Sunday, July 13, 2008

Nevada's Great Basin Park is Undiscovered Jewel

Las Vegas Review - Journal - Las Vegas,NV,USA
Located enough off the beaten tourist path to discourage many park users, Great Basin National Park in Eastern Nevada remains a largely undiscovered wonderland. It appeals to visitors who prefer to enjoy their outdoor pursuits in relative solitude. The park offers many superlatives, including Nevada's only glacier, the state's second-highest mountain peak, some of the oldest trees on the planet and caves filled with rare natural decorations.

Nevada's only national park lies 286 miles from Las Vegas. To reach it, head north on Interstate 15 to the US 93 exit near Apex. Follow scenic US 93 north to the junction with US 6/50. Head east to Highway 487, where you turn south and drive five miles to the little town of Baker. In Baker turn on Highway 488, which heads west five miles to the park entrance.

Great Basin remains one of the few national parks with no entrance fee and no reserved campsites. Although it stays open all year except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day, some facilities close in winter. Visitors camping in the four established campgrounds pay $12 per night of $6 for holders of Golden Age or Golden Access passes. Primitive campsites on remote Snake Creek and Strawberry Creek are free. For best site selection, avoid summer weekends and holidays, instead arriving mid-week or in the off seasons.

The smallest of the established campgrounds on Lower Lehman Creek contains 11 sites open to use all year, but lacking water in winter. Accessible from Wheeler Peak Scenic Road, Upper Lehman Creek Campground offers 22 sites and Wheeler Peak Campground contains 37 sites. A graded road leads to Baker Creek Campground's 34 sites. The larger campgrounds open in late May and close in October. Campgrounds have vault toilets, water and trash receptacles. Pick up firewood in Baker or bring it from home.
Full Story...
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