Date of Visit: July 7-9, 2018
How we got there: Drove from Lake Tahoe across US 50 (A.K.A. The Loneliest Road in America). It’s a long seven-hour drive but it’s through the fascinating Basin & Range topography. Take a lunch break in Austin, NV.
Stargazer Inn – Wonderful recently-remodeled yet rustic motel in the adjacent town of Baker. The attached Kerouac’s restaurant is the best place in town for meals. It’s a little hipster hideaway in the middle of nowhere.
- Wheeler Peak – This 13,063ft peak is the highest point in the park and the second-highest in Nevada. A strenuous 7 mile round trip hike leads to the peak and views of the entire Snake Range.
- Bristlecone Pines – The oldest living things in the world inhabit the upper elevations of the park. The Bristlecone Loop Trail takes visitors through a grove of trees that have been surviving there for over 3,000 years.
- Lehman Caves – Ornately decorated cave offering ranger-guided 1 or 1.5 hour tours.
- Astronomy Program – We participated in the Saturday evening stargazing session where we were able to see Jupiter, Saturn and a Nebula through telescopes at the Lehman Caves visitor center.
Tips: Start high-elevation hikes before 6:30 am to avoid midday thunderstorms in the summer season.
Next time: Visit Lexington Arch in the southern end of the park.
Backcountry camping and hiking in the Snake Creek area.