The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is an hour drive from Bishop. Take US Hwy 395 south to Big Pine and turn east onto State Hwy 168 just north of Big Pine. Follow Hwy 168 east 13 miles to White Mountain Road. Turn left (north) and drive 10 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.
It’s definitely worth the time to take the trails.Beyond Schulman Grove lies the Patriarch Grove. This second grove is a 12-mile drive north of Schulman Grove on a good dirt road. Near tree line, the grove is the home of the world’s largest Bristlecone Pine, the Patriarch Tree. The Methuselah Grove in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is the location of the “Methusselah”, a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine more than 4,750 years old. This is 1,000 years older than any other tree in the world. “Methuselah” is not marked in the forest, to ensure added protection from vandals. Start the 4.5 mile trail from the visitor center (9800 ft elevation) to this grove.
We stayed in Bishop for 3 days and boondocked at the VON’s parking lot. There’s much to see around this valley and we’ve returned several times to explore the back roads and trails.