Great Basin National Park

About a month ago Julie and I visited Great Basin National Park, a remote park in eastern Nevada that had been on our must-see list for a while.

Julie and I hiking in Great Basin NP Julie and I hiking in Great Basin NP

We’ve cruised past signs pointing the way to Great Basin many times, but the seasons never cooperated. We made our base at Ely NV in mid October for a few days to explore not just Great Basin but also Cave Lake and other attractions in the area.

Cave shield in Lehman Caves Cave shield in Lehman Caves

Our day started with a tour of Lehman Caves, known for an interesting feature called cave shields. Not as vast as Carlsbad Caverns, the compactness meant we saw so much in so little space. Drapes, shields, water pools, and even graffiti (and poorly executed graffiti scrubbing and covering) were all present.

Very old bristlecone pine Very old bristlecone pine

Next we hiked a loop including bristlecone pines and alpine lakes. I’ve seen bristlecones in Bryce Canyon, and Julie visited some of the oldest on the planet in the eastern Sierras. There were so many! This one is over 3,000 years old.

Small lake in Great Basin NP Small lake in Great Basin NP

We extended our hike to go by the alpine lakes, and with the light going golden the aspens started to absolutely glow.

Unfortunately we didn’t feel acclimated enough to attempt a summit of Wheeler Peak. We’ll get back to that someday.