The best things to do in Grand Bassin National Park
Know before you go
It bears repeating that the Great Basin has a high desert climate of abrupt elevation and severe extremes, which means it becomes cold here. Don’t plan a winter getaway expecting Vegas-like temperatures when you get biting cold and a lot of snow. Winter trips are only recommended for those who have a 4×4 vehicle with snow tires or chains and other cold weather emergency equipment.
Also to repeat: Great Basin is an altitude park. If you usually live near sea level, the heights can make you feel a bit wobbly and cause side effects like headache, dizziness, nausea, stomach cramps, or diarrhea. Take aspirin, WEIGHT water, and eat like calories aren’t a thing; you will get out of it. (But if you hike Wheeler and start to feel like that, turn around. The altitude sickness is severe and people to do die of it.)
Last but not least: Great Basin may be just a few hours from Vegas, but it is extremely from a distance. There are no cell service whatsoever in the park, and other than a blip in Baker, you’ll have to drive almost two hours northwest to Ely to get some stable bars.
All of this to say that if you need help you are going to wait a while. And if you’re the type who can’t put up with isolation from the outside world, this park probably isn’t for you. Prepare yourself with a standard roadside emergency kit, including a fully contoured spare tire, jumper cables, and a water supply, just in case. Otherwise, rejoice: spam calls can’t find you here.