The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forests in Inyo National Forest have early season improved access because of limited snow pack this season.
Inyo National Forest – Because of the warm, dry winter, road crews have been able open the road to the Schulman Grove. It had been previously closed at Sierra View. The Visitor Center remains closed. The road is gated one-half mile beyond the Schulman Grove parking lot and substantial snow still exists along Patriarch Grove Road.
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.
Visitors should still expect snow in the shaded slopes in the Schulman Grove. Currently, the Methuselah Trail is under snow; however the sun-exposed Discovery Trail is free of snow. Please expect limited services if you travel to the grove. Lastly, although California is experiencing a serious drought, light snow pack does not mean no snowpack. Please travel prepared for winter conditions at 10,000 ft.
The road will close again in the event of a winter storm.
Day Use fee is $3.00 per person to a maximum of $6.00 per car. Children under 18 free, America the Beautiful and Golden Age passes are accepted.
Three trails depart and loop back to the Schulman Grove Visitor Center. The Discovery Trail is approximately 1 mile and features interpretive signs and rest benches along the trail.
The trail to the Mexican Mine is approximately 2.5 miles and offers views of the old miners cabins and the entrance to the mines as well as many photogenic Bristlecone Pine trees.
The Methusula Trail is 5 miles and gains approximately 700 feet of elevation. There are numbered posts along the trail and a brochure is available at the start of the trail. The world’s oldest living tree is along this trail and although it’s identity is kept a secret, you may feel certain at the end of the hike that you have seen the oldest tree known to exist.
Sierra REC Magazine is dedicated to sharing the events, news and adventure opportunities that exist in The Sierra Mountains. From Lassen Volcanic National Park to the North down through the Central Sierra and the Lake Tahoe Basin through the rugged eastern slopes of the Mono county and Yosemite National park to the southern tips near Sequoia National Park and the PCT trail. We invite you to share stories, trips and photos from your adventures in the Sierra. Please join us on Facebook, Twitter Google + and You-Tube or email us your events and photos at firstname.lastname@example.org #goexplore