November 16, 2013

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Day 50-51: Great Basin National Park, NV (9/22-9/23)

In our quest to visit all the National Parks at some point in our life, we figured this was a good opportunity to visit Great Basin National Park.  It’s located near the Nevada Utah border, basically in the middle of nowhere.  The Great Basin itself is actually much larger than the park and includes most of Nevada and Utah along with parts of OR, CA, ID, and WY. It’s a unique area because the water does not drain into a ocean.  It is the largest contiguous endorheic watershed in North America!

As a small, not well known park, we were a bit surprised by all it had to offer including some nice high elevation hikes through aspen forests and around alpine lakes.






We also hiked through a grove of bristlecone pine trees which are some of the oldest trees in the world.  We had also seen these trees in the White Mountains of CA during some of our high altitude hiking training for Mt. Whitney.



Although it is a very dry climate, there was a steady stream running near our campground from the mountain snow melt.


The campgrounds were quite nice with several options, and we finally were able to enjoy a campfire.  On a side note there is only one place to get firewood in the Great Basin NP area and that is in the “town” of Baker just outside the park entrance.  There is a high school/college age guy with various locations you can buy wood from on the honor system.  Be sure to check all the roads leading into town since some of the bins may be empty.  There are also some well stocked stores that carry a variety of beer and wine.  We ate tons of marshmallows and drank until the fire was out and it was too cold to sit under the stars.



The next morning we were awaken by a gang of 20+ wild turkeys walking through our campsite.


Although it is a far drive to Great Basin NP no matter where you are coming from, there are enough things to entertain yourself for a few days and the scenery is beautiful, especially in the fall. There is also a cave that they give tours of, but we didn’t have time for it.


Epic Trip Stats:

  • Days: 51
  • Miles driven: 6,477
  • Miles from our old apartment in Pasadena: 551
  • Photos taken:  9,702
  • National Parks: 12
  • Miles Hiked: 166