Best time to travel to Utah

Pando, the Trembling Giant in Utah

You've probably never thought that a forest can be a fake. Could you imagine the largest and the oldest root system in the world that creates clones of trees? This is not a fiction. It's a real living organism and it is found in Utah

Best time: September–October

Pando, the Trembling Giant
Pando, the Trembling Giant
Pando, the Trembling Giant

Pando is a unique living organism, which is considered to be one of the oldest existing on our planet. It is a huge grove of Quaking Aspen that creates a whole forest out of one single organism. All of the 47,000 trees found in the Fishlake National Forest in Utah, are genetically identical and have an interconnected underground root system. The trees in the forests look like clones, and that's quite odd. It's hard to put into one's mind how massive the Pando is. It covers an area of 43 hectares and weighs around 6,000 tons. It is considered to be over 80,000 years old. All those trees are reproduced via a process of root spreading.

The future of this unique giant plant is in danger. The stems suffer from droughts and pests, while the roots are under attack as well due to overgrazing by deer and elk. If there are no new stems to replace the old ones, Pando can die due to a sudden withering and shrinking.

The most spectacular time to observe the phenomenon is fall. Clone trees appear in such a stunning yellow color that they seem to shine.

Practical info

When is a good time to witness the yellow color of Pando?

Pando's clone trees are spectacularly yellow during fall, making September to October an ideal time to visit the area. Even though you can visit throughout the year, this period is when the vibrant colors of Pando are most visible, and it's truly amazing. Show more

Which specific region of Utah is Pando located?

Pando is situated in the Fishlake National Forest, in south-central Utah. This living organism spans approximately 43 hectares and weighs over 6,000 tons. The unique interconnected root system of the genetically identical trees are found in this location that is open to the public for exploration. Show more

How did Pando come to be and how ancient is this living organism?

Pando is one of earth's oldest living entity, more than 80,000 years old, and is the result of vegetative reproduction. The ancient root system generated new trees and stems and the identical trees in the entire forest are clones that share the same genetic material and are linked underground. The forest is unique from others that exist on earth due to this single massive organism. Show more

What are the factors that threaten Pando’s existence?

A few challenges threaten the continued existence of Pando - the most significant of which is drought, causing leaves and stems to wither and shrink. Deer and elk overgrazing also affect the roots and increase the likelihood of older poles dying without the possibility for replacement. Sudden death can occur if new trees do not emerge, and it would be a massive loss to the environment considering the age and peculiarity of Pando. Show more

Why is the autumn season the best time to observe Pando?

The autumn months are best for viewing Pando because the vibrant yellow of its leaves creates a breathtaking spectacle visible within the grove. The forest is an organism of magnitude and resilience, and a walk-through during this season is essential. It's an opportunity to witness Pando's unique root system, which has preserved it for an astonishing 80,000 years. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin