Great Basin NP includes a large part of the South Lake Range, an excellent example of a desert mountain island. This diverse park provides many opportunities for a Great Basin adventure. From the sagebrush base to Wheeler Peak's 13,063 foot summit, Great Basin NP includes streams, lakes, alpine plants, abundant wildlife, 5,000-year-old bristlecone pine trees, and numerous limestone caves including the beautiful Lehman Caves.
Great Basin NP: A Great Place for Stargazing
Because of the alarming amount of light pollution that was invading national parks, the National Park Service formed the Night Sky Team. In October 2005, the Team visited Great Basin National Park to test its light levels. They determined that the Great Basin's night skies are amongst the darkest in the country; thus visitors can enjoy a spectacular light show as they gaze at the stars in the darkness of Great Basin's peaceful nights.
No Visit is Complete without a Tour of the Beautiful Lehman Caves
The great Lehman Caves, which are only accessible through guided tours, are made of limestone and contain intriguing, unusual formations that make the area such a beautiful place. The entire cave is decorated with formations of stalactites, stalagmites, helictites, flowstone, popcorn, and other formations that cover nearly every surface of the cave.
Suggestions for Planning a Visit to Great Basin NP
There is so much to explore in this park that it might be a good idea to plan your Great Basin adventure. Listed below are suggestions for making the most of your visit.
Half - Day Visit
•View the exhibits at both visitor centers.
•Take part in a 60- or 90- minute Lehman Caves Tour.
•Take the 12-mile Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive for unique views of the mountains and surrounding valleys.
•Take a self-guided walk on the Mountain View Nature Trail – located next to the Lehman Caves' Visitor Center – and experience a pinyon-juniper forest (its sights, sounds, and smells).
•Have a peaceful lunch in the secluded Pole Canyon Picnic Area that is located off the Baker Creek Road.
•Trek up the Bristlecone Pine Trail and be amazed by the oldest living things in the world (one of the bristlecone pines is 4,950 years old).
Two or More Days
•Make your way into the backcountry for some camping in the Baker/Johnson Lake Loop Trail.
•Take advantage of the good fishing on Lehman or Baker Creeks.
•Take a hike to Lexington Arch, located 25 miles south of Baker.
•Partake of a great adventure by wandering around Osceola, a ghost town just north of the park's boundary.
Great Basin NP with its ancient bristlecone pines, spectacular star gazing, amazing Lehman caves, and diverse terrain is a wilderness paradise for nature lovers.