Great Basin National Park

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OVERVIEW: About this audio-described brochure

Welcome to the audio-description version of Great Basin National Park's official print brochure. Through this text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Great Basin visitors receive. One side of the brochure has a map of the park along with location and services, things to see and do long with some warnings. The other side of the brochure describes the natural and cultural wonders of the Great Basin National Park.

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OVERVIEW: Front side of brochure

The front of the brochure includes photographs of  Wheeler Peak, an inset map of the Great Basin covering the surrounding states with the park marked, pictures of the park seen from the southeast, sunrise at Baker Lake, Parry's primrose, Lexington Arch, Bristlecone pine, people climbing Wheeler Peak, there is also an illustration of a Golden Eagle. There are two pictures of Lehman Caves, one is of a group touring the cave the other is of a large shield formation. All photos are in color. The text explains how the mountains and the high desert effects the climate, wildlife, plants and the people past and toady of the Great Basin area. There is text that talks about the underground world of Lehman Caves and the geologic processes of the cave and the cave discovery. 

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IMAGES and TEXT: Mountains in a Sea of Sagebrush

IMAGE 1 of 2: Mountain range

DESCRIBING: A large, horizontal color image of the top of a snow-covered mountain. Cover image for the brochure.

SYNOPSIS: A scenic view of a large, grey, snow-covered rocky peak. There is a prominent peak in the center of the image with a dramatic vertical cliff face. A tree in the foreground is in shadow and creates a dark area to the right of the image that blends into a dark area at the base of the image where text is displayed.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A grey, rocky pointed mountain peak juts up from the image into a black bar that has the title of the brochure “Great Basin.” The front of the peak has a flat vertical cliff face. From each side of the cliff are other rocky ridges. The one in the foreground has a smooth almost rounded shape with a rough, rocky texture to the surface. The second mountain ridge is jagged with grey rocky spires reaching into the blue sky. Bright white patches of snow are tucked into every depression on the mountain with the grey rock exposed where the mountain is raised. On the right side of the photo there is the dark outline of tree branches in the foreground, framing the mountain view before fading to black below the image.

CAPTION: Wheeler Peak


IMAGE 2 of 2: Map of western US

DESCRIBING: Inset image of a map of the western U.S. states indicating the location of the Great Basin Desert and Great Basin National Park.

SYNOPSIS: The map is white with black outlines of 11 western states with a reddish-brown color irregular shape overlaying the map to identify the location of the Great Basin Desert. A small black dot in Nevada near the Nevada-Utah border indicates the location of Great Basin National Park.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The map is white with black outlines of the shape of each state, The states on the map from North to south then east to west include Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California. The reddish-brown irregular shape that identifies the Great Basin Desert is largely covering most of Nevada north of the southern quarter of the state, it bulges to the east into the western third of the state of Utah and to the north creates a crescent into the south-western corner of Idaho and a 1/6th chunk out of the south-eastern corner of Oregon. To the west a few slivers of the very eastern edge of California are also part of the Great Basin Desert. The small dot indicating the location of Great Basin National Park is flagged with a green box and white text labeling the park.

CAPTION: Centered in Nevada, the Great Basin stretches from California’s Sierra Nevada to Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. The region features high valleys, many mountain ranges, and few rivers. Great Basin National Park protects the South Snake Range near Utah’s border east of Ely, Nevada. 


Welcome to Great Basin National Park, where you can experience desert heat and alpine cold in one day. The park rises from a sea of sagebrush to treeless rocky summits. Its name refers to the huge geographic area where waters have no outlet to the sea. Streams and rivers drain into shallow salt lakes, marshes, and mud flats, eventually evaporating in dry desert air. The Great Basin contains many smaller basins separated by mountain ranges running north to south. This undulating basin-and-range topography stretches across Nevada and into four other states.

The repetitive landscape could seem monotonous, but looks can deceive. Life teems in the desert’s sagebrush “sea.” Mountain ranges are “islands” of cooler air and more water. Plants and animals have adapted to thrive in such isolated environments.

Congress set aside Great Basin National Park in 1986 to preserve one of these desert mountain islands—the South Snake Range. From desert and sagebrush at its base to Wheeler Peak’s 13,063-foot summit, the park offers streams, lakes, abundant wildlife, varied forests, alpine plants, and limestone caverns.

Great Basin National Park also provides a rare opportunity in our world to view a truly dark night sky. This remote park still has clean air and hardly any light pollution. Its night sky offers brilliant views of planets, constellations, and the Milky Way. To protect and celebrate these panoramic views of the night sky, Great Basin National Park was designated an International Dark Sky Park in 2016.

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IMAGES and TEXT: At Desert’s Edge

IMAGE 1 of 2: Landscape

DESCRIBING: A small horizontal landscape photo

SYNOPSIS: A far distant rolling tan mountain range tipped with patchy white snow rises over a large flat prairie grass area mostly covered in short rust-colored plants interspersed with taller grayish tan grasses. White clouds dot the blue sky above the mountains, casting darker shadows on the mountain slopes.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: In the foreground of the photo, short rust-colored plants dominate most of the prairie. Tall grayish tan and green grasses bend to the left against yellow green sagebrush in the center left of the photo. Half of a small shallow pond reflects the blue sky on the upper right of the photo below the mountains. Near this point, the rust-colored plants meet tan grasses in the distance at the base of the rolling tan colored mountain range.

