A Park is Born
Great Basin National Park was established by an act of Congress on October 27, 1986. Lehman Caves National Monument was abolished in that act, and the lands incorporated into the new park. More than just Lehman Caves, Great Basin National Park encompasses over 77,000 acres that includes several bristlecone pine groves and Wheeler Peak, the highest peak contained within the state of Nevada.
The mission of Great Basin National Park, based in legislation, is:
- To protect a representative portion of the physiographic Great Basin region for current and future enjoyment and scientific understanding.
- Interpret the Great Basin of the western United States in cooperation with park partners such as public and community entities.
- Interpret Great Basin National Park's 77,100 acres, which encompass some of the best representative features of the Great Basin region. Over 660 species of flora and fauna attest to its biological diversity. Ancient bristlecone pines, one of the world's oldest living things, survive in excess of 4,000 years. Significant geological values include more than 45 caves, of which the best known and most visited is Lehman Caves. Glacial formations include cirques, moraines, alpine tarns, and the only glacier in the Great Basin region.
- Maintain and protect the air quality of the park. It is the best in the continental United States with visibility often exceeding 120 miles.
- Preserve cultural resources that range from prehistoric artifacts and drawings dating back 12,000 years, to historic mining and ranching endeavors.
- Provide for the public enjoyment compatible with the protection and significance of the park.