Most of us can never have enough of the vibrant colors of fall foliage. Throughout the years, I have tried to capture its beauty with my camera. Last year, while travelling through Glacier National Park and Great Basin National Park in late September, I finally felt like a kid in a candy store. With the following photos, I hope you too can feast your eyes on the wonderful colors of autumn.
For our visit to Great Basin National Park, we stayed in the town of Baker (population 68) in Nevada near the border with Utah. The best thing about Baker is that it is only 2 miles from the entrance to Great Basin. It has two motels, one restaurant that opens occasionally, and another one that you have to drive 6 miles to get to.
The day we arrived, a beautiful sunset put on a wonderful show.
The following day, Great Basin was in full splendor, its mountainsides covered with yellow aspens.
The Alpine Lakes Loop Trail at Great Basin takes you to two alpine lakes, Stella and Teresa. You start out at 9,800 ft (2,987 m) and climb about 600 ft (180 m) over 1.5 miles.
Bristlecone Pines are trees that live at high elevations, as high as 11,200 ft (3,400 m), in extremely harsh conditions with little rainfall, and can be thousands of years old. The two oldest trees are 5,065 and 4,847 years old, and their exact locations in the White Mountains of California are kept secret to prevent damage from vandals.
We saw Bristlecone Pines at the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in Inyo county in California and at Great Basin National Park in Nevada. Both locations required arduous hikes, especially at Great Basin where the trail kept going up and up the slope of Mt Washington for 1.3 miles! However, it was all worth it.
While hiking the Discovery Trail at Schulman Grove, I saw a group of Japanese making a clothing commercial under a Bristlecone Pine.
At Great Basin National Park the Interpretive Trail at Bristlecone Pine Grove had signs explaining how the trees grew and died.
Bristlecone Pines do not hold the record for the oldest living trees. That honor belongs to a group of aspen trees cloned from a single tree, known as Pando or The Trembling Giant near Fish Lake in Utah. The clonal colony covers 106 acres (43 hectares), contains 40,000 trunks, all cloned from the same original tree. Its roots are estimated to be 80,000 years old.