Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park is a United States National Park established in 1986, located in east-central Nevada near its border with Utah, five miles west of the town of Baker. The park derives its name from the Great Basin, the dry and mountainous region between the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains.

View of the park from Lexington Road

Understand

Climate

There is almost an 8,000 foot (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 snowpack may not have melted at high 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. Weather conditions are highly variable. Please come prepared for all types of weather. It can snow any time of the year at high elevations.

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°F) 39 40 48 55 65 76 84 82 72 59 47 38
Nightly lows (°F) 19 21 26 32 41 50 59 56 47 37 26 19
Precipitation (in) 1.2 1.6 1.0 1.3 1.0 1.2 1.0 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.0 1.0

   Data from NOAA (1981-2010)

Get in

Stella Lake

By plane

The nearest airport is located in Cedar City, Utah, 142 miles away. Major airports are found in Salt Lake City, Utah (234 miles) and Las Vegas, Nevada (286 miles).

By car

From the east or west - From U.S. Highway 6 & 50, turn south on Nevada State Highway 487 and travel 5 miles to Baker, NV. In Baker turn west on Highway 488 and travel 5 miles to the park.

From the south (Utah) - Travel north on Utah State Highway 21 through Milford, UT and Garrison, UT, which will become Nevada State Highway 487 as you cross the border. Turn west on Highway 488 in Baker and travel 5 miles to the park.

From the south (Nevada) - Travel north on U.S. Highway 93 (Great Basin Highway). At the junction of U.S. Highway 6 & 50 drive east to Nevada State Highway 487 and turn south. Travel 5 miles to Baker, NV. In Baker turn west on Highway 488 and travel 5 miles to the park.

By bus

No public transportation is available to, or in, Great Basin National Park.

Fees/Permits

The "Sunk Gardens" in the Lehman Caves

Open - Daily, year round, from 8AM to 4:30PM Pacific Time. Extended hours in the summer. Closed - Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

Great Basin National Park has no entrance fee. Cave tour fees vary depending on length of tour. 60 minute tours cost Adult/Child $8.00/$4.00 while the 90 minute tours cost $10.00/$5.00. Golden Age/Golden Access card holders pay child rates. Camping fees are $12.00 for developed campgrounds per night/per site. $6.00 for Golden Age/Golden Access card holders. Primitive campgrounds have no fee.

See

Upper Lehman Creek

Buy

Sleep

Lodging

Lodging is available outside of the park in the town of Baker.

Camping

Lexington Arch

Great Basin National Park has four developed campgrounds with vault toilets, picnic tables, tent pads, and campfire grills. There are no hookups or leveled parking sites. Campsites are limited to eight people, three tents, and two vehicles per site. There are three campgrounds that have accessible sites.

Lower Lehman Creek is the only campground open year round. Other campgrounds are generally open from May until October, weather permitting. Water may not be available early and late in the season, and is not available in the winter at Lower Lehman Creek. Fees are reduced if water is not available. Since exact opening and closing dates are dependent on weather conditions, contact a visitor center at +1 775 234-7331 or check the current conditions for information specific to your arrival date.

Reservations All park camping is on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations can be made, except for the Grey Cliffs Group Campground where they are required. Campsites may not be "saved" or reserved for family or friends arriving later. Campgrounds often fill on weekends and holidays in the summer months. Visitors are advised to find a campsite early in the day.

Note: Snake Creek and Strawberry Creek Roads are open year round, but can be muddy or snowy in the winter and spring. High clearance vehicles are recommended for these rough, dirt roads. RVs and trailers are not recommended.

Backcountry

Backcountry camping does not require a permit, but registration is free and strongly recommended. Stop at a visitor center to register and obtain a copy of the regulations. Registration not only allows the park to monitor use, but also provides critical information in the event of an emergency.

Stay safe

Climbing - The area in and around the park offers a very limited amount of technical rock climbing. The hazardous nature of the rock is the main contributor to this as well as the remoteness of the sites. All routes in the Wheeler Peak area are hazardous with deadly rockfall possible any time of year.

Chiseling, chipping, gluing, or breaking away rock or otherwise physically altering the rock is prohibited. This includes placing bolts or other fixed protection. Clean aid, top-roping, or traditional lead climbing are permitted. The use of motorized drills, hand drills or other portable motorized equipment is not allowed.

Free climber registration at park visitor centers is recommended for anyone who plans to climb in the park. Rescue resources are limited and may be hours away. Parties should be capable of self-rescue.

Go next

Routes through Great Basin National Park

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