Greetings from Great Basin National Park

As a Nevadan, I have always held a special place for our state’s one and only national park. Coming from Las Vegas, Great Basin National Park is like arriving to another planet. Unlike home, it’s rugged mountains, green pastures and tall pines are a delight, especially in summer. So when I was thinking of what I wanted to do for my 65th birthday, Great Basin National Park came to mind. The campgrounds are a wonderful way to experience the park but my absolute favorite is Wheeler Peak Campground. The steep ride up is exhilarating and the campground is nestled amid towering pines. Since my birthday is in July, this seemed like the perfect place to get out of the desert heat and as we set up camp, the cool breeze was a welcome confirmation that this was a great birthday choice! As we hiked some of the shorter loop trails in the area that first evening, Wheeler Peak never left my sight. It was almost like it was beckoning me! When I told my husband I wanted to hike Wheeler Peak for my birthday, he was stunned. Although we’d hiked trails longer and steeper than this, my sudden decision seemed a bit whimsical. But as always, he was right there with me when we set off on the trail in the early morning light. I will not tell you that the trail is easy. It requires stamina, good footing and lots of water and snacks! Once you get above the treeline, the rocky trail with loose gravel and boulders gets tricky. But what I loved most about it was that the peak never leaves your sight, which is a great motivator! Unlike most trails in national parks, this trail offers quiet and solitude. We stopped occasionally to chat with fellow hikers who hailed from various cities and countries. The young people we met left me with a sense that even in my older age, goals and dreams are so important. Once at the top, I felt a true sense of accomplishment as I viewed the world around me. When we got back to our camp in early evening, dinner consisted of a nice dose of ibuprofen and off to bed! There will be other days to celebrate. But today, I hiked Wheeler Peak at age 65!

Michele Sinagra

Great Basin National Park

The diversity of natural beauty at this park makes it a must-see destination for outdoor lovers — the hardest part is knowing where to start. Climb or take a scenic drive up Wheeler Peak, the park’s iconic 13,000-foot mountain, for spectacular views; wander through groves of 3,000-year-old bristlecone pines; take a ranger-led tour through the marble and limestone halls of Lehman Caves; and hike or backpack among pristine alpine lakes. At night, visitors can enjoy exceptionally dark skies and excellent astronomy programs.

State(s): Nevada

Established: 1986

“They are a way to connect with nature, to appreciate the incredible beauty of this planet and to feed our souls.”

National parks represent the best of America. Why do you care about protecting and preserving them? Tell us why parks matter to you!

{{ active ? "Cancel" : "Begin"}}

Success! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

You’ll be notified by email when your story is approved and added to the collection on the My Park Story homepage.

In the meantime, you can share your own story page with your family and friends — and help us spread the word about these priceless memories and priceless places!

Here’s your unique story page link:

{{ storyUrl }}

* indicates Required fields

Click to choose a file to upload

Submitting your story means that you agree to our Terms of Service

More Stories

  • Greetings from Great Basin National Park

    Enjoyed reading Todd Christopher's article on his father-son trip to Great Basin NP. My wife and I recently visited the park (June 2019) and while the snows on Wheeler Peak prohibited us from going past the 7500' line and continuing to the Bristlecone Pine Grove it was a great sight.…

  • Greetings from Great Basin National Park

    When my son was a young boy scout, occasionally the entire family could join in on the camping trips. One of those trips was to Great Basin National Park. We live in Las Vegas so it was not a long trip to get to this magnificent jewel in the desert.…

  • Greetings from Great Basin National Park

    Growing up in the 50's and early 60's my parents took us three kids to the Nat'l parks and monuments out east when we went back to visit the relatives. In the late 70's and early 80's we took our kids to several nat'l parks and monuments in SD, WY,…


Preserve Our Parks

Make a tax-deductible gift today to provide a brighter future for our national parks and the millions of Americans who enjoy them.

Donate Now