We took the loneliest highway in America all the way to Sacramento Pass BLM area. Sweet free campground to pull into right around sunset and only a few miles away from Great Basin National park. We setup camp, Bailey made her always delicious chili, I made a little fire for heat, and we enjoyed ourselves for awhile before heading to bed.
Great Basin National Park from Sacramento Pass
First, in the morning we made the regular bacon, eggs, and coffee from the Coleman 2 burner stove. We loaded up our belongings like we always do before heading down the road towards the park. We didn’t see even one other camper there the whole time, and there were plenty of sites.
We arrived at Great Basin National park and went to the visitor center for the park movie, and decided where we were going to camp for the night. We stayed in Baker Creek campground inside the park for a small fee so we could remain close to the visitor center where we went to the astronomy program that evening.
Before we went to the astronomy program we did a nice 6 mile loop through pole canyon that was relatively close to our camp. The astronomy program was fun and informative, unfortunately we were unable to look at the stars through the telescopes they had setup for us because of the bad cloud cover.
Wheeler Peek Scenic Drive
The next day we drove up the 10 mile scenic drive to the base of 13,000ft Wheeler Peak where we setup camp in Wheeler Peak campground for a small fee. The next day we would hike to the top of Wheeler Peak, a 3000ft vertical gain around 9 miles round trip. Not exactly your regular walk in the park. Punny huh? We woke up early the next morning to make breakfast and get going.
On the trail in GBNP
We were on the trail by 8:30am, we made it to the top around 12:15pm, and back down to camp with a stop at Stella Lake by 3:30pm. I think we got down way faster than expected. For the rest of the afternoon we lounged around in the hammock and relaxed around camp.
Oh yeah, I forgot about the Bristlecone Pine tree hike. Great Basin National Park is most well know for its old bristlecone pine trees and super dark night skies. We then continued on the Glacier trail to make it to the natural rock glacier there. Who knew there was a glacier in Nevada? Not me. We also did the Lehman Caves tour, which may have been the coolest part of the park. Anyways… more pictures.
We finally made it to the top of Wheeler Peak! For our last day in the park, we would head back down the Wheeler scenic drive for our scheduled tour of the Lehman Caves. Apparently these caves are the most popular part of the entire Great Basin National Park, therefor the tours are booked out early. Luckily we purchased our tickets for the guided cave tour in advance.
Lehman Cave Tours
We did the full tour and it was really cool because of all the different cave rooms. Mr. Lehman found this cave system way back when and would let people in for just $1 and he would even let people pull stalactites off the roof to take home as a souvenir. Kinda cool history on the place. Present day, the national park runs the show, it costs $8/person, and you can’t touch anything once you get inside. The stalactites and helectities and all the tites of the caves take millions of years to form, so ya can’t just go yanking them down anymore. Ok – cave pictures.
So that was it… we exited the cave back into the sunlight. Before leaving we purchased a Hot Springs Exploring California and Nevada edition. We’ve been reading that and are excited to try some new springs out that we didn’t know about once we get back to California. (Edit: 9.25.18 – This hot springs book is amazing, highly recommended!!!)
We hopped in the van, drove out of Great Basin National Park and back into the tiny town of Baker, gassed up and headed down the road towards our next destination. The state of many National Parks- we were headed to Utah and Zion National Park.
I don’t think I put any pictures of the van in this post. To me, its a must. So, here ya go.
Finally, that’s it for this post. Lastly, just so you all know, you can click any of the pictures on this page or any other blog post and the picture will open up bigger in a new window so you can zoom in on all those pixels. Ya know, really get in there and see where we’re at. Furthermore, we are sending love to you all. Thanks for reading about our journey in Great Basin National Park. Update on our adventures in Utah coming soon! Peace.