Great Basin National Park

December 10th, 2011

Nature, Outdoor adventures, Travel

Utah contains five of the United State’s best national parks. It is also hub to many more of the great western national parks. In this blog series, we at the Red River Ranch will focus on one of the national parks nearby, but not in, Utah. This post covers Great Basin National Park in Nevada.

Great Basin National Park lies only a few miles across the Utah border. The park is best accessed from Utah Highway 21from the south and Utah Highway 50 from the north. Great Basin is pretty remote, located five hours away from both Las Vegas and Salt Lake. But we at the Lodge think it’s worth the time, if you’re headed that way.

Most sources agree that Great Basin National Park offers three major attractions. The first is the 13,000-foot Wheeler Peak, which is a fantastic climb. Second is the Lehman Cave network. This is a spelunker’s paradise and is located at the foot of Wheeler Peak. The third attraction is the bristlecone pine forest, containing the oldest known living organisms in the world. Some are thought to be 5,000 years old.

We at the Lodge would add Lexington Arch to the mix of things to do and see in Great Basin National Park. It is one of the largest limestone arches in the United States. Visitors will notice that the sparse desert landscape is different from the deserts of Southern Utah.

Plan on visiting one of the two visitor centers in the park. One is located near Lehmann caves, the other near the town of Baker, Nevada. There are several different camping sites, with varying levels of modernization. You can also enjoy plenty of backcountry roughing it.

Great Basin National Park receives only about 80,000 visitors a year. We at the Lodge rate Great Basin 5.9/10 on our personal scale. A fun, but not an essential, park to visit.

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