My favorite kind of road trip is a trip to a National Park. This September we decided to drive to Great Basin National Park. It was a whirlwind of a trip with all the driving, camping, exploring, and adventure all packed into one week.
It took me two days to pack and get everything ready and organized for our adventure. After everything was ready to go, I packed up my car and drove off. I first drove to Elko to meet Zack. He worked a couple more days while I hung out and explored the sites. We combined all of our camping supplies into one car and set out on our road trip.
Along the way we drove through Ely, Baker, and then turned up the hill towards Great Basin National Park. It was sunset as we started up the mountain, so we pulled into Upper Lehman Campground and found the last spot available. Luckily, the camp spot was on a nice creek and looked off into the beautiful woods. The moon was so bright, nature’s night light, that it made it easy to set up the tent and go to bed.
Lehman Cave Tour
While we were at Great Basin National Park we got to go on the 90 minute Lehman Cave tour. The caves are an excellent example of a limestone solution cavern. The caves can be traced back 550 to 600 million years ago. They still have the original opening where you used to have to climb down into the cave, but now it is used for bats to enter and exit the caves as they please. ou now enter through a blasted entrance that was created to make cave access easier. I thought that I would not last for the whole tour because of my fear of small spaces, but it was surprisingly spacious down there. I was not scared at all! If you want to book a tour click on this link (enter link)
Our second day in the park, we wanted to visit Lexington Arch. Don’t use google maps to get to the arch, it will take you on the wrong dirt road! We ended up back-tracking an hour until we finally found the correct road. The road was a dirt road, but fairly smooth. Our Nissan Rogue was able to make it to the outwash that was created by a flash flood a year ago. You park at the outwash and hike about 3 miles through the outwash and up a mountain to the arch. It is breathtaking to see the arch and realize that nature created that natural beauty. There is not much shade up there, so dress for long exposure to the sun!
Bristlecone Pine/Rock Glacier
To get to the Bristlecone Pine and Rock Glacier, it is a 4.6 mile round trip hike where you will experience 1,100 feet elevation gain. First, you get to the Bristlecone Pine Loop that has interpretive signs that explain the lives and significance of the ancient trees.
After the Bristlecone Pine loop, you can continue onto Nevada’s only ‘Glacier’, the Rock Glacier. This glacier is nestled beneath Wheeler Peak, and you are able to climb to the top of the glacier and take in the breathtaking views of the park from above.