Bristlecone Pine Trail

MODERATE 55 reviews
#2 of 22 trails in

Bristlecone Pine Trail is a 3.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Baker, Nevada that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October.

3.9 miles
1036 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly



nature trips




wild flowers




no dogs

The Glacier Trail is the continuation of the Bristlecone Trail for a total of 4.6 miles RT. It continues beyond the bristlecone pine grove to the only glacier in Nevada, nestled beneath Wheeler Peak. Terrain is rocky and you can encounter snow as well. The Bristlecone Pine Glacier Trail leads into bristlecone forests and the trailhead is located at the end of the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive at the Bristlecone Parking area. Trail winds through groves of park's ancient trees and up into a glacier cut canyon to the nation's southern-most glacier. Trail is 4.6 miles RT with gain of 1100 ft. Midway the trail has interpretive signs that provide information about famous trees. Glacier Trail is the continuation of Bristlecone Trail to beyond bristlecone pine grove to the only glacier in Nevada - Wheeler Peak Glacier, nestled beneath Wheeler Peak - and takes you across piles and piles of glacial-cut rocks.

4 days ago

Fantastic trail with a big payoff at the end... sitting with the bristlecones was a memorable experience for my son (eight) and I. Elevation makes the trail more moderate than it otherwise would be, but we still beat the minimum recommended trail time of two hours round trip even with a reasonable amount of time spent amongst the trees.

8 days ago

Spectacular day. Trail is fairly moderate with good amounts of loose stone fill in some areas. Trees are majestic in their own way. Seeing living things this old is humbling.

3 months ago

Ah!!! This trail was awesome! The hike itself is not very difficult except for some snow/ ice patches (October), but the trees were phenomenal! You get right up in the patches of Bristlecone Pines and there's educational signs for those of us in the nerd community. Loved it!

8 months ago

Just came from Alaska so the glacier was a tad underwhelming, but still really cool for being the only one in Nevada.The bristlecone pines were really cool and there are some interesting boards that provide some information.

9 months ago

It's not everyday you see a 3,200 year old tree! Lovely, fairly easy hike to a grove of Bristlecones. Optional to go further.

Great trail, pretty views and the Bristlecone trees are amazing!

10 months ago

Perfect hiking! Wonderful trail!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fantastic Hike in Great Basin National Park. This hike was our early morning hike after camping about 15 miles outside of Baker. We hit an early morning coffee hut in Baker and then stopped at the visitor center and drove up and did the Bristlecone Pine Trail. We spent about 3.5 hours doing the 4.6 mile round trip trail and loved every minute of it. We took about 500 photos and Marjorie and I loved this hike. It is not really super strenuous but it is at high altitude so bring plenty of water and your camera.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Nice trail, trees are very cool, it was the first time we had seen Bristle-cone trees, so it was a memorable experience, did not quite make it up to the glacier, family had had enough so I turned back with the this time. You should at least hike to the Groves, make a side trip to the lakes on the way back

Sunday, August 07, 2016

The ancient Bristlecone Pines are an incredible unique feature. The trail itself is fun and not overly challenging. it meets up with the Alpine Lake trail as well.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Amazing but tough if you are not from these parts . I am an avid hiker but an east coast sea level girl. So hiking at near 11,000 feet left me winded every 5-10 minutes. The glacier was awesome. The gnarly trees very cool. Beware this trail is mostly uneven ROCK at the top quadrant. We had trekking poles and good hike boots. Hiked in june and at the middle and base encountered plenty of snow and ice patches still. Glacier sooo neat we climbed as close as you could get ! Breathtaking sub alpine views quiet as a cricket. LOVED

Sunday, March 06, 2016

It was awesome to see the ancient gnarled and twisted trees. I was the first on the trail that morning and was able to experience Rock Glacier in solitude. It is a wonderful experience!

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Hiking in Great Basin NP is fabulous! Combined this trail with the Alpine Lakes Trail to get ourselves acclimated to the altitude before climbing Wheeler Peak the next day. Don't take the altitude lightly; the whole trail is over 10,000' and if you aren't used to it, you can get yourself in trouble really quickly. The bristlecone pines are spectacular and the fact that many of them are over 2000 years old is mind-boggling!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Awesome trail! Our favorite of the three we took - we had chosen the leeward side of Wheeler Peak as the wind was really whipping up and the summit trail was extremely windy. The Glacier trail goes past the Bristlecone Pine Interpretive trail and climbs over very rocky (this is a really cool phenomenon as the piles and piles of rocks look almost commercially cut rather than formed naturally) terrain to the only glacier in Nevada. Climbing up to the glacier and walking across the snow in July was really cool. We shot an awesome GoPro (Hiking the Southwest on YouTube) video of our hike and combined it with other hikes from our southwest hiking tour. Virtually no one goes past the sign that marks the end of the Glacier trail, but the trail actually continues to wind up and up through the piles of rocks - be careful as you can misstep and twist an ankle on the rocks - my boots held up well (Vasque) - but you have solitude at the top. Sounds echo in the canyon formed by the glacier. Great views up and back toward the Bristlecone Pines. Highly recommend this hike as one not to miss!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Excellent hike from the end of the Great Basin NP Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. We combined this, the Glacier, and Alpine Lakes trails to make a full half day out of it. This is a great hike and gets really rocky at the short Bristlecone Pine Interpretive spur trail and beyond to the Glacier. I learned from the ranger who does a great Q and A (plus the old trees have signage with explanations) that many of these bristlecone pines were growing at the time the Egyptians were building the pyramids. Not only are the trees themselves old, but the needles alone can be 25-40 yrs old! Nice gradually sloping trail to some really old and beautiful trees!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Oh so worth the climb. My Fitbit said 74 floors climbed. The views are amazing in Sept. Lots of color on the hills. The Bristlecones are well marked and the ages just blow you away. Puts things in perspective. This is a hike to take, but remember, it is 10000 ft. Saw a lady on the trail who should not have been there. She was suffering. We met a ranger just below her and informed the ranger of the lady's condition. Altitude is not to be taken lightly.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Nice, easy trail in this amazing Bristlecone Forest. Had a wonderful day here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This trail afforded wonderful views. Really enjoyed the ancient Bristlecone Pines, the glacier views, and panoramic views. There were a lot of sharp rocks (hard on my lightweight hiking shoes) and hiking along a rocky glacial moraine.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Really enjoyed this hike. Also hiked up to the glacier, and a side trip to a nearby lake. Met with a ranger talk at the Bristlecone pine grove on my way back down. Kinda shredded my semi-new hiking shoes (which were nowhere near as durable as I'd expected) on this hike.

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