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.  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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Gold Mountain – 3N69

The Gold Mountain Trail can be found in the San Bernardino National Forest near Big Bear Lake. The favored direction of travel is from South to North starting on Hwy 18 near Baldwin Lake. Starting immediately from the trail head, the trail climbs steeply up the mountain via a series of switch backs. Amazing views offer those who choose to drive this trail.

Gold Mountain, Big Bear, CA

Gold Mountain, Big Bear, CA

The trail is available to street legal vehicles only.

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