Great Basin National Park
Includes all lodging, all meals, park entrance fees, leaders, trail maps and narratives.
Salt Lake City
Timberline van shuttle is included between Salt Lake City and Great Basin N.P prior to and following tour.
Not included: Airline service to Salt Lake City International Airport, Guide Gratuity.
Hotel 8:30 am
The Great Basin physiographic region covers most of Nevada, the western third of Utah and smaller portions of eastern California, southeastern Oregon and southern Idaho. This 210,000 square mile area is bordered by California’s Sierra Nevada Range to the west, Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east, the south edge of the Columbia Plateau to the north and the Mojava Desert to the south. Great Basin is huge and one of the newer National Parks! We will explore and have the opportunity to hike just a small area of this amazing natural wonder.
Day one, we’ll assemble and van shuttle to Garrison, NV, with a short warm up hike and stop at the visitors center in the park . This is a great introduction to the park. Day two takes us on an especially schenic loop hike that follows a cascading alpine creek to a pair of classic alpine lakes. It also crosses two high passes and traverses alpine meadows with epic views of the surrounding summits. We’ll also pass by the site of an historic tungsten mine. On Day three we’ll hike Wheeler Peak. Wheeler Peak is the parks highest point.
Great Basin National Park is home to the Great Basin Bristlecone pine. As a species, bristlecone pine has inhabited the Great Basin for 40,000 years. Bristlecones are the world’s oldest known living trees; many live for several thousand years. The oldest known bristlecone pine is over 4600 years old. Day four, we’ll combine a hike among the bristlecones and also enjoy a tour of the Underground World, Lehman Caves. Lehman Caves is actually a single cavern despite the name. It extends a quarter-mile into the limestone and marble that flank the base of the Snake Range.
On Day 5, we’ll venture out to Garrison and enjoy a challenging hike with some loose rock scrambles but well worth the experience and the views. Day 6 we’ll hike to Lexington Arch. The trail begins with a steady climb. Lexington Arch is a six story limestone formation. There is question about whether it was once a passage in a cave system. It is even possible that Lexington Arch is not an arch at all, but rather it is a natural bridge. While arches are formed by the effects of weathering, bridges are created by the flowing waters of a stream. It is possible that long ago, when Lexington Canyon was not as deep, the waters of Lexington Creek flowed through a cave in the wall of the canyon and in doing so enlarged the tunnel that became Lexington Arch.
|Day 1||Van shuttle to the Great Basin National Park, warm up hike en route to Great Basin National Park (Alpine Lakes Loop- Stella, Teresa Lakes)||3|
|Day 2||Baker Lake and Johnson Lake, views of (Pyramid Peak 11,926')||13.1|
|Day 3||Wheeler Peak (13,063-) (second highests peak in Nevada)||8.6|
|Day 4||Bristlecone Pine Groves Mount Washington (1,000') and Tour of the Lehman Caves||4|
|Day 5||Notch Peak (3000 feet elevation gain)||9|
|Day 6||Lexington Arch hike and van shuttle return to Salt Lake City||3.6|
Total Distance: 41.3 miles
- Stargazer Inn