Great Basin National Park has its named derived from the Great Basin which is an arid mountainous region in east central Nevada near the Utah border. The Great Basin was designated as the Great Basin National Park on 27th of October, 1986. The Park has diverse landscape from the valley floor to the mountain top and a vast opportunity to explore the wilderness. It is one of the most popular parks for camping in Nevada. The Great Basin National Park has tons of outdoor activities to be enjoyed with friends and family. The Park is known for the bristlecone pines which are the oldest living tree in the world, Lehman caves which features a beautiful formation of limestone and the Wheeler Peak which is the highest peak of the park.
Great Basin National Park Location
Great Basin National Park is a remote area located in east central Nevada near Utah border. The park is around five miles west from the town of Baker.
Great Basin National Park Direction
- Ely Nevada airport is the nearest airport to the Great Basin National Park which is about 70 miles away. Cedar city, Utah, is the second nearest airport which is 142 miles away. The major airports closest to the Great Basin National Park are airports in Salt Lake City, Utah, about 234 miles away and in Las Vegas, Nevada which is 286 miles away.
- There are no public transports to the Great Basin National Park.
- If you are traveling by road from east or west, you need to catch up on the Nevada State Highway 487, traveling for about 5 miles towards Baker, Nevada.
- If you are traveling from south (Utah), follow the Utah State Highway 21 through Milford, UT and Garrison. Crossing the border, enter Nevada State Highway 487. On Highway 488, turn west towards Baker. The park is 5 miles from Baker.
- For visitors traveling from south (Nevada) on Highway 93, turn east from the junction of U.S highway 6 and 50, and then turn south. It is just 5 miles to Baker and another 5 miles to the Park.
Great Basin National Park History
Apart from the geology and the landform, the great basin has a history to tell of the people who lived there thousands of years ago. At recent times, the great basin has been inhabited by farmers, ranchers, mormons and sheepherders. Remnants of the earlier times were seen when Absalom Lehman discovered the Lehman caves, as well as the Fremont Indians who lived in the Snake Valley. The ancient people of the great basin lived on harvesting available animals, nuts, fruits and seeds. Fremont Indians were the ones living in the current Great Basin National Park.
The Great Basin National Park was created in 1986. In 1990, a comprehensive study of the Great Basin National Park as well as the surrounding had been completed by the Great Basin National Park Historic Resource Study. The document was completed in 1990, where the information from prehistory, the native people’s occupation, exploration, mining, ranching and the formation of the Great Basin National Park is given.
Great Basin National Park Attractions
Lehman Caves is an amazing marble cave with beautiful stalagmite and stalactites formations. It has flowstone, helictites and 300 extraordinary shield formations.
A drive along the Wheeler Peak provides a heavenly view of the Great Basin Desert, bristlecone pines and a view of a place where the vistas meet the horizon. It is a mountain road which provides a highlight to the Great Basin Desert.
Alpine Lakes Loop
Alpine Lakes Loop is one of the most popular hiking trails of the Great Basin National Park. This trail connects the two lakes, Teresa and Stella lakes. This trail provides a dramatic view of the alpines and the two ridges rising above the two beautiful lakes which usually stays frozen during the winter.
This lake is located off the Alpine Lake Look hiking trail. It stays frozen during winters.
Bristlecone trail highlights the beauty of the Great Basin National Park. Bristlecone pines are the oldest living trees of the world. Looking at the tree which has adorned the face of the earth for such a long time brings out deep respect for it.
It is an intense hike to the peak from an elevation of 10,000 feet to the peak of 13,065 feet.
Lexington Arch rises from the floor of Lexington Canyon and was carved from limestone due to the forces of weather.
Baker Lake is a scenic lake in the Great Basin National Park. It provides a spectacular view during the sunrise.
Great Basin National Park Activities
Mountain biking is permitted in certain roadways. Some of the trails can challenge the biking skills of the mountain biker.
Camping and Fishing
It has campground with basin facilities and a primitive campground. Fishing in the lake requires a Nevada Fishing license.
The pristine beauty of the Great Basin National Park is best explored through hiking. It is the best place to experience true solitude.
The Park has a large variety of birds such as Northern Flicker, Common Raven, Red-tailed Hawk, American Robin etc.
The Great Basin National Park has a wide range of habitat from the valley floor to the mountain peak, and is home to several species of animals.
The region has a history of the ancient people who lived there. The Fremont Indians who lived in the Snake Valley of that region has left their marks and has been a representative of the ancient times.
The geology of the Great Basin National Park makes it the paradise of a rock collector. Geodes, trilobites and garnets are collected from the area.
