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Stella Lake – Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park, Nevada


Stella Lake, Wheeler Peak, Great Basin National Park


About 2.5 miles roundtrip

Parking Lot Elevation

10,191 ft

Summit Elevation

10,414 ft

Elevation Gain/Loss

223 ft

Time Required

About 1 1/2 hour round trip


No fees

Water Info

Bring 1 liter of water

Best Season


Sun Exposure

Lots of shade along the trail

Trail Condition

Trail is maintained


At the visitor center or campground areas nearby

Visitor Center



Allowed only by permit and in approved camping areas


Bring a few snacks


Bring a bag for your food and water

Parking Lot: 39.01718, -114.30336
Stella Lake: 39.00609, -114.31874

Trail Map

Driving Directions

Please keep in mind that the road to the Summit Trailhead is seasonal from about early spring to late fall.

The Trail:

On a recent trip to Great Basin National Park and on our way back from hiking Wheeler Peak we made a quick detour to Stella Lake.  Since it only added about .10 mile to our existing hike we figured it would be a worthwhile stop.  I however, will give you the directions on how to get here from the Summit Trailhead parking lot area.

If you hike Stella Lake from the parking lot, the trail doesn’t gain too much in elevation and it provides for incredible views of Wheeler Peak and also the valley you are hiking in.

Parking lot

Parking lot

From the parking lot the trail cuts south and west through large aspen groves.  This would be an excellent hike for the fall season with all the leaves changing!

Wheeler Peak

Keep following the trail until you come to a sign that points you to Stella Lake and Wheeler Peak.

Wheeler Peak

Keep hiking for another .1 mile until you come to another fork in the trail where you will see the sign in the picture below.

Take the left fork for .1 miles until you come to Stella Lake.

Wheeler Peak

The trail from here to Stella Lake is easy.


After the .1 miles you will come upon Stella Lake.  The lake is really cool since you can still see Wheeler Peak above.

Stella Lake

There is a trail that connects to a few other lakes.  We didn’t have the time and energy (after hiking to the top of Wheeler Peak) to continue on but we thought Stella Lake was a great way to finish off our grueling hike to the summit.  This would also be a fun quick hike if you wanted to get close to Wheeler Peak but don’t want to hike to the top.

Stella Lake

Stella Lake

Stella Lake, just like many other parts of Great Basin National Park, is a very peaceful place – we didn’t find any other hikers on this trail and if you come in late fall, you may just have the same luck!Stella Lake

Stella Lake

The Return:

Head back the same way you came.

Personal Thoughts:

 Stella Lake is a nice quick detour where you can still see a lot.  I would like to come back to the national park so I can do the lake trail.

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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.

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About The Author
Jeff Johnson
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! JeffTJohnson@ymail.com

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