CAPTION: Basin meets range: park peaks seen from the southeast


IMAGE 2 of 2: Snake

DESCRIBING: Small color corner photo with a faded upper right edge

SYNOPSIS: A tan rattlesnake with dark brown evenly spaced linear spots along the length of its body is coiled on a gray and brown rock spotted with an orange and gray-green lichen

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The focus of the photo is a close-up image looking down on the rattlesnake on the rock. The snake’s triangular shaped head rests on its coils with one eye visible and a mouth partially open. The rock beneath the snake fades from the bottom left corner of the photo into the white background of the brochure leaving the dark brown, smooth, cylindrical, jointed scales of the ‘rattle’ at the end of the snake’s tail in stark relief.

CAPTION: Great Basin rattlesnake



The Snake Range rises from the desert as you approach. Both basin and range looked different during the most recent ice age. Glaciers hung in the mountains, carving peaks and high valleys. Lakes shimmered in the basins where sagebrush now grows. Waves from the largest of those lakes, massive Lake Bonneville, once lapped against a shore less than five miles (8 km) from the town of Baker.

A warming climate began melting glaciers and drying up the lakes about 10,000 years ago. As the lakes dried, desert plants took root. The Snake Range became an island, its elevation a cool refuge to temperate-climate dwellers. Many of these organisms, unable to cross the desert basins, became isolated here. Over time some of them—like Holmgren’s buckwheat shown above right—developed adaptations found nowhere else on Earth.

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IMAGES and TEXT: Into the Mountains

IMAGES and TEXT: Into the Mountains

IMAGE 1 of 2: Lakescape

DESCRIBING: A small, color, landscape photograph.

SYNOPSIS: A ridge of steep mountains covered in patchy snow, rises from the edge of a lake. The reflection of the mountains is mirrored on the glassy surface of the lake water. The scene is cool blue with a warm glow of sunlight raking across the tips of the peaks.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The mountains are mostly bare rocky slopes with a few sections of dense pine trees. Pointed rock formations jut from the tops of the peaks. A plate of ice covers the edge of the lake along the shoreline. The sky above is cloudless and clear blue.

CAPTION: Stella Lake


IMAGE 2 of 2: Fish

DESCRIBING: A small photograph, edges fade into the white background of the brochure.

SYNOPSIS: A pale fish with dark spots is held on its side, cupped by two hands above a watery backdrop.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The fish is a pale silvery-tan color overall with a prominent pink patch at its throat and pink accents along its gills, side, and lower fins. It has dark brown spots scattered sparsely along the length of its head and body, with more condensed spots on the dorsal and tail fin. Its eye is a metallic gold with black in the center. It has a long slender body, a few inches longer than the two hands cupped together side-by-side. The thumb of one hand lightly encircles the fish to hold its glossy wet body.

CAPTION: Bonneville cutthroat trout



To experience how the landscape changes with elevation, take the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. Starting at 7,000 feet (2134 m), it climbs through pinyon-juniper woodlands and along Lehman Creek. Manzanita and shrubby mountain mahogany line the road on the way to higher stands of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. Here the road enters the realm of ice-age glaciers that scraped U-shaped slopes and sharpened peaks. Their activity left behind piles of glacial till—boulders, sand, and gravel—forming mounds and ridges.

Aspens line the road as it climbs higher. After 12 miles (19 km) and an elevation change of 3,400 feet (1,036 m), the drive ends. Subalpine meadows, groves of aspen, and forests of limber pine and Engelmann spruce reward the traveler. Here trailheads invite you to explore the high country. Options include a 0.4-mile (0.64-km) wheelchair-accessible trail that winds through the subalpine forest.

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IMAGES and TEXT: At Treeline

IMAGE 1 of 4: Pink flowers

DESCRIBING: A small horizontally oriented color photograph.

SYNOPSIS: A zoomed-in photo of a green plant with prolific light pink blooms situated among white fractured rocks with some green vegetation in the background. This photo was taken with direct sunlight on the subject matter.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The focus of this image is a low-lying green plant with light pink blooms. The plant takes up most of the space of the image. Surrounding the plant on the left side in the foreground and background are large pieces of fractured white rock. It appears as if the plant is growing nestled amidst this rocky landscape. The green leaves of the plant lie lower to the rocks and are a dusty, soft lighter green. The leaves are small and emanate upwards in small triangles resembling the leaves of succulent plants. Rising up from the leaves are dappled light pink groups of small blooming flowers rounded into an orb shape. The orbs of pink flowers are all over the plant and cover most of the soft, light green of the leaves underneath.

CAPTION: Holmgren’s buckwheat


IMAGE 2 of 4: Rock archway

DESCRIBING: Small color photo, vertically oriented of an outdoor landscape scene.

SYNOPSIS: A vertical photo of an orange-tan colored limestone arch in a mountainside. The hole in the middle of the arch shows the true-blue sky behind the scene.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: In the foreground, a steep hillside covered in tall dark green evergreen trees and some smaller vegetation closer to the ground sweeps upward. Through gaps in the trees, reddish orange dirt and rock patches are visible. The treetops give way to a vast and sheer orange-tan colored mountainside. The mountainside spans the entire width of the image with jagged crags and knobs. Above the tree line, in the center of the mountainside is a large rock arch creating an almost circular hole in the rock. Through the hole is the blue sky beyond. Bright blue sky also shows at the top of the image and above the peak of the arch and mountainside.

CAPTION: Lexington Arch


IMAGE 3 of 4: Tree

DESCRIBING: A horizontal, color photo of a bristlecone pine tree.

