Sunday, July 9, 2017

Great Basin National Park's Untrampled Trails

         Readers of this blog may remember my series of posts beginning last June, titled "Nevada Beyond the Neon".  I began that series with a trip to Great Basin National Park and mentioned a few of the park's must-see highlights, including several trails.

         Last month I returned to Great Basin N.P. and, after spending four days there, I was reminded once again of why it's one of my favorite places.  Not only is it a beautiful park but the trails are well-maintained and signed, the campgrounds are pristine, and the location can't be beat.  Also, no crowds!

         I've read that on a bad day the Delicate Arch Trail in Arches National Park may see 3000 pair of feet.  On this most recent trip to Great Basin my friend Shirley and I hiked three trails—Pole Canyon, Serviceberry and Alpine Lakes Loop—and we encountered a grand total of 24 other trekkers.

         Want to know what it's like to visit an "undiscovered" national park?  Find out by traveling to Great Basin in Nevada and chose almost any trail.  You'll be rewarded with scenery, silence, and solitude.

Pole Canyon Trail:

This large Aspen tree frames a view from the
Pole Canyon Trail.

Wildflowers along the Pole Canyon Trail.

Serviceberry Trail:

Serviceberry Trailhead.

Shirley along the Serviceberry Trail.  We didn't see anyone else on
this trail, or on the 13 mile drive to the trailhead.

Alpine Lakes Loop Trail:

Shirley and Rita along the Alpine Lakes Loop Trail.

Stella Lake.  This would make a good base camp for an ascent of
13,064' Wheeler Peak—top, left-center.

Snowfields along the Alpine Lakes Loop trail.

Teresa Lake, South end.  A scene such as this called out for John Muir.
So Shirley and I sat on this log and
read from a John Muir book of quotations.

Teresa Lake, north end, with a view of Wheeler Peak.

To read last year's post on Great Basin National Park, click here.

Please note that wildfires and mudslides along Lexington Creek Road have rendered the road to Lexington Arch trailhead all but impassable for the last several miles. The road is mostly on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land and the BLM has no plans to improve it.  This has made the hike to Lexington Arch—previously a 3 mile round trip—into a more difficult (no shade) 7-10 mile round trip.   Contact a Great Basin National Park ranger for more details.


  1. Wow, Rita! It certainly understandable as to why Great Basin is a favorite of yours. You had me at "scenery, silence, and solitude"!

    As always, all of your photos are fantastic, and do a great job of showcasing the locations you visit. Particularly awesome in this blog posting is the photo that is captioned "Teresa Lake, north end, with a view of Wheeler Peak".


  2. Hi John,

    Thanks for the accolades!
    Those three "s" words are all you need to describe hiking in Nevada. Admittedly I have not hiked near Las Vegas or Reno but the trails I've hiked in other parts of the state have been blissfully free of crowds and overuse.
    Put Nevada on your list of places to explore. You won't be disappointed!

  3. My choice would be the South End, Teresa Lake. By the way, one can't help wondering about the Teresa after whom the lake was named! Perhaps she and Stella were sister trampers ..

    Lovely pictures, Rita

    1. Thanks Soumyendu.

      The great thing about Teresa Lake is that there's room for everyone! Both the South and North End can be accessed by the loop trail, and there are backpacker campsites on both ends.

      As to how the lakes got their names... I can't seem to find any information on it, so your guess is as good as any!

  4. It has been twenty-five years since I've been to Great Basin National Park. When I lived I Carson City, it was an annual trip. Oh, how I miss it and oh, how I enjoy your posts about it. In your photographs, it seems unchanged, Well-kept trails and marvelous scenery. Thank you for keeping my memories alive.

    1. Great Basin is a wonderful, lovely national park that hasn't been loved to death. It remains blissfully unchanged (and untrampled) and for that, I'm grateful.

      I'm happy to keep your memories alive, Janet but if you'd like to create new memories at Great Basin, let me know. Our rental house in Baker was clean and quite comfortable. I'd be happy to tell you all about it:).