• Bristlecone Pine

    Great Basin

    National Park Nevada

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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 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.

2009: Poet Diane Weddington

Diane Weddington is a native of North Carolina. She has been writing poetry since she was 8 years old, and began writing poetry for the National Park Service during a residency in 2001 at Badlands National Park. She has been a writer-in-residence at Grand Canyon North, North Cascades, Canyon of the Ancients, Hubbell Trading Post and Capitol Reef. She also led a writers' retreat at the Wyoming Fish and Game Center. She studied writing at the Spoleto, Italy Writers' Workshop. She is the author of five non-fiction books including a guide to early stage Alzheimer's. She divides her time between teaching public policy at Duke University in Durham, NC and journalism at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California.

Below you will find some samples of Diane's poetry written while in residence at Great Basin National Park.

Cave drop

Soda Straw Dripping


One single glittering drop
revealed by unnatural light
continues the steady process
of decorating the cave.

Geologists call these ornaments

Children see mermaids
sea horses.

The decorations change
fall broken
get carried off.

made live
by single glittering drops.

Fall colors at Great Basin

Fall colors at Great Basin


Instead of wondering
whether the world will endure
look at the lichens
stubbornly rooted on rock faces
and sagebrush
in deserts.

Instead of giving up
or giving in to fears of growing old
look at bristlecones
which sprout new life
from dying trunks
and stars
which radiate a light
born billions of years ago.

We say we
cannot solve our problems
have lost our sense of wonder
grow distant from each other
and do not know what to do.

Instead of constant talk
and endless debate
about things which always seem important
seek the place of total silence
and listen to peace

Bristlecone Pine

Bristlecone Pine


What is important in life
is hidden.

Desert owes its life
to sagebrush roots

Caves preserve
painted reminders
of ancients
who left no words

Fallen cones enclose
which dispersed and rooted
become new bristlecones

Just so, the human heart
buries its sense of awe
in daily drudgery.

The sky, the wind, the water
wear away at the facade
of rock and heart alike

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.