SYNOPSIS: A large Bristlecone pine stands in the center of the frame, with roots, branches, and leaves extending towards each edge of the frame. The Bristlecone grows out of the ground, which is covered in small pieces of gray shale. The sky behind the tree is clear and bright blue. Several bristlecone pines are visible in the distant background, scattered throughout a desolate, shale-covered area.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The tree’s trunk is thick and gnarled, several feet around, and covered in a light tan bark. Thick roots extend out the bottom of the trunk, growing on top of the gray shale ground. One root extends out of the left side of the frame, one extends out of the bottom, and one out of the right side of the frame. Extending towards the top of the frame, the trunk splits into three sections, which each split further into several gnarled branches. In the top third of the tree, the branches are covered in clumps of small, dark green pine needles, each about two to three inches in length. Scattered throughout the branches are small, brown pinecones. The details are not visible due to the distance of the photo, but the pinecones are two to four inches in height. Some bare or sparse branches extend out of the tree.

CREDIT: Tom Bean

RELATED TEXT: The Bristlecone pine is among the world’s oldest living things. Their incredible resilience has allowed them to withstand over 5,000 years of weather and history.

IMAGE 4 of 4: People climbing up rocks

Description of image captioned "Climbing Wheeler Peak":

DESCRIBING: A small, vertical color photo against a white background, captioned "Climbing Wheeler Peak".

SYNOPSIS: The photo is taken from slightly uphill of two hikers standing on a steep hillside covered with large gray rocks.

IN DEPTH DESCRIPTION: One individual is walking slightly in front of the other, wearing a royal blue jacket, loose black pants, and a black backpack. The individual has just past shoulder length, curly light brown hair and is wearing a white knit beanie. The second individual's hair is obscured by a black beanie. This hiker is carrying a black backpack and wearing loose blue jeans and an orange windbreaker. This individual is holding a camera in their hand that also rests on a strap around their neck. Both individuals are wearing hiking boots. The gray rocks on the hillside are of varying sizes but approximately two feet each in width and height. The hillside fills 2/3 of the photograph. Beyond the hillside, a vegetated mountain range is visible. In the far distance, a brown valley is visible, with another mountain range behind it. The sky has dense, gray clouds.

CREDIT: Tom Bean

RELATED TEXT: Wheeler Peak is the highest mountain in Great Basin National Park. It is located in the Snake Range. 


Trails take hikers beyond the road to explore more of the ice-sculpted landscape. A loop trail winds past Teresa and Stella lakes. Each is cupped in a glacier-carved bowl called a cirque.

Another trail leads to a grove of ancient trees. Bristlecone and limber pines live at elevations higher than most trees can survive—between 9,500 and 11,000 feet (2896–3353 m). Both are hardy, but bristlecone pines are the masters of longevity, enduring thousands of years.

Beyond that ancient grove, the trail continues to the last of the Great Basin glaciers. This ice-age remnant, now mostly covered in rock, persists as a reminder of the power of ice.

Even now as Earth’s climate warms, snow can fall in any month in this high country. Freezing temperatures are common. Plants must cope with short growing seasons, shallow soils, thin air, and intense solar radiation. High winds tear at anything above the ground. Lichens cling to rocks. Plants anchor in cracks and crevices close to the ground. Trees grow in twisted forms molded by snows and the ever-present wind. Life in the high country is tenuous and fragile, and easily damaged by our missteps.

Help protect the fragile ecosystems of Great Basin National Park. Stay on trails or seek advice before attempting to hike across trailless areas.

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TEXT: People of the Great Basin

During the most recent ice age, people hunted the abundant streams and marshes of this region. As the climate warmed, they adapted to changing food sources by developing new tools and methods for hunting and gathering plants.

About 1,800 years ago the native Fremont people learned to farm and began to live in villages. They made decorative pottery and painted images on rocks. Then long droughts destroyed crops, and the people returned to a life of hunting and gathering.

Shoshone and Paiute family bands continued this lifestyle until the mid-1800s. Then settlers, ranchers, and miners drove them from traditional food sources. Today some Native people continue to gather pine nuts and other foods and materials in this area.

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IMAGES and TEXT: The Underground World

IMAGE 1 of 2: People standing in cave

DESCRIBING: A small, rectangular, color photograph with the text “The Underground World” overlaid

SYNOPSIS: A group of three people accompanied by a park ranger stand to the side inside of a large cavern inside a cave covered in many cave formations. The cave is dark, though artificial, electric lights of a warm yellow tone illuminate the various spectacles in the room. The formations vary from a light tan to a warm yellow based on their proximity to the lights. The picture aims to capture an entire room of the cave, so individual formations and the people/ranger appear small in the image.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The area captured by this photo is about eighty feet across, and has a group of three adult visitors standing next to a Park Ranger dressed in green uniform with wide-brim ranger flat hat. They look to the middle of the highly decorated room. Stalactites – large pointed cones - hang from the ceiling of this room, pointing to stalagmites underneath many. These stalagmites – similarly long pointed cones, with smoother angles - rise from the floor underneath stalactites and reach close to meet them in some cases. Some stalagmites are covered in cave popcorn, a bumpy formation the size and random shapes mimicking popcorn. These add texture and ridges in small detail to many formations in the room. Several large columns rise from floor to ceiling, some covered in cave draperies. These drapery formations are thin and blanket like, forming wavy shapes or remain straight up and down but thin and deep.

