Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Visitor Center
The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Visitor Center and ESIA bookstore is open seasonally as weather and road conditions allow: mid May through October.
The entrance road is located off State Route 168 by Westgard Pass, 24 miles (38.6 km) from Big Pine, California. When open, the center's days and hours of operation are usually 7 days/week, 10am to 5pm. Call ahead: 760-873-2500 (you will be directed to the White Mountain Ranger Station)
Located at 10,000 ft (3,048 m), visitors are urged to come prepared for rapidly changing weather. Consider the elevation's physiological effects, including altitude sickness. Always carry lots of water, take it easy and hydrate often.
Home to the world's oldest living trees - Bristlecone pines - this remote region is within the Inyo National Forest, White Mountain Ranger District. A new visitor center opened in the summer of 2012 replacing the structure that burned in 2008. Restrooms, picnic facilities, interpretive trails, and guided summer-time walks & talks are available. Call ahead for schedules: 760-873-2500 (you will be directed to the White Mountain Ranger Station).
The magnificent elders of Schulman Grove can be visited right at Schulman Grove, living in twisted solitude for thousands of years. Along a dirt road 12 miles (19.3 km) to the north sits the renowned Patriarch Grove, where the world's largest bristlecone - the 'Patriarch Tree'- can be found near tree line. The area's rugged remoteness and "moonscape landscape" create a surreal atmosphere, making it a favorite location for photographers, especially in early morning light.
Bristlecone, Limber and Pinyon pines dot the landscape, with spectacular views of California's Owens Valley and the Sierra Nevada mountains to the west and the Great Basin stretching across Nevada to the east. Call ahead: 760-873-2500 (you will be directed to the White Mountain Ranger Station).