While at Great Basin National Park, in early October, we were treated to a cold, windy day accompanied by sleet and thunder. The drive up to Wheeler Peak affords spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and mountain ranges. As we drove higher up the mountain, we hit the cloud layer. Aspens, in their gold fall foliage, stood as beacons in the misty fog.
Our destination was the trailhead where we could hike to the bristlecone pine grove. We arrived at the trailhead, bundled up, and began our trek. The grove was about 1 ¾ miles away with a 1,200 foot elevation gain. The trail was rocky, interspersed with mud, snow and water puddles. We hiked past aspens and conifers. When there was a break in the clouds, we could see distant mountain slopes and sometimes Wheeler Peak itself. We made it to the bristlecone grove; it was absolutely worth the effort. I am in awe when I am in the presence of these trees that are thousands of years old.