Hey there! Are you ready to plan a spectacular trip to Great Basin National Park? Prepare to be shocked by the beautiful vistas and exciting adventures you can find in the middle of the Nevada desert! You are sure to find something here that everyone in your group will LOVE.
Great Basin is a place where memories are made — and somewhere you will talk about for years to come. This land has been inhabited for thousands of years by Native Americans, ranchers, pioneers, and miners. Here you’ll find a harsh desert that is hot, dry, and exposed, as well as an enchanting mountainscape with alpine lakes!
There is so much to do. You may have already looked at a map and been a little overwhelmed — and eager — to make sure that you don’t miss the best sights.
I’m a former park ranger, and I’ll help you plan your vacation down to the details. I’ve extensively explored Great Basin National Park and am here to help! Whether this is your first time to Great Basin, or if you are returning after many years and would like to be reintroduced to the park, this list of 5 things is for you.
What You Need to Know
- Most people think of Great Basin as a desert, but get ready for a big surprise! Rising out of the sage-covered flatlands is Wheeler Peak. Standing at 13,000 feet, this mountain is the second tallest peak in Nevada! Up here, you’ll find gorgeous alpine lakes, ancient bristlecone pines, and even Nevada’s only glacier.
- Great Basin has five developed campgrounds, and most are first-come, first-served. Click here for more information on snagging a campsite in the park.
- The tiny town of Baker, NV, is just outside the park boundaries. Services here are extremely limited — you’ll a few places to stay, a gas station, and Kerouac’s (a delicious restaurant). For more amenities, you’ll need to drive into Delta, UT, or Ely, NV.
- This park has huge elevation changes, with an 8,000-foot difference from the valley floor to the top of Wheeler Peak! You may experience hot, dry weather at the visitor center and then encounter snow at the end of the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. Plan for any kind of weather, and be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms in the summer.
- Entrance fees are not collected at this park, but you do need to buy a ticket if you want to tour Lehman Caves.
I’ll make sure that you don’t miss the most popular sights, but I also want to provide a few treasures that are off-the-beaten-path as well. Let the adventure begin!