Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva)

Blown by wind, and ravaged by time, the Bristlecone pine tree is a silent sentinel of the White Mountains in eastern central California.  Only growing high in subapline mountains, Bristlecone pine trees are among the oldest living organisms, reaching ages of 5000 years old, with on specimen being documented at 5,067 years old by Tom Harlan who aged the tree by ring count.  That calculation confirms this one individual tree to be the oldest living non-clonal organism on the planet.

A Bristlecone Pine (not the oldest) located in the White Mountains, CA
A Bristlecone Pine (not the oldest) located in the White Mountains, CA

The Bristlecone pine groves are found between 5,600 and 11,200 ft of elevation on mountain slopes with dolomitic coils and can be reached using the White Mountain Road.  This harsh alkaline soil gives the Bristlecone a competitive advantage because over plants and tree are unable to grow.  The trees grow very slowly due cold temperatures, arid soil, wind and short growing seasons.

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Alamo Road

Alamo Road and parts beyond
Alamo Road and parts beyond. Photo by James L Rathbun

The Alamo Road is the central route north through the Desert National Wildlife Refuge north of Las Vegas.  The Route leaves from Corn Creek and winds north over Sheep Pass and into the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge.  There are many spur trails to explore and several primitive campsites to spend the night.

This road travels just along the eastern boundary of the Nevada Test & Training Range.  Entry into this area is prohibited, so do not travel west from this trail. There are several other shorter trails which leaves Alamo trail toward the east to several side canyons.

The trail is very remote and covers a good distance. The last time we did this trail, cell service died rather quickly outside of Corn Creek. So, be prepared and pack appropriately. I have a CB and a 2M ham radio in the jeep for just such an occasion.

Alamo Road offers access to the following Las Vegas 4×4 Trails:

  • Joe May Road
  • Cow Creek Road
  • Hidden Forest Road
  • White Rock Road
  • Dead Horse Road
  • Sheep Pass
  • Cabin Spring Road

The Mormon Well Road also starts from Corn Creek.

Alamo Road Trail Map

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