DistributionRead full entry
Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine occurs in the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Its northernmost occurrence is in Gilpin County, Colorado, on the Front Range just south of Rocky Mountain National Park. Distribution continues south through the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountains to Mineral County, Colorado, and northern Santa Fe and San Miguel counties, New Mexico [11,90]. An outlier population occurs in Coconino County, northern Arizona, on the San Francisco Peaks [69,90].
The ranges of Great Basin and Rocky Mountain bristlecone pines do not overlap. The Colorado-Green River drainage has separated the 2 bristlecone pine species for millennia, and there is a 160-mile (260-km) gap between the 2 bristlecone species at their closest point in Utah and Colorado [57,101].The U.S. Geological Survey provides distributional maps of Rocky Mountain bristlecone and Great Basin bristlecone pines.