CAPTION: Touring Lehman Caves


IMAGE 2 of 2: Single cave formation

DESCRIBING: A small, color vertical photograph whose edges fade into the white brochure

SYNOPSIS: A large, drippy looking formation with a flat, sloped top leaning away from the viewer dominates the image’s focus. This calcite-rock formation attaches precariously to a raised bit of the floor. It sits inside a room of a cave, with other similar looking formations behind. It is illuminated by a light not shown, but glows almost gold-tan.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: This three-foot tall cave formation is a cave shield. The shield specifically is the flat top, a formation more unique to this cave. From this flat shield grows thin, flowing, river-like drapery formations which reach all the way to the attachment point in the floor. These draperies – like folds of fabric - sometimes weave together and meet before splitting again on their way to the floor. Behind this otherworldly formation are similarly drippy formations, stalactites, stalagmites, and columns.

CAPTION: Parachute shield in the Grand Palace



A beautifully decorated geologic wonder, Lehman Caves is a single cavern that weaves two miles (3.2 km) into the eastern base of the Snake Range. Native Americans knew of the cave long before local rancher and miner Absalom Lehman began exploring it in 1885. Today, the cave provides a home for bats and endemic pseudoscorpions and millipedes.

Lehman Caves began developing about 515 million years ago when sediments settled at the bottom of a warm shallow sea. Violent shifting of rock layers about 20 to 30 million years ago pressed and heated the limestone, changing it to marble. Cave passages formed two to ten million years ago when warm, acidic water rose and dissolved the marble along cracks.

After the water table dropped, cave decoration began. Rain and melting snow percolated down into the cave. The water passed through organic material, becoming acidic and dissolving away bits of marble or calcite. When water reached the air-filled room, it re-deposited the calcite, drop by drop. Centuries of drips created cave formations (speleothems). Stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, and draperies decorate many caves. You can also see helictites—delicate branching formations that defy gravity—and cave popcorn along the trails. Rare speleothems like shields, welts, and turnip stalactites make a tour of Lehman Caves both an unusual and rewarding experience.

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OVERVIEW: Back side of brochure

The Back side of the brochure includes text for location and services, accessibility, contact information, things to do such as camping, back-country, activities, one day activities and regulations, and hiker warnings and an aerial map of the 77,180 acre park and the surrounding area with a legend in the top right corner of the map.

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TEXT: Things to See and Do

The text in this section describes one-day visits, longer visits, activities, camping, back-country and regulations while visiting the park.

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TEXT: For a One-day Visit

  • Stop first at a visitor center to learn about the Great Basin or Lehman Caves. 
  • Take a ranger-led cave tour. 
  • Travel up the scenic drive to the Wheeler Peak parking area and follow trails to subalpine lakes or the ancient bristlecone pine grove.

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TEXT: If You Have More Time

  • Start early and climb Wheeler Peak. 
  • Hike the Baker Creek trails. 
  • Drive through aspen groves along unpaved Snake Creek Road. 
  • Hike to Lexington Arch or explore the rugged back roads. 
  • Drive up Strawberry Creek to see plant communities recovering after a wildland fire.

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TEXT: Driving in the Park

Wheeler Peak Scenic Road is the only paved road in the park. It can be closed by snow at any time of year, and the upper portion is closed to long vehicles and trailers. Ask a ranger about current road conditions.

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TEXT: Cave Tours

  • Available when the Lehman Caves Visitor Center is open. 
  • Go to for tour details, fees, and to reserve your tour. (Reservations recommended.) 
  • An adult must be with those under 16.

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TEXT: Camping

Four campgrounds open summer only. Lower Lehman Campground open year-round, but no water in winter. All have pit toilets, fire rings, tables, and tent pads. 

  • Primitive sites along Snake Creek have tent sites, fire grates, and tables; some have pit toilets; none have water. 
  • For details, go to the park website. You can reserve sites at

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TEXT: Hiking

  • Check the park website or stop at a visitor center to find trails suiting your fitness level, time, and interest. 
  • Be prepared for extreme weather, both hot and cold temperatures. 
  • Bring your own water, at least one gallon (4 l) per person per day. 
  • Seek advice from park rangers about hiking in the fragile subalpine and alpine ecosystems. 
  • For longer hikes, plan ahead and check with park rangers about conditions. Many trails are primitive and can be hard to follow. See other cautions in the lower right of this page.

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TEXT: Other Activities

  • Fishing is allowed, but you must have a Nevada state fishing license and follow all state regulations. 
  • Horses are allowed on some trails; inquire at a visitor center or see the park website. 
  • Mountain biking is allowed on designated roads but not on any national park trails.

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TEXT: Regulations

  • Pets are prohibited in caves and buildings, on trails except Lexington Arch Trail, and over 100 feet (30 m) from roads. They must be on a leash six feet (2 m) long or less. 
  • Campfires are allowed only in campgrounds and picnic areas in designated grills. 
  • Vehicles and drivers must be licensed. 
  • ATVs must be street-legal and licensed. 
  • Off-roading prohibited. 
  • Do not feed wildlife. 
  • Hunting prohibited. 
  • Federal law protects all natural and cultural features; do not disturb or damage.

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TEXT: Firearms

State and federal regulations are on the park website.

