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***Discover Our Parks, LLC takes no responsability in the accuracy of these alerts, which are taken directly from NPS.gov, and we provide them for informational purposes only. Please refer to NPS.gov for more information.

About Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park, established by Congress in 1986, lies within a vast geographic region known as the Great Basin, the only region in North America where water has no outlet to the sea. Consisting of a seemingly endless expanse of mountains and desert valleys, the Great Basin also holds the distinction of being the largest desert in the United States.

The story of the Great Basin includes ecology, geology, and more than 13,000 years of human history. The park’s natural environments range from sagebrush flats on the desert floor, through extensive conifer forests, to the alpine peaks of the South Snake Range, including Wheeler Peak—the second highest mountain in Nevada. The ecology of the South Snake Range is an excellent example of “island biogeography,” where the surrounding desert has isolated species in areas of higher elevation, forcing them to develop unique adaptations to survive. This varied landscape is home to a rich diversity of plant and animal communities, including ancient groves of bristlecone pine, the oldest living trees on the planet.

Great Basin National Park showcases an exceptional combination of geological features, with more than 40 known caves, including beautiful Lehman Caves. Archeological sites, rock art, and traditional cultural places in the park illustrate the past and continuing presence of American Indian peoples, including the Shoshone and Paiute. Miners, cattle ranchers, farmers, and sheepherders have left their own distinctive mark on the landscape. Collectively, the park’s ecological and geological diversity, remoteness, and challenging environmental conditions highlight the importance of adaptation—for plants and animals, as well as for people—and offer an ideal setting for researchers to observe and study the effects of climate change.

Great Basin National Park is located in a remote area along the eastern border of Nevada with limited services, so visitors must plan ahead. Those who make the journey are rewarded with a variety of recreational and educational opportunities, including rigorous alpine hiking, fishing in backcountry streams, camping, stargazing, sightseeing along the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, cave tours, and several other ranger-led programs.

Source: Foundation Document Overview – Great Basin National Park

| From the 13,063-foot summit of Wheeler Peak, to the sage-covered foothills, Great Basin National Park is a place to sample the stunning diversity of the larger Great Basin region. Come and partake of the solitude of the wilderness, walk among ancient bristlecone pines, bask in the darkest of night skies, and explore mysterious subterranean passages. There’s a whole lot more than just desert here! | Great Basin National Park | Nevada | https://www.nps.gov/grba/index.htm

Fast Facts:

Date the Park was Established:October 27, 1986
Park Area (as of 2019):77,180.00 acres (312.3 km2)
Recreational Visitors (2018 Total):153094 visitors

Park Weather

There is almost an 8,000 ft (2,400 m) difference in elevation between Wheeler Peak and the valley floor. Weather conditions in the park vary with elevation. In late spring and early summer, days in the valley may be hot, yet the snow pack may not have melted in the higher elevations. The Great Basin is a desert, with low relative humidity and sharp drops in temperature at night. In the summer, fierce afternoon thunderstorms are common. It can snow any time of the year at high elevations.