Welcome to Great Basin National Park, a hidden gem located in eastern Nevada, where rugged peaks, ancient bristlecone pines, and mysterious caves await adventurous families. Despite being one of the least visited national parks, Great Basin offers families a unique opportunity to discover the beauty and wonders of the desert landscape. Here are eight reasons why Great Basin is the perfect destination for families:

Lehman Caves: Begin your journey underground at Lehman Caves, a labyrinth of limestone formations and sparkling stalactites. Join a guided cave tour to explore the mysterious chambers and learn about the geology and ecology of this unique underground world.

Wheeler Peak: Summit Wheeler Peak, the highest peak in Great Basin National Park, for panoramic views of the surrounding desert landscape. Hike the family-friendly Wheeler Peak Trail or take a scenic drive along Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive to enjoy breathtaking vistas of the Great Basin.

Bristlecone Pine Groves: Discover the ancient bristlecone pine groves, some of the oldest living organisms on Earth. Hike the Bristlecone Pine Trail to marvel at these gnarled and twisted trees that have stood the test of time for thousands of years.

Stargazing: Experience the magic of the night sky at Great Basin National Park, one of the darkest places in the United States. Join a ranger-led stargazing program or simply step outside your tent or RV to marvel at the Milky Way and countless stars twinkling overhead.

Lexington Arch: Explore Lexington Arch, a natural sandstone arch hidden away in the remote backcountry of the park. Hike the Lexington Arch Trail to reach this hidden gem and enjoy the solitude and serenity of the desert landscape.

Wheeler Peak Glacier: Visit the Wheeler Peak Glacier, one of the few remaining glaciers in the Great Basin region. Hike the Glacier Trail to reach the glacier’s terminus and witness this rare and awe-inspiring natural phenomenon.

Alpine Lakes: Discover the pristine alpine lakes nestled among the peaks of Great Basin National Park. Hike to Stella and Teresa Lakes for a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters or enjoy a leisurely picnic surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

Junior Ranger Program: Engage the whole family in Great Basin’s Junior Ranger Program, where kids can learn about desert ecology, geology, and conservation through fun and interactive activities. Upon completion, they’ll receive a badge and a sense of pride in protecting this unique desert wilderness.

With its rugged landscapes, ancient forests, and opportunities for exploration and adventure, Great Basin National Park offers families a chance to connect with nature and create memories that will last a lifetime. Pack your sense of adventure, hiking boots, and camera, and prepare for an unforgettable journey into the heart of the Great Basin.


Great Basin National Park was our 42nd out of the 58 American National Parks. It was the eleventh of our summer vacation. We would wind-up driving over 4,500 miles to accomplish this task. Additionally, we would achieve tremendous success by hiking to the top of Wheeler Peak’s 13,063-foot summit….

Canceled August 3, 2012