Great Basin National Park Camping
Great Basin National Park is an ideal place for camping. It has five camping grounds with facilities like toilets, tent pads, campfire grills and picnic tables. Snake Creek Road also has a primitive campground. The campground is limited to eight people and two vehicles. Most of the campgrounds are open from May until October except for Lower Lehman Creek, which is open throughout the year.
Baker Creek Campground
This campground is open from mid-May to September. It has 32 campsites, two of which are wheel chair accessible.
Grey Cliffs Ground Campground
This campground is open from Memorial to Labors day. Campfire is allowed in one campfire ring only.
Lower Lehman Creek Campground
This campground is open throughout the year. It is 2.5 miles away from the Lehman Caves visitor’s center. Water, however, is available only in summer.
Located at the Snake Creek, this campground is open throughout the year. This campground does not require a fee. Picnic tables, toilets and campfire grills are available on few sites. Water of the creek should be treated before using. Dump station near the visitor’s center provides the drinking water from late spring to fall. Water is provided at the visitor’s center during winter.
Upper Lehman Creek Campground
This campground is open from Mid-May to September. It is 3 miles away from Lehman Caves Visitor center. This campground has 24 sites and one site which is wheel chair accessible. The water is available only in summer in this campground.
Wheeler Peak Campground
This campground is located about 12 miles from Lehman Caves Visitor’s Center. It has 37 sites and a wheel chair accessible site wit pit toilet. These sites are open from June to September. The way to the campground is narrow. Water in this campground is available only in summer.
Great Basin National Park Lodging
The lodging available in the Great Basin National Park is the campgrounds and the backcountry sites. The nearest motel available would be at Baker, Nevada. The nearest city to the Park is Ely, Nevada which is 70 miles west from the park and Delta, Utah which is 100 miles to the east.
Great Basin National Park Weather
Great Basin National Park is an arid region with low humidity. The park has a difference of elevation at the various sites; therefore, weather condition may vary accordingly at the valley and the elevated areas. Weather can change rapidly so it is advised to come prepared for all types of weather condition. Summer is mild. Winter days at the Great Basin National Park is mild to cold with temperature ranging from 50 to 30 degrees during the day and the temperature dropping to 30 to -10 degrees at night. Humidity level is around 90% throughout the year. It may be windy at the altitude above 10,000 feet with the wind speed of 30 to 40 miles per hour.
Great Basin National Park Map
The map of the Great Basin National Park is given below.
Great Basin National Park Animals
Great Basin National Park is home to a diversity of species. The Park has atleast 100 species of butterflies, different kinds of beetles and insects like spiders, scorpions, millipedes and centipedes. Great Basin National Park is habitat to several reptiles and snakes, including the rattlesnake. Despite its high and dry terrain some of the mammals living in the Great Basin National Park are:
- Bighorn sheep (Ovis Canadensis)
- Water shrew (Sorex Palustris)
- Porcupine (Erethizon dorsature)
- Beaver (Castor Canadensis)
- Yellow-billed Marmot (Marmota flaviventris)
- Ringtail cat (Bassariscus astutus)
- Pygmy rabbit (Sylvilagus idahoensis)
- Sagebrush vole (Lagurus curtatus)
Great Basin National Park Facts
- Great Basin National Park is located in central Nevada.
- The closest town to the park is Baker, Nevada which is 6 miles away.
- The elevation of the park ranges from <7000 to 13,063 feet.
- It has five campgrounds and a primitive campground.
- The highest peak in the Great Basin National Park is the Wheeler Peak.
- Pets are not permitted in the trails of Great Basin National Park.
- There is no entrance Fee to the Park.
- Lehman Caves is a special attraction in the Great Basin National Park.
Great Basin National Park Operating Hours
Lehman Caves Visitor Center
- Open throughout the year: 8a.m to 4.30p.m (Pacific Time)
- Closed: New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day
Great Basin Visitor’s Center
- Open May to September: 8a.m to 4.30p.m (Pacific Time)
- Baker Creek Campground: Mid-May to September
- Grey Cliffs Ground Campground: Memorial Day to Labor’s Day
- Lower Lehman Creek Campground: Open throughout the year
- Primitive Campgrounds: open throughout the year
- Upper Lehman Creek Campground: Mid-May to September
- Wheeler Peak Campground: June through October
- Strawberry Creek Campground: Open throughout the year
Great Basin National Park Fees and Reservations
Great Basin National Park does not have an entrance fee.
Reservations are not made. All park camping is first come first serve basis.
Developed campground per night: $6
Primitive Campground: Free
Lehman Caves tour fees
Youth of 6 to 15 years of age: $3
Children aged 5 and under: free
Golden Age and access holder: $2
Great Basin National Park Contact Detail
Great Basin National Park,
100 Great Basin National Park
Baker, Nevada 89311
Park Headquarter: 775-234-7331
Lehman Caves: 775-234-7331 ext:242