Bristlecone Pines and Chocolate Lakes

June 12, 13

We moved from Mammoth, where it was merely warm, to Bishop, where it was decidedly hot. Thankfully, none of our hiking activities were in Bishop but in the nearby mountains at close to 10,000 ft, where the temperatures were pleasant. One nice thing about Bishop is that it has a Mexican restaurant that serves a unique enchilada dish. It is our favorite—we have never tasted anything like it elsewhere.

Despite spending many days in Bishop in the past, we have never gone up into the White Mountains and checked out the Bristlecone Pines. We drove to the new visitor center and hiked the roughly 4 mile Methuselah Grove trail. It’s a very unique feeling to walk among the oldest known living organisms on earth. The ages of individual trees are not marked, but a sign does indicate the general area of the oldest trees. It’s amazing to consider that some of those larger trees are well over 4,000 years old. Another interesting sight was the sharp boundary between the Bristlecone Pines and Mountain Mahogany.

Bristlecone Pines

Walking among ancient Bristlecone Pines

The next day we headed for the trailhead at South Lake. We have never hiked in this area, but were looking forward to it despite our general level of tiredness. We chose to head up to Chocolate Lakes with the idea that if our energy level permitted we would loop around Chocolate Peak and return via Ruwau and Long Lakes. The climb (several sections with stone steps) took enough out of us that we decided Chocolate Lake was far enough.

Chocolate Lake

Chocolate Lake

Links
Bristlecone Pine and Chocolate Lake Hikes 2013 gallery

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