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Bristlecone Pine Trail Great Basin National Park
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Overview
Location

Great Basin National Park

Sights

High Alpine Lakes, Bristlecone Pines, Great views of Jeff Davis Peak

Distance

2.95 Miles Round Trip

Parking Lot Elevation

9,935 ft

Summit Elevation

10,620 ft

Elevation Gain/Loss

793 ft Total Ascent

Time Required

1-3 Hours

Pets

No

Fees

No

Water Info

There is a stream near the bottom or two lakes if you need to purify water

Best Season

Summer, Fall

Hours

Open year round

Sun Exposure

Lots of sun exposure

Trail Condition

Dirt and loose rock.

Restrooms

At the trailhead

Visitor Center

Great Basin Visitor Center in Baker Nevada

Camping

By reservation

Food

Bring some snacks and a meal if needed

Equipment

Good shoes, camera, water, jacket

GPS Coordinates

Trailhead: 39º 00′ 36″ N, 114º 18′ 25″ W


Trail Map:


View Larger Map


The Trail:

The Trail begins at the top of the Wheeler Peak Scenic drive in Great Basin National Park. The parking lot is well signed and is the trailhead for several different hikes. There is also a quick half mile nature trail that is worth the time to do if you have the energy. Always bring at least a jacket any time of year because at more than 10,000 feet the weather can get cold really fast even in summer.

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The trail is mostly dirt and fairly rocky. It climbs pretty steady the whole way. Here is an example of the trail terrain.

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There is an option to take a 0.2 mile detour to see Teresa Lake. This is a small alpine lake but worth the ten minutes out of the way. Wheeler Peak is seen in the background. It is the second highest mountain in Nevada at 13,063 Ft.

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After the detour continue up the trail. You will pass very close to brown lake. It would be easy to walk to the shore if you want. I chose to head on to the trees.

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After you pass the lake you will come to the Bristlecone Groves. These are my favorite trees. They are the oldest living things on earth. They have one tree up here that is 4800 years old. They are very cool looking as well.

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The grove is just below Jeff Davis Peak. This gives the grove some amazing scenery! Jeff Davis Peak is 12,771 Ft tall.

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Once in the grove it is a self guided interpretive trail. Make sure and read all the signs. There is some very cool and fascinating information.

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Here are a few more of what I thought were the coolest looking trees.

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From here you can continue on to the only Glacier in Nevada. The Glacier trail adds approximately 2 miles to the total hike. We were reaching dark and turned back here.



 The Return:

There is no loop. Return the way you came.

 


Personal Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this hike. We did it at the very end of October. The weather was gorgeous. The scenery was gorgeous. There were relatively few people. There was lots of good information on the hike. These trees have become one of my favorite things to see in different areas because the age fascinates me. These were the coolest I have seen yet. Its a great hike that is fairly family friendly. A must do if you are spending time here.

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Ratings (out of 10)
Trek Planner Rating
User Rating
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Difficulty
4.0
Technicality
4.0
Enjoyment
8.0
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek.  If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

7.5
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About The Author
Josh1990
I love adventure! I live in Cache Valley, Utah. Do you have questions on any of my Treks? Email me @ joshua.oyler@gmail.com

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