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Map: Aerial Map Legend


The key states that: green shaded areas represent bristlecone pine area; purple shaded areas are no camping and no fire areas; a solid grey line is an unpaved road; a solid red line with a small, solid black bump on it is an overlook; a black dashed line is a trail; a grey dashed line is a primitive trail (route finding difficult); a black dashed line above a grey dashed line is an area where high-clearance 4-wheel-drive vehicles only can go. There are eleven small symbols in white on black square backgrounds in the key. These 11 symbols are: a question mark inside a circle represents information; the view of a picnic table from the end represents a picnic area; a small person next to an upright sign with a dashed line represents a self-guided trail; a rounded rectangular box with windows with a pit in the ground underneath represents an RV sanitary station; a thick triangle on the ground represents a campground; a capital “P” represents parking; a fork and knife next to each other represent a restaurant; a view of a simple bed with a person sleeping from the side represents lodging; an old-fashioned telephone receiver represents a pay telephone; the head of a fish with mouth open towards a string represents fishing; a dollar sign represents an ATM. There is one symbol not on a black background: a thick triangle on the ground in black ink representing a primitive campsite.

A compass rose pointing North and the top of the map

A scale indicating this map depicts as area 22 miles North-South by 24 miles East-West. The scale is approximately 2.75 inches long, about the length of an adult’s index finger. Two thin lines – one clear line representing imperial units and a shorter black one representing metric – follow each other to establish scale. The full 2.75 inches represents 4 miles, and a 1.5-inch line represents 4 kilometers. This primarily applies to the print version of the map.

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Map: Aerial Map North East Quadrant

Synopsis: The Northeast quadrant of the map contains the map key and scale in the corner furthest north and east (upper right).

In-depth Description: In the northwestern corner of this quadrant, a solid red line representing highway 6/50, descends to the southeast, crossing over Strawberry Creek and Strawberry Creek Road, and Mill Creek before branching off into a sideways “V” shape. Where the red line creates this “v” shape, one side labeled highway 6/50 continues running almost due east, parallel to Weaver Creek. This road passes by a business called “The Border,” which has the following facilities: pay phone, campground, lodging, restaurant, and ATM. “The Border” lies just to the west of the border line between the states of Nevada and Utah, on the Nevada side. This state border line also forms the dividing line between the pacific time zone, to the west, and mountain time zone to the east. Just to the east of this border a red line representing highway 159 intersects highway 6/50 from the south and creates a “t” shape. The other side of the sideways “v” shows a red line representing highway 487 that extends to the south and east at about a 45-degree angle. Spanning across the two legs of this v is a small red line representing a road connecting the two highways. On this small connector is the BLM Baker Archeological Site, accessible via a short unpaved road. Continuing southward along highway 487, one would arrive at the Great Basin Visitor Center, which has information. A short distance away, on the east side of the highway is the site marked Great Basin National Heritage Area Headquarters. Just to the south of these two sites on 487 is the town of Baker, with a campground, lodging, and a restaurant. The town of Baker sits near to Baker Creek and Lehman Creek. Highway 487 continues out of the town of Baker in a gentle southeastern direction. Extending almost due west of the town of Baker is highway 488. This road curves sightly south and ends at Lehman Caves and the Lehman Caves Visitor Center where there is: information, a self-guided trail, a restaurant, and small driving loops to a picnic area, and an RV sanitary station. Branching off 488 to the north shortly before reaching the Lehman Caves Visitor Center is an additional park road, Wheeler Peak Scenic Loop, that climbs in elevation toward the Lower Lehman Creek campground. Text states that “travel closed to single vehicles or trailers over 24 feet in length on Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive past Upper Lehman Campground.” Branching off of 488 and extending to the South is an unpaved park road. This unpaved park access road extends southward then turns west and runs parallel to Baker Creek. Branching off of this unpaved road are smaller loops to the Grey Cliffs group camping site where there is a picnic area and reservations are required, and the Baker Creek campground, to hiking trails extending west and slightly south in Pole Canyon, along Baker Creek, South Fork Baker Creek, and Timber Creek. Meeting the unpaved road at the Grey Cliffs Group camping area is a high-clearance, 4-wheel-drive vehicle road. The high-clearance road runs to the east along Baker Creek, with a turn to the south into Can Young Canyon. Moving slightly east and south from there this high-clearance road continues past Kious Basin where it turns nearly due east. This road splits, with one side leading southward to Young Canyon, and the other side leading back to and intersecting with highway 487 south of the town of Baker. 

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Map: Aerial Map North West Quadrant


The North-West quadrant of the map contains the following features:

The Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive branches northwest off Nevada 488 to the North. It is a curving, out-and-back mountain road with hairpin turns. It begins at just under 7,000 feet of elevation and ends at 10,000 feet elevation. This road is closed in the winter due to snow. After Upper Lehman Campground, located at 7,752 feet of elevation, no single vehicles longer than 24 feet are allowed on Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive.

            The following campgrounds are located along the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive (W.P.S.D.). Lower Lehman Creek Campground is located at 7,300 feet of elevation. Upper Lehman Creek Campground is located slightly higher up W.P.S.D. at 7,752 feet elevation and includes a picnic area. Wheeler Peak Campground is located at the top of W.P.S.D., at 9,886 feet of elevation.

            The following overlooks are located off Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. Mather Overlook is located at just over 9,000 feet of elevation and offers views South. Wheeler Peak Overlook is located at 10,000 feet of elevation and offers views South.

            The following peaks are in the North-West quadrant of the map. The northernmost peak in Great Basin National Park is Buck Mountain, which is located along the Blue Ridge and reaches 10,972 feet. To the southwest of Buck Mountain, along the Blue Ridge, is Bald Mountain, standing at 11,562 feet. Almost directly south of Bald Mountain is Wheeler Peak, the tallest mountain in Great Basin National Park, standing at 13,063 feet. East and slightly north of Wheeler Peak is Doso Doyabi, which stands at 12,771 feet. South and slightly west of Wheeler Peak is Baker Peak, which stands at 12,298 feet. The map contains several unnamed peaks. Listed by increasing elevation, they stand at 8,000 feet, 9,000 feet, 10,000 feet, 10,000 feet, and 12,305 feet.

