Great Basin National Park is one of only two National Park Service units in the state of Nevada. It is part of a system of mountain ranges, streams, lakes, and broad valleys spread over Nevada, Utah, California, Oregon, and Idaho. The park's resources include streams, lakes, mountains, alpine plants, abundant wildlife, a variety of forest types including groves of ancient bristlecone pines, natural limestone caves, and archeological sites with artifacts and other remains of past peoples, from as long as 10,000 years ago to as recently as the Johnson Lake Mine.
The "Great Basin" that Great Basin National Park is named after extends from the Sierra Nevada Range in California to the Wasatch Range in Utah, and from southern Oregon to southern Nevada. This is an area where no water drains to an ocean, but drains inward. As big as it is, the Great Basin is only part of an even larger region called the Basin and Range province that extends down into Mexico. The landscape around Great Basin National Park is a good example of what is found throughout the Basin and Range province--long mountain ranges separated by equally long, flat valleys.
1. Using a Nevada state map in your classroom or library, locate Great Basin National Park. How would you describe the park's location? Is it a heavily populated area? What is it near?
2. Locate Johnson Lake on Map 1. Use the scale to approximate the distance from Johnson Lake to the Visitor Center. Note the topography (mountains and valleys) of the region. How would you describe the site's location?
3. Locate the trail leading to Johnson Lake Mine. Johnson Lake Mine contains archeological remains such as structures, machine parts, buckets, cans, and corrugated steel sheets. Do you think the general public should be able to access the site? Why or why not? What might be the advantages and disadvantages to the location of Johnson Lake Mine?
* The map on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Map 1, but be aware that the file may take as much as 30 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.