Bristlecone Pine Trail

The Bristlecone Pine Trail is a 2.8 mile round trip hike at Great Basin National Park that starts at the end of the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. The trail has a 600 foot elevation gain. Bristlecone pines are among the longest-living species on earth, with some over 5,000 years old.

The beginning of the hike is shared with the Alpine Lakes Loop Trail. After a short walk, the Alpine Lakes continues to the right while the Bristlecone Pine Trail goes left. It follows a trail along a ridge with views of a pine and aspen forest high above the desert below.

Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

View from the Bristlecone Pine Trail

Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Walking along the trail

Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Another view from the trail

Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Bristlecone Pine Trail

 

Interpretive Loop Trail

At the end of the trail is the most accessible of three bristlecone pine groves in the park. A short loop with interpretive panels that explain the story of several trees takes you through the grove. Some of the trees may appear to be dead, but after reading the panels, you’ll be surprised to find out they’re still alive.

Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Interpretive loop

Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

A bristlecone pine

Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Detail of a pine

Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

A bristlecone pine

 

Glacier

From the bristlecone pine grove, there are some spectacular views of Wheeler Peak above. If you continue on the trail for another 0.9 miles, you’ll reach the last remaining glacier in Nevada. It’s another 500 foot elevation gain. I would have continued to the glacier but I didn’t have much daylight left. Next time!

Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Looking down the trail

View of Wheeler Peak from the Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

View of Wheeler Peak

 

More Photos

I’ll leave you with a few more photos from the grove:

Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

A dead bristlecone pine

Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

A living pine

Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Some bristlecone pines

Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

A view from the trail

 

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