#136: Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park, located in eastern Nevada, is a stunning example of the diverse beauty of the American Southwest. In this episode, we talk about why you’ll want to put a visit to this park in your wish bucket the next time you plan a trip to this part of the country.

Home to the mesmerizing Lehman Caves, Great Basin NP is one of the best least-visited parks in the NPS system. The caves, one of the park’s main attractions, are an intricate cavern system complete with stalactites, stalagmites, and unique shield formations that have been forming for over a half million years. In this episode’s History Channel, Karen delves into the unique story of how Lehman Caves became a National Monument more than a hundred years ago, long before the area became a national park.

We also describe the park that’s above ground and its rich array of ecosystems and landscapes. From the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive up to the Bristlecone pine forest and on to the only glacier in Nevada, we share some of our favorite things to do and see in the park.

And we take you to the small town of Ely, Nevada, just outside the park, where you can step back in time and experience its history by visiting the East Ely Nevada Northern Railway living museum, in addition to some very unique beehive charcoal ovens that were once used as hideouts for stagecoach bandits.

If stargazing is your thing, few parks are better than Great Basin for viewing a brilliant night sky. Recognized as a Dark Sky Park, the absence of light pollution allows for unparalleled views of the Milky Way, shooting stars, and distant galaxies, making this park one of the best places in the country to gaze at the heavens above.


Here are a couple of links to items we mentioned in this episode:

·     Lehman Cave virtual tours

·     In Ely, Nevada – Nevada Northern Railway Co. museum and train ride info.


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