Great Basin National Park

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Our next trip was to Great Basin National Park, perhaps one of the least-visited, least known parks in the entire National Parks system. Great Basin National Park straddles the Utah/Nevada border, which made it a quick and easy drive from Full Service Storage in Salt Lake City.

We had done a lot of research in advance of our trip to make sure we could find someplace suitable to camp. There were several dispersed camping areas to the south, but we didn’t really want to be in that area. Donna was able to find Baker Creek Campground, a first-come-first-served campground located within the National Park. Located about 3 miles up a gravel road, this turned out to be a great place to spend the weekend. Here is what we said about it in our Campendium review:

This first-come-first-serve campground consists of two main loops plus additional areas designated for tent camping only. We arrived late on a Thursday afternoon in late September and got one of (if not the) last available sites. To get to the campground you drive about 2.5 miles down a dirt road which should be just fine no matter what kind of vehicle you drive, but as with any dirt road, you should expect your vehicle to get dusty. The campground is very quiet at night with just the chirping sounds of the crickets and the babbling of nearby Baker Creek. And there are so many stars at night you’d think you were on the red carpet at the Oscars!

We stayed in Site #6, which was not only the perfect size for our 16′ Airstream Basecamp and our Jeep Grand Cherokee, but also had a large picnic table, fire pit with grill, and an extra area of smoothed dirt surrounded by a small rock border and tall trees (we called this area our “living room”). Unfortunately, there is a fire ban in effect so we were unable to use our firepit.

We work while on the road and had one bar of T-Mobile service, which improved to almost full bars with our WeBoost. There was no Verizon service on our hotspot, even with the WeBoost. Still, the T-Mobile service with the booster was perfect for working and was fast enough for Zoom and Teams video calls.

The site is mostly level side-to-side, but not at all level front-to-back, which meant that our trailer tongue needed to be mere inches off the ground. Not an issue for our short trailer, but camper emptor! The freshwater spigot was adjacent to our site, which was convenient, and the bathrooms and trash receptacles were just a short 30-second walk away.

The highlight of the weekend was our hike to the Rock Glacier that sits beneath Wheeler Peak. Most people hike up to the Bristlecone Pine grove (also a highlight) and then turn around, but we opted to continue past there an all the way up the rock/boulder field to the glacier itself at nearly 11,000′. Wait. A glacier? In Nevada? Yup!

When we were done we had hiked about 6 miles with about 1,500′ of elevation gain, including a side trip to a lovely Alpine Lake. We vowed to return to Great Basin National Park again in the future to hike Wheeler Peak, which is about 8.5 miles and 3,000′ of elevation gain.

Total Miles: 500

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