In a protected area high in the White Mountains in eastern California, 15 miles east of Bishop, you'll find the oldest living trees in the world. The gnarled beauties, called the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, are believed to be 1,000 to around 4,800 years old. Can you imagine the amount of history they've been through? As the Bishop website states, "These trees were young and growing at the time stone axes were being used in Europe, the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) was being built, and cuneiform clay tablets were being used in northern Syria."

To see these awe-inspiring natural wonders you'll have to make your way to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest and climb to about 10,100 feet for Shulman Grove or an additional 13 miles to Patriarch Grove at 11,200 feet. Of course, you'll be rewarded for taking the long journey. Patriarch Grove is located in a large, open bowl and it's where the you'll find the world's largest bristlecone pine, the Patriarch Tree. A surreal sight, many photographers flock to this grove to take in the spectacular scenery.

One of the oldest living trees on earth, just shy of 5,000 years old, is nicknamed "Methuselah" (after Methuselah, the longest-lived person in the Bible). Good luck finding it as its precise location is undisclosed by the U.S. Forest Service to protect it from vandalism.

The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is open from mid-May through the end of November. For photographers as well as nature enthusiasts, this is a must-visit destination. Here are some of our favorite photos of the stunning bristlecone pine trees.

Photo via: Space Cadet


Photo via:: Space Cadet


Photo credit:: Truyen Nguyen


Photo credit:: Mac Danzig


Photo credit:: Nolan Nitschke


Photo credit:: Bob Carmichael


Photo credit:: Mac Danzig


Photo credit:: Aravind Krishnaswamy


Photo credit:: Michael Shainblum

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest website

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