Ever since noticing the Great Basin National Park in Baker, Nevada on a map, I have been curious about it. I knew next to nothing about that area in Nevada, having only been to Reno once and Las Vegas a few times. Our visits had been contained to the western part of the Silver State.
The park lies within the Snake Range of mountains which has become like an island in a desert. This mountain range sits in the middle of sage-covered valleys. There are many similar, small mountain ranges in Nevada. The actual Great Basin covers almost all of Nevada ending just north of Las Vegas and opposite Death Valley.
Great Basin National Park.. Bruce called ahead and learned we could drop the MH off in the Visitor Center parking lot and proceed into the park with the Explorer. Vehicles over 24 feet are not advised to go into the park past the Upper Lehman Creek Campground. From the Visitor Center lot we could look up at the Snake Range and see the highest peak which is Wheeler Peak.
Midway on our drive up, we stopped at this overlook to enjoy a mountain view. It was getting cooler here and we were glad we had brought along our jackets. Wheeler Peak's summit is at 13,063 feet.
After we left the overlook we began seeing snow at the side of the road.....lots of it. The park road was totally clear at this time of year, but there was plenty of snow to appreciate. The deciduous trees here were still mainly bare of leaves. Soon we passed the 10,000 elevation marker. At the Visitor Center the elevation is 5,317 feet, so you climb to 10,000 feet fairly quickly.
There are 4 campgrounds in the park and all are dry camping only. The Lower Lehman Creek CG (ele. 7,300) and the Upper Lehman Creek CG (ele. 7,752) are open to small RV's. It appears that the Baker Creek CG (ele. 7,530) is also open to small RV's. The Wheeler Peak CG, by the picnic area at the end of the road, is at 9,886 elevation. You could probably get a small Class-B motorhome in that CG. No potable water is available at Wheeler, though.
The park also has some very primitive campsites in the back country where you will find small lakes and a lot of streams for fishing. These sites are hike-in only. The park brochure said that the night sky is the darkest here so stargazing is fabulous. If you like hikes in very primitive areas on little developed trails and getting off by yourself to enjoy solitude and the sounds of nature....this is the place for you!
Until next time.....so long for now!
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