Friday, September 23, 2016
Bristlecone Pines - Schulman Grove
For the next leg of our vacation we headed over to the east side of the Sierras and up into the White Mountains, home to the oldest living trees on Earth: Bristlecone Pines. The oldest ones have been dated to be 4,500 years old! I've been wanting to see these trees for a long time so this portion of the trip was really a dream come true for me.
The Bristlecones are uniquely adapted for life at high elevations. Most of them live above 10,000 feet and not only that but they seem to thrive there. We saw a huge variety of both living and dead trees. The dead ones were the most intriguing in their looks. Devoid of any greenery or bark, the dead trees really show off their incredible colors and patterns. Not to mention the amazing twisting characteristics that many of them have not only in their branches but in their trunks as well.
The forest service has done an amazing job of building super-cool trails through the Bristlecone forest. There are almost 6 miles of trail on two different loops throughout the Schulman Grove, which is the lower elevation group of the two main groves of Bristlecones. We had a great time hiking the trails and really admired the way the trail was constructed into the hillside.