On Windy Ridge (aptly named) near Hoosier Pass above Alma, Colorado, is a grove of ancients – Ancient Bristlecone Pine, some of which are a thousand years old, survivors at tree line over 12,000′ elevation. These old trees, the Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine (as opposed to the Pacific Bristlecone Pine found in California and Nevada, which are even older – up to 4,000 years old), grow all over on iColorado’s higher mountains. The Windy Ridge Grove is not very accessible and not marked very well from the old mining town of Alma. And the weather – even in late May when this photograph was taken – is unpredictable and can be downright dangerous – a sudden snowstorm appeared out of nowhere and blanketed the area with 6″ of snow in only 15 minutes! I had a mouthful of snow and my dog balled up behind a tree trunk!
- Ancient Tree on