• Bristlecone Pine

    Great Basin

    National Park Nevada

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Wheeler Peak Summit Trail Closed

    A small smoldering fire near the trail has caused the closure of the Wheeler Peak Summit Trail. park staff is observing the fire. Check back here to get an update whne the trail will open. Alpine Lakes Loop and Bristlecone Trail are open. More »

  • Road Work at Great Basin National Park

    Road work will begin in Upper Lehman and Wheeler Peak Campgrounds. Campgrounds will be open but may be noisy and have large vehicles on the roads. The Scenic Drive is open with up to 15 min delays due to road work. Click more for details. Updated 9/9/14 More »

  • Travel Not Recommended - Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive Above 8,000 Feet

    Snow and ice may make travel on Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive unsafe, travel is not recommended at this time. Warmer weather over the weekend is expected and conditions may improve. 10/1/2014

  • Snake Creek Road and Campsites Closed

    The Snake Creek Road will be closed from the park boundary into the park to begin work on campsites, trails and restroom improvements. Work will continue until snow closes the project. Work will resume in Spring 2015.

Springs and Seeps

Although Great Basin National Park is located in the desert, the mountainous terrain rises and intersects passing storms to receive additional precipitation. This precipitation infiltrates the ground and then often emerges as springs and seeps. Those that flow only part of the year are called ephemeral, while those that flow year round are perennial.

The park conducted an inventory of perennial springs and seeps in 2003-04 and documented over 425. Baker Creek watershed alone contained almost 150 springs. Several areas of the park were completely dry due to the underlying karst geology which allows the surface water to percolate into the rock and flow to the aquifer. Nearly 90% of the springs had visible animal sign near them, showing how important water is to animals in the desert.

Some of the springs that are marked on topographical maps were not flowing during the inventory. One of the reasons may be that pinyon pine and juniper have encroached upon sagebrush areas and white fir has invaded aspen stands. These newcomers use more water than the original vegetation, so they may be taking all the available water. The park is planning to remove some of these trees to see if some of the water can be restored.

Gretchen M. Baker, April 2007

Did You Know?

Bonneville Cutthroat Trout

The Bonneville cutthroat trout is the only trout native to Great Basin National Park and East Central Nevada. Ancestors of the current Bonneville cutthroat trout were abundant in ancient Lake Bonneville 16,000 to 18,000 years ago, the remnant of what is now the Great Salt Lake in Utah.