking trails, and a nearby campground. The Bristlecone Pine Forest is located at 10,000 feet so visitors are urged to come prepared for just about any weather conditions and to bring your own water. Sunscreen and a hat are also recommended.
Beyond Schulman Grove lies the Patriarch Grove. This second grove is a 12-mile drive north of Schulman Grove on a good-quality dirt road. Near tree line, the grove is the home of the world's largest Bristlecone Pine, the Patriarch Tree. Its splendid remoteness and moonscape appearance gives the Patriarch Grove a surreal atmosphere. Bristlecone pines and limber pines dot the area with a background view of the Great Basin in Nevada. Patriarch Grove is a favorite location for filming and photography in the early morning light. Picnic tables, restrooms (pit toilet), and a self-guided nature trail are available. A visit to Schulman Grove and Patriarch Grove is possible in the same day if you can get an early start.
Schulman Grove is a Recreation Fee Demonstration Project site. The fees collected are used to open the visitor center earlier in the spring and later in the fall, provide seven-day staffing, and extended hours. The cost is $2.00 per adult to a maximum of $5.00 per vehicle; kids under 18 are free. Golden Eagle, Golden Age and Access Passes are accepted. Fees are collected at the visitor center during operating hours or at a self-service fee tube near parking area. The Schulman Grove site includes picnic areas, restrooms, outdoor exhibits and two self-guided nature trails.
Open daily from Memorial Day through October, weather permitting.
Driving time from Big Pine to Schulman Grove is approximately 45 minutes on paved roads. Take HWY 168 east 12 miles from Big Pine to White Mountain Road. Turn left and drive ten miles to the Schulman Grove Visitor Center. The Bristlecone Pines can be viewed from the parking area of the visitor center and along three nature trails.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Shulman Grove Visitors Center
White Mountain Ranger Station
798 N. Main St. Bishop, CA 93514