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.
Astronomy Programs to Resume August 23rd
After a safety review Astronmy Programs will begin again on a trial basis on August 23rd. More »
Road Work at Great Basin National Park
Beginning July 8, 2014 and continuing through the end of August there will be road work at Great Basin National Park on paved roads throughout the park. Delays of 10 minutes or less may occur. Updated 8/12/2014 More »
Many types of birds can be found in Great Basin National Park and the surrounding area. A large variety of birds can be seen in the many different habitats encountered between the town of Baker (5,280 feet elevation) and the end of the Scenic Drive (10,000 feet elevation). Many birds such as the Common Raven, Northern Flicker and the American Robin, can be found in more than one type of habitat. Ask for a working checklist of all the birds found in Great Basin National Park. The Park encourages reporting of sightings of birds listed as uncommon or not found on the current checklist. The following is a listing of a few of the birds and some of the areas with easy access where specific birds may be found.
On your drive up from Baker, in the sagebrush grasslands, birds one might see include: Killdeer, Long-billed Curlew, Golden Eagle, Northern Harrier, Common Raven, American Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawk, California Quail, the Eurasian Chukar, Sage Grouse, Mourning Dove, Horned Lark, Scrub Jay, Black-billed Magpie, Western Kingbird, Barn Swallow, Loggerhead Shrike, Song Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, Cassin's Finch, European Starling, Red-winged Blackbird, and Western Meadowlark. If you are lucky you could also see birds such as ducks and other waterbirds flying overhead, moving from one pond to another. Some of these include; Great Blue Heron, Canada Geese, Sandhill Crane, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Cinnamon Teal. During the winter a lucky sighting could include a Bald Eagle on a telephone pole. At dusk or dawn during the summer, stop and listen for the whinnying of Common Snipe, for the call of a Common Poor-will, Great Horned Owl or the "bull-bat" roar of a Common Nighthawk. Watch out for the "copper penney colored" eye of the Poor-will reflecting in your headlights. They often view the roadway as the perfect clearing for their habit of "flycatching" from the ground.
A walk through the Ponderosa pines along Lehman Creek, in Upper Lehman Creek Campground may reveal Violet-green Swallow, Red-naped Sapsucker, Downy and Hairy Woodpecker, Mountain Chickadee, Bushtit, White-breasted Nuthatch, House Wren, Warbling Vireo, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-headed Grosbeak, Chipping Sparrow as well as Green-tailed Towhee, Rufous-sided Towhee, Dark-eyed Junco, and Brown-headed Cowbird.
At Wheeler Peak Campground, and along the Alpine Lake Loop, aspens, and limber pines attract a variety of birds including; Clark's Nutcrackers, Stellar's Jays, Townsend's Solitaire, Mountain Chickadee, Bushtit, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pine Siskin, Brown Creeper, Pygmy Nuthatch, and Cooper's Hawk. On occasion, one may find Red Crossbills if you are lucky.
A hike to the small glacier takes one through the ancient bristlecone pine forest to an area where very little vegetation exists. In the vicinity of the glacier and the rock glacier below, one can usually find the "Black" form of the Rosy Finch, as well as Rock Wren, and the ubiquitous Raven.
Did You Know?
There are 11 species of conifer trees, 71 species of mammals, 18 species of reptiles, 241 species of birds, 8 species of fish, and over 800 species of plants in Great Basin National Park and the neighboring valleys.