"NEVADA'S NATIONAL PARK" Great Basin National Park by mtncorg
Great Basin National Park Travel Guide: 34 reviews and 72 photos
Existing since only 1987, Great Basin National Park is one of the more recently established national parks within the US. The idea for a park had occured back in the late 1950's, but different factions - ranchers, miners, Forest Service - had always been able to beat off the call. A collapse in the area's mining industry at the end of the 1970's, led citizens in Ely - the nearest town of any size to the Park, some 70 miles to the West - to argue for a Park to potentially draw visitors and attract jobs. This was enough to win the day for the Park we have now.
The Park offers a lot of variety within a small package. It might not be as flashy as some parks - there is no Grand Canyon here, no geysers, no tall redwoods - but there are wonderful limestone caves - Lehman Caves has been a national monument since 1922; there are high mountain lakes, incredible peaks, the only permanent icefield in the Great Basin, plus ancient bristlecones dating back 3000 to 4000 years - the oldest living thing was cut down here: 4900 years old! All five biological life zones of the Great Basin are to be found within the Park.
Since being granted Park status, more people do come, especially on weekends. There are limited numbers of campground and a few places to stay and eat in the little town of Baker. The nearest town to the west, is Ely at 70 miles. To the east, Delta, Utah is over 100 miles away. Most people see the Park in a quick visit: Cave tour and then up the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive with maybe a quick look at the bristlecone forest - then they are gone. This area holds a lot more for those willing and wanting to take the time.
Sources to check: Michael Kelsey "Hiking and Climbing in Great Basin National Park"
John Hart "Hiking the Great Basin" Sierra Club publication
Deke Castleman "Nevada Handbook' from Moon Publications
- Pros:Cliffs, peaks, canyons, lakes, caves, ancient forests
- Cons:A long ways from Nowhere
- In a nutshell:Great Basin served up in Grand Style
Going to the top of Wheeler Peak demands attention to the equipment you bring up. The day may start out hot below at the... more travel advice
Th view off to the south from atop Wheeler Peak brings more peaks, more cirques and more bristlecones. This is the... more travel advice
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