            At the top of Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, located near Wheeler Peak Campground, is a parking lot. Several hiking trails begin at this parking lot. The Wheeler Peak trail can be accessed from this parking lot by connecting from the Stella Lake trail, or it can be accessed from a parking lot slightly lower on Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. Stella Lake and Teresa Lake can be accessed from a hiking loop which begins at this parking lot. The Wheeler Peak Bristlecone pine grove can be accessed from a trail at this parking lot. Brown Lake is located near the Bristlecone pine grove trail. The Rock Glacier can also be accessed through this hiking trail. The area accessible through these trails is bounded by a purple circular shape encompassing all trails and peaks in this area, marking them as a no camping area, and fires are not allowed. Lower down on Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, at approximately 8,500 feet of elevation, the Osceola Ditch Trail connects Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive to Strawberry Creek. This trail runs along Osceola Ditch.

            Multiple Creeks are located within this quadrant of the map, primarily outside of park boundaries. Along the park’s West boundary, listed from North to South, are: Willard Creek, Board Creek, Shingle Creek, Pine Creek, and Ridge Creek. Above these creeks, stretching northwest of the Park’s boundaries, is Weaver Creek.

            Several roads, sites, and peaks located outside of Great Basin National Park are also visible in this quadrant of the map. Highway 50 is located to the North of park boundaries. Following Highway 50 to the West will lead to Ely and Pioche. Directly north of the park off of Highway 50 is Sacramento Pass. This area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and includes picnic areas, hiking, fishing, and campsites. Further down the unpaved road that leads to Sacramento Pass is Osceola, a historic mining site. Windy Peak is located Southeast of Osceola, outside of the Northwest corner of the park, and stands at 10,144 feet.

Strawberry Creek Road is also accessible from Highway 50, East of Sacramento Pass. Strawberry Creek Road leads southwest from Highway 50 and parallels Strawberry Creek. The final portion of Strawberry Creek Road reenters park boundaries. Blue Canyon extends off Strawberry Creek Road, stretching Southwest. Blue Ridge is located directly southeast of Blue Canyon. The Osceola Ditch trail can be accessed from the end of Strawberry Creek Road.  

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Map: Aerial Map South East Quadrant


The Southeast quadrant of this map includes the southeast section of Great Basin National Park, Highland Ridge Wilderness Area Bureau of Land Management, which encircles the bottom end of the park, and outlying areas to the east of the park boundaries.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: On the right-hand edge of the map (east) about halfway down from the top of the map is the town of Garrison, elevation 5273 ft (1608 m). There are no facilities in Garrison, however several major roads intersect here.

Garrison is located in Utah, about a mile east of the Utah/Nevada border, about 2.5 miles east of the park’s eastern most border. Highway 21 enters Garrison from the south where it intersects with highways 487 and 159. 159 continues north on the Utah side, running parallel to the state border. 487 splits off heading northwest toward the Visitor Center. Snake creek road (unpaved) heads east from Garrison and enters the central area of the park. Snake Creed Road runs beside Snake Creek. Spring Creek Rearing Station (fish rearing), managed by Nevada Department of Wildlife, is about 2 miles east of the park border. Continuing along Snake Creek Road there are seven primitive campsites spaced out along the road where it ends at Shoshone. These primitive tent sites have fire grates and tables; some have pit toilets; none have water. Northwest of Shoshone is the low-lying area of Granite Basin, located in the central area of the park. A short loop trail with a view of the basin area (under 2 miles) circles from Snake Creek Road. This trail has several sections of switchbacks.

There are several features listed on the map along the north side of Snake Creek Road. Northwest of Granite Basin is a Bristlecone pine grove, 10842 ft (3305 m). The pine grove is highlighted on the map as a green crescent shape along the ridge of a mountain. To the east of the pine grove is an unnamed peak, elevation 10249 ft, 3124 m. Next to the east, Horse Haven forms a slight arc running west to east. Further west, Cave Canyon sweeps southwest toward Snake Creek Road where it enters the park boundary. Mahogany Spring and Clay Spring are along the border of the park north of Cave Canyon.

From Shoshone, a trail departs trending southwest where it goes up a peak then descends into North Fork Big Wash. The trail follows the wash east southeast to the convergence with South Fork Big Wash. At the convergence Big Wash runs east from there. The trail cuts back west southwest following South Fork Big Wash. After about 8 miles total from Shoshone, the trail connects with a high clearance 4-wheel drive road.

This 4-wheel drive road is within a small rectangular tan colored area of the map, indicating it is excluded from the Great Basin National Park border marked by green. Just east of this area, within the park is an unnamed peak, 10016 ft, 3357 m. The road forms a short winding loop, in the center, the road splits off heading east along North Fork Lexington Creek. At the bottom of the loop the road reaches a dead end, just north of the park border and Lexington Arch, 8270 ft, 2521 m, however there is not access the arch from this point. There is a circular area shaded in purple around Lexington Arch which indicates no camping or fires at this location. A single trail with several switchbacks provides access from the east of Lexington Arch. The trail departs east from Lexington Arch, exiting the park border and following South Fork Lexington Creek. This Trail becomes a 4-wheel drive road, then converges in a Y shape, where the roads follow the path of the north and south branches of the Lexington Creek. The road continues east along Lexington Creek for about 5 miles until it splits, the upper branch departs the creek heading northeast and connecting to highway 21 in Utah after about 5 miles. The lower branch continues off the edge of the map where it also connects to highway 21 in Utah.

