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The Great Basin National Park Boondocking areas showcase the beauty of the park. From the 13,063-foot pinnacle of Wheeler pinnacle to the sagebrush-covered slopes, the immense diversity of the boondocking zone. Hike amid majestic bristlecone pines, take in a star-studded night sky, and explore the forest’s depths; all while listening to nothing but the sounds of nature. You’ll find more than just sweets in this section.
The wide desert region characterized by sagebrush-covered lowlands and minimal mountain ranges are all known as Great Basin National Park boondocking areas. Eventually, the hot, dry air of the desert evaporates the water that flows through its rivers and streams and pools in the small salt lakes, marshes, and mud flats that dot the landscape. There are actually several basins here, all separated from one another by parallel mountain ranges that run roughly north to south. Wide lowlands dangle between stony mountain ranges from the Sierra Nevada in California to the Wasatch Mountains in Utah.
Because there are so many plants of the same color, the landscape can look boring at first glance (or after a lengthy automobile ride). What you see isn’t what you get. Like the ocean, much of the wildlife here is unseen. The mountain ranges that rise above the sagebrush sea are like islands, with cooler air and more water than the surrounding desert. Plants and animals that can’t survive in the lower desert will thrive further up.
A major section of the South Snake Range was included in the present Great Basin National Park Boondocking areas by Congress in 1986. This mountain chain perfectly captures the feel of a remote island in the middle of the desert. There is sagebrush at the park’s base, lakes, wildlife, many types of forests (including groves of ancient bristlecone pines), alpine plants, and many limestone caves, the most magnificent of which are the Lehman Caves, all within the park’s boundaries. Wheeler Peak rises to an elevation of 13,063 feet.
Things to Do At the Great Basin National Park Boondocking Areas
Whether you plan to spend a day or a week at Great Basin National Park, you’ll never run out of things to do and see.
Visitor centers often have rangers who may give suggestions for activities that will work with your schedule and the number of people in your party. Here are some suggestions to help you get going.
Great Basin National Park Visitor Itinerarys
Half a Day:
Check out the exhibits in both visitor centers.
Join a Lehman Caves Tour. A Park Ranger will take you on a guided walk of the Lodge Room or Grand Palace section of Lehman Caves.
Drive the 12 mile Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive for unparalled views of the mountains and surrounding valleys.
Stroll along the 1/4 mile Island Forest Trail at the end of the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive.
Walk the self-guided Mountain View Nature Trail, located next to the Lehman Caves Visitor Center, and experience the sights, sounds, and smells of a pinyon-juniper forest.
Attend a ranger program at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.
Enjoy a picnic lunch at the secluded Pole Canyon Picnic Area, located off the Baker Creek Road.
Venture up the Bristlecone Pine Trail to see the oldest living organisms in the world (2.8 miles round trip). Continue further up the trail to see Nevada’s only glacier at the base of Wheeler Peak.
Sign the kids up to become Great Basin Junior Rangers.
Find a comfortable spot after sunset for some stargazing or catch a ranger led astronomy program under one of the darkest night skies in the country.
Two or More Days:
Head into the backcountry for an overnight on the Baker/Johnson Lake Loop Trail.
Enjoy fishing on Lehman or Baker Creek.
Hike to Lexington Arch, located 25 miles south of Baker.
Visit the Baker Archeological Site to see the site of an excavated Fremont Indian Village.
Search for ancient rock art at Pictograph Cave.
Summit Wheeler Peak, the highest peak contained within the state of Nevada (elevation 13,063ft).
Great Basin National Park Boondocking Areas and Camping Locations
Free Boondocking Locations
Great Basin State Park Paid Camping Locations
Great Basin National Park Paid Camping Locations