Natural features and their associated topography are an important part of the story at Golden Spike National Historic Site. Here, the location of archeological and historic resources are closely related to the geological terrain. The park includes arid/ semiarid shrubland, grassland, and woodland ecosystems as well as perennial streams.
The park's hillsides, mountains, and plains range in elevation from 1,329 to 1609 meters (4,360 - 5,280 feet). Annual precipitation averages 203 to 305 millimeters (8-12 inches), mostly as snow. Temperatures range from 20 degrees Farenheit in the winter to an occasional 104 degrees Farenheit in the summer. Except for Blue Creek, which crosses the park's northeastern end, there are no streams or springs in the park.
Resource management activities protect both cultural and natural resources. For instance, one goal of the park's fire management program is to re-establish natural vegetation communities and reduce sagebrush, which covered less ground in 1869. Sagebrush has caused long-term degradation of cultural features. Preservation of grade resources helps to regulate runoff during storm events, which controls erosion, prevents natural deterioration, and protects vegetation root systems.