Road Trip: Hot Springs, Mount Whitney, and Ancient Pine Forest

Join Aaron as he explores highway 395 and the exciting things that can be done alone the way. INSTAGRAM: ABOUT "Mount Whitney Mount Whitney (Paiute: Tumanguya; Too-man-i-goo-yah) is the highest mountain in the contiguous United States and the Sierra Nevada, with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m). It is in East–Central California, on the boundary between California's Inyo and Tulare counties, 84.6 miles (136.2 km)[8] west-northwest of North America's lowest point, Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park, at 282 ft (86 m) below sea level.[9] The mountain's west slope is in Sequoia National Park and the summit is the southern terminus of the John Muir Trail, which runs 211.9 mi (341.0 km) from Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley.[10] The eastern slopes are in Inyo National Forest in Inyo County. Geography Sky pilot blooming on ridge just below summit Mount Whitney's summit is on the Sierra Crest and the Great Basin Divide. It lies near many of the Sierra Nevada's highest peaks.[11] The peak rises dramatically above the Owens Valley, sitting 10,778 feet (3,285 m) or just over 2 mi (3.2 km) above the town of Lone Pine 15 mi (24 km) to the east, in the Owens Valley.[11] It rises more gradually on the west side, lying only about 3,000 feet (914 m) above the John Muir Trail at Guitar Lake. The mountain is partially dome-shaped, with its famously jagged ridges extending to the sides. Mount Whitney is above the tree line and has an alpine climate and ecology.[14] Very few plants grow near the summit: one example is the sky pilot, a cushion plant that grows low to the ground. The only animals are transient, such as the butterfly Parnassius phoebus and the gray-crowned rosy finch." FROM Bristlecone Pine Forest "The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is home to the oldest trees in the world, bristlecone pines. Some of these living trees exceed 4000 years of age and exhibit spectacular growth forms of twisted and beautifully colored wood. The visitor center at Schulman Grove is open in summer, with interperative programs, gifts, and information about the trees. Several self guided trails allow you to explore the forest. Beyond Schulman Grove lies the Patriarch Grove, 12-miles north on a good quality dirt road. Advise a speed limit of 15 mph is suggested to avoid flat tires punctured by the sharp rocks on this road. Patriarch Grove is home to the world's largest bristlecone pine, the Patriarch Tree. Its splendid remoteness and moonscape appearance gives the Patriarch Grove a surreal atmosphere. Bristlecone pines and limber pines dot the landscape with a background view of the Great Basin in Nevada. A visit to both Schulman Grove and Patriarch Grove is possible in the same day if you can get an early start. Patriarch and Schulman Grove are popular for photography in the early morning light. Both sites have picnic tables and restrooms (vault toilet) but no water. The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Scenic Byway closes at the Sierra View Gates with winter snowfall. While closed to vehicles, this is a popular route for cross country skiers and snowshoes." FROM