Much needed moisture has come to Great Basin National Park in the form of snow. This along with colder temperatures has allowed the park to lift its fire ban.
For much of the year the Great Basin National Park has been experiencing severe drought, causing the fire ban to be implemented. The snow is a temporary reprieve on conditions providing moisture and cold to wildfire fuels such as grass, shrubs and leaf litter. “We still need our visitors to help protect their National Park and make sure all fires are only in a designated fire rings in a designated campsites and that all fires are out cold before campers leave their campsites.”, advised superintendent James Woolsey.
The snow has brought other changes to visitor access to the park. All campgrounds are closed except Lower Lehman Creek Campground. The water is off in the campgrounds, water is available to fill jugs outside the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.
Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive is open for the first three miles to the Winter Parking Lot. From there visitors can explore the Ponderosa pines and Lehman Creek in the campground amphitheater or start a longer journey up to the Wheeler Peak Day Use Area. Hiking to the Britlecone Pines in the Wheeler Peak Cirque or the Alpine Lakes will now require an additional 6.8 miles round trip to reach your destination. Be prepared for snow, sometime deep drifts, when hiking.
Baker Creek road is closed at the Baker Creek winter trailhead. You can walk the roads to trailheads at Baker Creek and Pole Canyon. As you go higher in elevation the deeper the snow will get. Superintendent Woolsey also had this to say, “Winter snow doesn’t close the park down it just provides new opportunities to enjoy it, but you need to come prepared. If we get more snow it could be a good year for sledding, skiing and snowshoeing. Give us a call to check on conditions and come enjoy your park!”
Snake Creek Road is temporarily closed while the road is covered in snow and mud. Check the park’s Current Conditions page before you travel. https://www.nps.gov/grba/planyourvisit/conditions.htm.