Nevada Great Basin National Park map and highlights

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Nevada Great Basin National Park map and highlights

Map of Great Basin National Park in Nevada
Basic information for visitors to the Great Basin National Park In east-central Nevada, near Baker.     
Great Basin National Park in east-central Nevada, near Baker.     
High-desert terrain yields to hundreds of small pools and lakes  in Great Basin, and these are interspersed with dramatic mountains,  including 13,063-foot-high Wheeler Peak. Roads and trails lead to the  rim of the peak s cirque, in which you can see Nevada's only glacier.  The park also has an ancient bristlecone-pine forest; the 75-foot  Lexington Arch; and Lehman Caves, harboring many unusual limestone  formations. The park was established as Lehman Caves National Monument  in 1922. In 1986, 77,000 acres of surrounding forest land was added to  the monument to create Great Basin National Park.     
WHAT TO SEE & DO     
Auto touring, cave touring, caving (permit required, see  below), fishing, hiking, picnicking. Facilities: Visitor center (Lehman  Caves entrance), scenic drive, wayside exhibits, nature trails,  amphitheaters. Bookstore, gift shop, mail drop, picnic area. Programs  & Events: Year-round cave tours, slide show, and movie. Ranger-led  hikes, walks, talks, and evening programs; scenic drive to Wheeler Peak  (mid-June-mid-Aug.). Tips & Hints: Watch for altitude sickness. Wear  good walking shoes or boots in cave. Leave pets at home. Visit  year-round for caves, June-Sept, to explore landscape and bristlecone  pines. Busiest in May and July, especially during holiday weekends;  least crowded Dec. and Jan.     
FOOD, LODGING & SUPPLIES     
Camping: 4 campgrounds ($10; pit toilets) in the park: Baker  Creek (32 sites; closed Sept.-mid-May), Lower Lehman Creek (11 sites);  Upper Lehman Creek (24 sites; closed Sept.-mid-May), Wheeler Peak (37  sites; closed Sept.-May). Primitive campsites along Strawberry Creek Rd.  and Snake Creek Rd. (free). Backcountry camping allowed. In Baker:  Border Inn (U.S. 6/50, tel. 775/234-7300, 22 sites; $15; flush toilets,  showers, hook-ups).  Hotel: In Baker: Border Inn (U.S. 6/50, tel.  775/234-7300, 26 rooms; $37). X Restaurants: In the park: Lehman Caves  Gift & Cafe (tel. 775/234-7221; closed Nov.-Mar.). In Baker: Border  Inn (U.S. 6/50, tel. 775/234-7300; $5-$7); T & D's Country Store,  Restaurant & Lounge (1 Main St., tel. 775/234-7264; $5-$10; no lunch  Nov.-Apr, Mon.-Thurs.).  Groceries: None in park. In Baker: T & D's  Country Store, Restaurant & Lounge (1 Main St, tel. 775/234-7264).     
FEES, HOURS & REGULATIONS     
Free. Cave tours $2-$8 adults, free-$4 ages 11 and under.  Backcountry registration strongly recommended. Wild caving permits  required two weeks in advance. Nevada state fishing license required. No  bikes on trails. No fireworks. No guns. No pets on trails or in caves.  Leashed pets elsewhere. Vehicles over 24 feet long not recommended on  Scenic Dr. to Wheeler Peak. No watercraft on lakes. Park open daily.  Visitor center open mid-June-Labor Day, daily 7:30-5:30; Labor  Day-mid-June, daily 8-4:30.     
HOW TO GET THERE     
5 mi west of Baker on Rte. 488 and 68 mi east of Ely via U.S.  6/50. Closest airports: Ely (68 mi), Salt Lake City (234 mi), Las Vegas  (300 mi).     
CONTACTS     
Great Basin National Park (Baker, NV 89311, tel. 775/234-7331  Ext. 242 cave tour reservations; Ext. 228 wild caving permits, fax  775/234-7269,). White Pine Chamber of Commerce (636 Aultman St., Ely, NV  89301, tel. 775/289-8877,).   
Great Basin National Park. Basic information for visitors to the Great Basin National Park In east-central Nevada, near Baker.   
Above right, top: Bristle cone pines, among the oldest trees in  the world, are found in three groves in Great Basin National Park.   
Above right, middle: Rising high above the floor of Lexington  Canyon, this imposing natural arch was created by the forces of weather  working slowly over a span of centuries.   
Below: Upon reaching the summit of Wheeler's Peak, the mountain climber is rewarded with panoramic vistas of the Great Basin.
    
Great Basin, Nevada   
Established: 1986   Acreage: 76,800   
In an area of wide basins and high mountain ranges lies Great  Basin National Park, the newest park in the United States. The park  includes the former Lehman Caves National Monument and Wheeler Peak  Scenic Area.   
A highlight of the park is Lehman Caves, one of the largest  limestone solution caverns found in the western United States. Over  centuries, the chemical reaction between acid water and marble carved  out the cave chambers. When the water table dropped below the cave  floor, the cave was filled with air. As calcite-laden (the mineral from  which marble is formed) water seeped down through the overlying rocks,  it gathered as drops or spread out in thin films on the ceilings and  sides of the cavern. As a result, hundreds of stalactites developed from  the ceilings, growing longer and longer. In turn, water dripping from  the stalactites built up stubby stalagmites.   
The cave is also filled with other unusual rock formations. Thin,  round disks of calcite are found in angular positions on the walls and  floors of the cave. Pools of water have created beautifully terraced  miniature dams around the edges. Huge, fluted columns reach from floor  to ceiling. Twisting helic-tites —strange popcornlike lumps—grow on many  of the formations themselves and cover walls and ceilings where the  formations do not grow. They range in color from creamy white to orange  to chocolate. Visitors to the park can take a tour through the varied  color cave with its array of strange rock formations.   
Wheeler Peak (13,063 feet/3982 meters), one of the highest  mountains in the Great Basin, is the pinnacle of the impressive Snake  Range, on the eastern edge of Nevada. An ascent of Wheeler Peak is an  exhilarating alpine adventure, but only for those in good physical  condition. Hiking trails lead to alpine lakes and a rare and ancient  bristlecone pine forest. These trees are remarkable for their great age  and their ability to survive adverse conditions. During harsh growing  conditions, the living foliage dies back until the moisture and  nutrients are sufficient for the remaining root system. A bristlecone  pine found near Wheeler Peak was dated to be over 4900 years in 1964.  Unfortunately, the tree was cut down before the area was protected as a  national park.   
The mountain slopes are covered with wildflowers and forests of  aspen, pine, spruce, fir and mountain-mahogany. Mule deer feed in the  mountain meadows, while, overhead, golden eagles soar
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