Bristlecone Pine Trail
The Bristlecone Pine Trail is a short, 0.5 mile roundtrip, hiking trail that is named after the trees that grow
along the trail. The Bristlecone Pine tree is considered
the oldest living single organism in the world. Some
of the trees date back nearly 4,500 years, around the
same time the pyramids were being built in Egypt!
Bristlecone Pine Trail is accessed from the Bristlecone Pine
Bristlecone Pine Trailhead N 37° 34.047’ W 112° 50.933’
From Cedar City to Bristlecone Pine:
Approximately 18 miles
The key to these trees surviving to their remarkable age
is their ability to survive in adverse growing conditions.
Bristlecone Pine trees have the amazing ability to grow
during favorable years and almost completely stop all
growth during adverse years. Their slow growth makes
their wood extremely dense which makes it resistant
to insects, rot, and erosion. Many of them contain
considerable amounts of dead wood that surround a thin
lining of inner bark that sustains the living portion of the tree.
From I-15 take Exit 59 for UT-56/200 North. Proceed east
on 200 North for 1 mile to the intersection with Main Street.
Turn right onto Main Street and head south for 0.2 miles to
the intersection with Center Street/University Blvd/UT-14.
Turn left onto Center Street/UT-14 and continue southeast
on UT-14 for 17 miles to the Bristlecone Pine Trailhead
parking area on the south side of the road.
Branches and Needles
Dixie National Forest
Found on the high, barren, wind-swept slopes of the
southwestern states, Bristlecone Pine trees can be
identified by their location, form, foliage, and cones.
These trees are short, bushy, often multi-stemmed and
malformed. The needles are deep green and occur in
clusters of five. They are 1” to 1 ½” in length and slightly
curved. The needles completely surround the twigs and
small branches giving them the appearance of a long
bushy tail. The cones are 3” to 3 ½” in length and are a
deep chocolate brown at maturity. The cone scales are
stout, thick, and armed with a long fragile prickle from
which the Bristlecone Pine receives its common name.
The trail is accessible late spring when the snowpack has
melted through the fall. There is a little shade offered along
the trail under the trees but many areas are fully exposed
to the sun. There is also no water available along the
trail. While the elevation helps to keep things moderately
cool, prepare for warm temperatures during the summer.
Due to the limited range, unique age, scientific and
aesthetic value, the U.S. Forest Service has a non-cutting,
non-removal policy for the trees. You are encouraged
to visit and photograph these extraordinary specimens
but please do not climb, carve, or deface the trees.
We hope you enjoy your visit to the Dixie
Please remember to respect your National
Forest Lands and Tread Lightly!
The trail is a relatively flat easy hike, but be careful on
some of the uneven surfaces. The trail offers two branches,
diverging shortly out of the parking area and converging
before the viewing platform at the end. To see all the trail has
to offer take one branch on the way out and the other on the
way back. The viewing platform at the end of the trail offers
spectacular views of the upper reaches of Zion National Park.
Named for the spectacular Bristlecone
Pine trees that grow in the area,
this short, 0.5 mile roundtrip, hiking
trail is a journey back in time. The
end of the trail provides beautiful
views into Zion National Park.
United States Department of Agriculture
Elevation in Feet
Distance in Miles
Distance in Miles
Bristlecone Pine Trail Profile - East Path
Elevation in Feet
Pine Trail Profile - West Path