From highway 21, 1 mile south of Garrison, hidden canyon ranch road runs southwest, ending at North Fork Big Wash. A short section of 4-wheel drive road forks of about halfway along Hidden Canyon Ranch Road

Note for highway 21: Leeman Caves Visitor Center to Milford 90 mi, 145 km. Leeman Caves Visitor Center to Cedar City 142 mi, 228 km 

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Map: Aerial Map South West Quadrant

In-Depth Description SW Quadrant:

This description is of the remote south-western quadrant of the Great Basin National Park map. This area of the map covers the area from Spring Creek and Baker Lake south to the south and western park boundary and the Highland Ridge Wilderness Area that borders the park, including the Snake Creek Trailhead, trails, high clearance 4-wheel drives roads, lakes, streams, bristlecone pine groves and named peaks.

The lands within the park are shaded a green-grey color on the map. The public lands immediately south of the park are the Highland Ridge Wilderness Area managed by the Bureau of Land Management and it is shaded a very light red-tan. The rest of the landforms on the map are the neutral tan of the background of the entire map with grey shading indicating the relief of mountain and hills leading down from the higher mountain peaks within the park.

Creeks are indicated by broken and solid blue squiggly lines that snake down the mountains from their source at lakes, springs and snow melt. The broken blue lines indicate an ephemeral or temporary creek that dries up seasonally. Three tiny blue irregular rounded shapes indicate lakes in the upper portion of this quadrant.

From north to south they are

Baker Lake

Johnson Lake

Dead Lake

Below Dead Lake in both elevation and moving down the quadrant southeast there are two primitive campsite symbols to indicate the sites that can be hiked into for overnight camping.

The Snake Creek Road, a maintained dirt road that is usually passable by passenger vehicle ends at the trailhead just inside the SW Quadrant boundary.

There are many black dashed lines covering the quadrant indicate well maintained trail and grey dashed lines that indicate primitive trails. From the top to the bottom of the quadrant or north to south, the maintained trails are:

Baker Creek Trail

South Fork Baker Creek Trail

Timber Creek Trail

Johnson Lake Trail

Dead Lake Trail

Overlook Trail

Shoshone Trail

Serviceberry Trail

 Baker Creek Trail, the upper end where the trail wiggles back and forth to indicate switchback and steeper climb. Joining the SW quadrant from the NW quadrant the upper ends of the South Fork Baker Creek Trail and Timber Creek Trails. These trails join the Johnson Lake Trail. The Dead Lake trail starts at the Snake Creek Trailhead and joins the Johnson Lake Trail. A small almost lollipop shaped trail just west of the Snake Creek Trailhead is the Overlook Trail. The Shoshone Trail leads south from the Snake Creek Trailhead to join the North Fork Big Wash Trail in the SE Quadrant. To the east of the Snake Creek Trailhead is the Serviceberry Trail. This is the only true loop trail in this area. The trailhead is what rangers refer to as “down canyon” from the Snake Creek Trailhead as the Serviceberry trailhead is slightly lower in elevation.

From top to bottom or north to south there are also several trails primitive routes. There is a primitive trails between the trails leading to Johnson and Baker lakes, often used for overnight backpacking trips. There is a primitive route from the route between Johnson and Baker Lakes the leads south to Mount Washinton and the end of the Mount Washington Road. There is a primitive route the leaves the Shoshone trail to head west and up the mountains, through a bristlecone pine grove and joins the route coming south from Baker and Johnson Lake. Ranger sometimes refer to this route as the Snake Divide. Just south of this primitive trail is another primitive trail that swoops down the upper reaches of Noth Fork Big Wash, following the creek bed. A primitive route travels from a switchback on the Mount Washington Road along Highland Ridge down to Decathon Canyon into the Highland Ridge Wilderness area outside of Great Basin National Park. This primitive route travels up and over Lincoln Peak, Mustang Springs and near Granite Peak.

Coming down from the steep western slopes of great Basin National Park are several ephemeral streams in canyons. From top to bottom of the quadrant or north to south are

Spring Creek

Williams Canyon

Dry Creek

Box Canyon

Pole Canyon

Lincoln Canyon.

Note: There is a Pole canyon in the NE quadrant of the park as well.

Flowing south from Great Basin National Park is an ephemeral stream and canyon called Johns Wash.

There are roads that are indicated by a black dashed line above a grey dashed line indicating high clearance 4-wheel drive road. The northern most road about halfway down the middle of the quadrant is a very squiggly line indicating lots of switchbacks on the road and a steep climb up to Mount Washington. The southern road in the middle of the quadrant heads up Lincoln Canyons to a trail up Lincoln Canyon. Two other high clearance 4-wheel drive roads connect the lower elevation regions of the Mount Washington and Lincoln Canyon roads.

Black dots have been placed on the top of several peaks in this quadrant. If the peak is named the name with the peak’s elevation in feet above sea level is indicated in feet and meters. From top to bottom or north to south in the quadrant are

Peak 11,456ft or 3492m,

11,540ft or 3517m,

Pyramid Peak, 11,926ft or 3635m,

11,775ft or 3589m,

Mount Washington,

11,658ft or 3553m,

Lincoln Peak, 11,597ft or 3535m,

11,001ft or 3353m,

11,532ft or 3515m,

Granite Peak, 11,218ft or 3419m

10699ft or 3261m. 

