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Great Basin National Park and Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive
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Overview
Location

Baker Nevada just by the Utah Nevada border

Sights

Wheeler Peak, Lehman Caves, Camping, Bristlecone Pines, Star Gazing, Glacier, Several Lakes

Distance

Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive is about 10 Miles one way

Parking Lot Elevation

7,599 ft

Summit Elevation

10,137 ft

Elevation Gain/Loss

2,538 ft

Time Required

2 Hours just for the drive to relax and see the sights

Pets

No

Fees

Free entry into the park.

Water Info

Water available at the 3 campgrounds and the two visitor centers

Best Season

Spring, summer, fall

Hours

Open year round

Sun Exposure

Depending on what you do

Trail Condition

Most trails are maintained

Restrooms

At the visitor centers, trail heads, and campgrounds

Visitor Center

Great Basin Visitor Center in Baker, and Lehman Caves Visitor Center in the park

Camping

Yes by reservation

Food

In Baker

Equipment

Good hiking shoes, jacket, bag for food and water, camera

Road Map:


Driving Directions:

From Nephi, Utah take Highway 6 through Delta Utah and on to Baker Nevada.


The Trail: 

This national park has a lot to offer. I have covered the Bristlecone Hiking trail and the Lehman caves in separate trek reports. I highly recommend both for anyone visiting the park. In additon the park offers excellent camping. There are three established campgrounds. I stayed in the Lehman Creek Upper Campground. It was very nice with a firepit, tent pad, water, trash, bathroom, picnic table, and Lehman creek right by our sight to provide some nice acoustics. There is firewood available for purchase in Baker if you didn’t bring any. You can’t burn any wood you find in the park.

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This park offers some amazing sunsets. One of the biggest attractions here is it is certified as one of the 2 or 3 best places in North America to view stars. We were there on a moonless time so they also had a ranger led astronomy program that I really enjoyed. The stars were unbelievable and that alone made it worth the trip for me.

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I also enjoy bird watching and this park is a great place for it. There are several nature trails that are a great family friendly place to find some creatures.

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The park offers lots of different hiking opportunities for people of all skills and hikes of all lengths. The most popular and accessible hikes are the Bristlecone Trail. (see trek report) The rock glacier trail is an extension of the Bristlecone Trail. It goes to the only Glacier in Nevada. The Alpine Lakes Trail takes you past two beautiful high mountain lakes. The Baker Lake trail goes to a large high altitude lake with a beautiful mountain setting. The Wheeler Peak Summit trail takes you to the top of the second highest peak in Nevada at 13,063 feet. This trail should be started very early and only attempted by people in shape, experienced, and prepared for high altitude weather possibilities.

The main attraction of the park is the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. This is a beautiful drive that rises very steeply for about ten miles offering beautiful views of the mountains and surrounding desert.

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Notch Peak from another trek can be seen in the distance from the road.

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Make sure and pull off at the Wheeler peak overlook. This is an awesome looking peak! At the base of the peak is Rock Glacier. The last Glacier in Nevada. It is almost completely covered in rubble.

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Wheeler Peak is well worth the drive!

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 Personal Thoughts:

This is an awesome place that not all that many people know about. It was a pleasant place to camp even into November. There are lots of activities for all people and great family friendly hikes. The stars, the trees, Lehman caves, and the huge peaks left me in awe. This is definitely somewhere I plan on visiting again.

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Ratings (out of 10)
Trek Planner Rating
User Rating
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Difficulty
2.0
Technicality
2.0
Enjoyment
8.0
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek.  If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

6.5
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About The Author
Josh1990
I love adventure! I live in Cache Valley, Utah. Do you have questions on any of my Treks? Email me @ joshua.oyler@gmail.com

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