Friday, March 21, 2014

The Oldest Living Things -- Bristlecone Pines

On a cloudy day in 1999 a group of students and faculty from BYU hiked up into the bristlecone pine forest on the flanks of Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park, Nevada. Bristlecone pines are thought to be among the oldest living things on the Earth with some trees older than 5,000 years. According to Wikipedia, "Even the tree's needles, which grow in bunches of five, can remain on the tree for forty years, which gives the tree's terminal branches the unique appearance of a long bottle brush."

 The day we hiked up into the trees was a cool and cloudy fall day. Even though the sun was not shining, these ancient trees were still spectacular.

 My daughter was one of the students in the class. Here she is next to one of the ancient trees.

The rest of the forest was dressed in its fall colors. Don't pass up the chance to visit Great Basin National Park and see the bristlecone pines along with Lehman Caves and other fun stops in the park.

Looking west toward Great Basin National Park and snow covered Wheeler Peak.

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