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 later in the week is expected and conditions may improve. Please check back. 9/29/2014
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.
Dr. Tyler Nordgren
One of the last true dark skies in America...
Can you make a difference with light pollution? Yes, look at the International Dark Sky Association website.
The 2015 Astronomy Festival is scheduled for September 10-12, 2015.
2014 Astronomy Program Schedule
All astronomy programs will start with a ranger talk at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center followed by ranger led telescope viewing. No telescope is required as we will have them available.
Weekly Astronomy Programs
Astronomy programs begin in April on Saturday nights and Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Full Moon Guided Hikes
Full Moon Hikes schedule for 2015 has not be determined. Please check back.
A limit of 40 people are permitted on these popular guided hikes and they are first come, first served (no reservations). Free tickets are available the day of the hike at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center. Although we keep the location of the full moon hike secret until you pick up your tickets, expect an easy to moderate two-mile hike above 10,000 feet. For the safety and enjoyment of the hiker and the group, the rules listed below are strictly enforced; violations can disqualify hikers from attending this event. Call or email for details.
Astronomy Festival - September 10-12, 2015
Ideas on Stargazing at Great Basin National Park
Where to Go
What to Bring
While stars twinkle, planets reflect a steady light. They can be seen along a low path in the sky, never higher than 30 degrees above the horizon. (Holding your fist out at arms length with the thumb on top is approximately 10 degrees. Three fists will equal about 30 degrees.)
The planet Venus, often seen just after sunset and just before sunrise, is the second brightest object in the night sky, next to the moon. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn can often be seen later at night.
Click for Planet Viewing Guide
Man-made satellites can often be spotted crossing the night sky. Look for a bright, steadily moving object that does not twinkle and is moving in a straight line. Communications satellites orbit the earth moving east to west. Military satellites travel north to south.
"Shooting stars" and "falling stars" are both terms describing meteors, small fragments of debris that create streaks of light across the sky when they come in contact with the Earth's atmosphere. Shooting stars can be seen any night of the year, but the best opportunities for seeing them are during meteor showers.
The meteor showers that usually offer the best shows are the Perseids in August, the Orionids in October, the Leonids in November, and the Geminds in December. Meteor showers are named after the constellation they appear to originate from.
Telescopes available at all astronomy programs has been generously funded by the Great Basin National Park Foundation.
Did You Know?
Great Basin rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus lutosus) are the only venomous snake species in Great Basin National Park. These rattlesnakes rarely exceed 40 inches in total length, reproduce every two to three years, and feed primarily on rodents and lizards.