White Mountain Road

Locathed in Inyo County, the White Mountain Road is a high altitude road that travels north from Highway 168 out of Big Pine and into the Bristle Cone Pine Forest of the White Mountains.  The road is partial paved as far as the Schulman Grove visitors center and beyond the road is graded dirt.

Bristle Cone grove located high in the White Mountains.
Bristle Cone grove located high in the White Mountains.

As the White Mountain roads winds north, it follows the ridge line of the White Mountains climbing higher in elevation and offers up amazing vistas of Owens Valley to the west.

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 tree is found in this mountain range, and is the oldest living thing on the planet and are known to live 5,000 years.  The bristlecone pine trees live in groves in arid sub alpine mountain tops in the western United States, including the White Mountains in California and around Mount Charleston just north of Las Vegas.  The harsh environment, high elevations over 12,000 above sea level, dry conditions, high winds twist a bend the trees and they slowly grow across the millennium.

Bristlecone pine wood contorted with age and environment.
Bristlecone pine wood contorted with age and environment.

The very high elevation takes its toll on car and driver a like. While climbing the route, the power of the jeep was quite noticeable. I did not notice the elevation until I got out for a bit of a hike among the Bristle Cones. Once must be careful to catch their breathe, and the suns intensity was rather noticable.

Over 11000 feet above sea level
Over 11000 feet above sea level

White Mountain Road Map

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One Reply to “White Mountain Road”

  1. Pingback: Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) - Destination4x4

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