Scenic USA - Nevada

Great Basin

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Great Basin - Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   Hugging the Utah-Nevada border, the Great Basin National Park is found to be a land of extremes. Topped off by the 13,000 foot Wheeler Peak, the parkland is home to the 5000 year old bristlecone pine, rare shield formations in the Lehman Caves, and takes in a portion of the 200,000 square mile Great Basin.
   Surrounded in myth and misunderstanding, this vast valley is anything but barren and desolate. Wheeler Peak Stream With precipitation varying from a scant seven inches to nearly two feet, all this moisture never leaves the valley. Cut off by mountains and mountain ranges, no water reaches any ocean, but fills lakes, fuels springs, sinks underground, or evaporates in this arid climate. With an 8000 foot elevation change between the mountain tops and the valley floor, itís easy to see snow almost any time of year. Gradual snow melt continues to feed mountain springs and streams, providing essential moisture for wildlife and plants.
   Although this barren scene of the Great Basin reveals little color besides drab sagebrush and the faded blues of distant mountains, springtime finds a desert filled with colorful plants. The blooms of the prickly pear, globe mallow and Indian paintbrush provide an assortment of oranges, reds, pinks and yellows. When autumn arrives, the golden glow of mountainside aspens creates a beautiful touch of color for this misunderstood park.

     Plan Your Visit - NPS
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