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Great Basin National Park Travel Guide

  • Photo: Arlene Treiber / Shutterstock

Plan Your Great Basin National Park Vacation

Rising 13,063 feet out of a massive 200,000-square-mile basin, Wheeler Peak beckons visitors with an entirely unique ecosystem. High desert meets alpine forest here, with a limestone cave to boot. Fewer than 100,000 visitors (compared to 3 million at Utah’s Zion National Park) will find their way to this off-the-beaten-path park annually, but for them, the rewards will be ample. Surface

water in the Great Basin has no outlet to the sea, so it pools in more than 200 small basins throughout the steep mountain ranges. Along with these alpine lakes, the dramatic mountains shelter lush meadows, limestone formations, and ancient bristlecone pines. Within the park is the southernmost permanent glacier on the continent.

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Updated 1/20/2014

Top Reasons To Go

  1. Ancient tree spottings The bristlecone pines in Great Basin are thousands of years old.
  2. Desert skyscraper Wheeler Peak rises out of the vast desert basin with summit temperatures often 20–30 degrees below that of the visitor center.
  3. Rare shields Look for hundreds of these unique disk-shape formations inside Lehman Caves.
  4. Gather your pine nuts while you may Come in the fall and go a little nutty, as you can gather up to three gunnysacks of pinyon pine nuts, found in abundance throughout the park and tasting oh-so-yummy—they're great on salads.

When To Go

When to Go

As one of the least-visited national parks in the country, Great Basin National Park is never crowded. The small number of visitors ensures that m...

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