Searching for the Oldest Trees in the World – Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is located about 24 miles off Highway 395 in Inyo County, California, and is home to the oldest trees in the world. In July 2020 we visited the park and did the Methuselah Loop Trail, a little over 4 mile hike that takes you to the Methuselah Grove, where the world’s oldest trees reside, including the Methuselah Tree, the oldest confirmed tree in the world at 4,851 years old.

In addition to seeing trees that were around before the pyramids, the hike offers great views of the surrounding area, including Death Valley National Park.

Getting to the park is fairly easy, it is a short side trip off Highway 395 and the road is paved the entire way to the visitor center. The hike is not too strenuous, but is at over 10,000 feet elevation for the majority of it, with and 800 foot elevation drop/gain. It is not wheelchair accessible. But we managed to do it with sea-level living city folk and a 7 year old, so not too bad.