Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

View of Wheeler Peak 13,063′ elev. from Baker Creek Campground. This “diamond in the rough” national park sits on the Utah state line, overlooking the Snake Range and the dry Sevier Lake region to the east. I’ve been here only twice in 1995 while headed into Idaho, and again in 2008-en route to Death Valley. This park offers both desert plateau plants like Mormon Tea, mixed with the alpine bristlecone pines. The Lehman Caves tour takes you into the dark formations below ground. A road goes up toward the mountain summit with a parallel trail along Lehman Creek. In the second visit I stayed two nights in Baker Creek, site 9; had several species of birds to enjoy: western tanagers, the calliope hummingbird, Audubon’s warbler, green-tailed towhees and a mountain bluebird! I did the Grey Cliffs trail with warbling vireos, wood peewees and house finches. Pinon pine, aspen, Ponderosa pines, Douglas fir, Engelmann Spruce, Utah juniper join meadows of purple primrose and sagebrush. Deer herds, jackrabbits and marmot can be found. The Humboldt National Forest abuts this remote park along US 50 near Baker NV and Garrison UT, the primitive 4WD gateway for Snake Creek/ Shoshone Campground, Lexington Arch in the park’s more southern locale. A new visitor center was completed in 2006. I hope to get here for a third time this May, to rest on the way to an ambitious Yosemite/ King’s Canyon/ Sequoia, Sierra Nevada transit. photo: C. Daley