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Map: Aerial Map Roads

Accessing Great Basin National Park 

In the North East Quadrant: U.S. Route 6 and 50  enters from the East side of the map at 2 o'clock and exits between 11 and 12 and then reenters the map from the North at 11 and exists at 10. Utah 159 highway leaves U.S. 6 and 50 heading due south to Garrison. Cut Off Road exits from U.S. 6 and 50 to the west of the state line heading in a southwest direction to Nevada highway 487, the Baker Archeological site (BLM) is located on this road.Nevada highway 487 runs between U.S. Route 6 and 50 southeast through the town of Baker passing the Great Basin Visitor Center on the right side of the road, and on to Garrison. Utah Highway 21 leaves Garrison to the southeast towards Cedar City, Utah. Nevada 488 leaves Baker to the west and ending at the entrance to the park. The park road ends at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center. As you enter the park on the right is Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, this will lead you to both Upper and Lower Lehman campgrounds as well at to Mather and Wheeler Peak overlooks, at the very end is Wheeler Peak Campground and the Wheeler Peak Bristlecone pine grove. Just past the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive is the road to Baker Creek and Grey Cliffs camping areas. Baker Creek Road is a dirt road.

In the South East Quadrant: Snake Creek road leaves off 487 in Garrison, this dirt road leads up to the Spring Creek Rearing Station run by the Nevada Department of Wildlife and continues into the park, there are multiple primitive campsite along the road all the way up to Shoshone. This road has no winter maintenance. Hidden Canyon Road is a dirt road that ends at Big Wash just south of Garrison. Continue south on Nevada 21 to access Lexington Arch, this road has two entrances and requires High-clearance 4-wheel-drive to access these areas.

In the North West Quadrant: Strawberry Creek Road is a dirt road that exits from U.S. 6 and 50 to the south west this road leads back to the Strawberry Creek hiking and primitive camping areas.This road has no winter maintenance.  Further up  U.S. 6 and 50 is Sacramento Pass, a dirt road that leads to Osceola. This road has no winter maintenance.    

In the South West Quadrant of the map are two high-clearance 4-wheel-drive roads that enter into Pole Canyon and Lincoln Canyon 

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MAP: Great Basin

Broad Map description

This color illustrated, navigational map is titled “Great Basin” and is oriented with the top of the map facing north. It provides general wayfinding information for points of interest, roads and visitor services, trails, and geographic information such as mountain peak names and elevations, bristlecone pine areas, and waterways. The Great Basin National Park land comprising of around 77,000 acres is shown in green taking up the majority of the map area. The park land is roughly rectangular in shape with a shorter width and longer length. On the right or eastern boundary of the park land there are five square stairsteps bulging out of the mostly rectangular map area to the east before coming back in along a grey dirt roadway. Land surrounding the park is shown in tan with a darker tan bordering the bottom of the green park land designating the Bureau of Land Management Highland Ridge Wilderness Area. Shading on the map indicates the elevation change of four lines of mountains running east to west in the park land labeled the “Snake Range.” Near the right or eastern edge of the map outside the park boundary is a white straight vertical line indicating the boundary between Nevada and the Pacific Time Zone to the left or west and Utah and the Mountain Time Zone to the right or east. Most of the roads that lead into the park land are grey or white indicating dirt or four-wheel drive roads. The only red paved road leading into the park land is highway 488 on the eastern edge of the park, which heads west from the town of Baker, indicated by a yellow dot on the map. 

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TEXT: Location and Services - To park entrance

To park entrance from:

  • Cedar City: 142 mi (229 km)
  • Delta: 106 mi (171 km)
  • Ely: 68 mi (109 km)
  • Las Vegas: 286 mi (460 km)
  • Reno: 385 mi (620 km)
  • Salt Lake City: 234 mi (377 km)

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TEXT: Visitor Centers

  • Lehman Caves Visitor Center is open year-round except Thanksgiving, December 25, and January 1. 
  • Great Basin Visitor Center is open in summer only. 
  • Both have information, bookstores, and exhibits.

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TEXT: Services

  • A cafe and gift shop next to Lehman Caves Visitor Center are open in summer. 
  • Baker has restaurants, hotels, gas, and basic food supplies.

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TEXT: Accessibility

We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. Call or check our website. 

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TEXT: More Information

100 Great Basin NP

Baker, NV 89311-9700


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Great Basin National Park is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. Learn more at

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TEXT: Emergencies

Call 911 from a landline or contact a park ranger or campground host. Do not rely on cell phone service.

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TEXT: Hiking the Backcountry of Great Basin

Explore this wild and fragile country carefully. Plants grow slowly at high elevations; their margin of survival is thin. Protect them by staying on trails or spreading out across a trailless area to avoid following another person’s footsteps.

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TEXT: Hiking - Safety

  • Many trails rise above 10,000 feet (3000 m). Avoid overexposure and overexertion. 
  • Be ready for sudden weather changes. Take rain gear and warm clothing. 
  • Avoid ridges and exposed areas in electrical storms. 
  • Stay out of mineshafts and tunnels.

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TEXT: Hiking - Water

  • Carry one gallon (4 l) or more per person—more for day-long hikes. 
  • Visitor centers have drinking water year-round; campgrounds have water in summer. 
  • Do not expect to find surface water; if you do, purify it.

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TEXT: Hiking - Footgear

Wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes with ankle support. Loose and sharp rocks are common, especially off maintained trails.

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