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June 17, 2015

Hiking within the Bristlecone Forest

This was the first time to see the new Visitors Center at the Schulman Grove.  It was nearly complete in 2011 on the last trip and opened the following year.
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Three trails depart and loop back to the Schulman Grove Visitor Center.  The Discovery Trail is approximately 1 mile and features interpretive signs and rest benches along the trail.

The trail to the Mexican Mine is approximately 2.5 miles and offers views of the old miners cabins and the entrance to the mines as well as many photogenic Bristlecone Pine trees.

The Methuselah Trail is 5 miles and gains approximately 700 feet of elevation.  There are numbered posts along the trail and a brochure is available at the start of the trail.  The world's oldest living tree is along this trail and although it's identity is kept a secret, you may feel certain at the end of the hike that you have seen the oldest tree known to exist.

The Mexican Mine trail can be extended to intersect with the at mile 1 of the Methuselah Trail by ‘crossing over the ridge’.  I would not do that section again, the forest service of 'mostly level' at 10,000' is not the same as mine!
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But the views were indeed worth some effort.  There was water in Deep Springs, and the Inyo Mountains looked more like pictures I’ve seen of the Great Smokey Mountains.
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There's a really old tree down there and in 2013 his older brother was identified.
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The new young tress grow alongside there ancestors.
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The original plan was to hike the Schulman Grove one day and then scoot back up to the Patriarch Grove the following day.  But the little Yamaha Zuma complained, not to mention my legs!  So it was the 2 mile trail to the Grandview Mine instead, leaving right from the campground.
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And yes the cactus was thriving in this high dry air – wonder how it got here.




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