The drive to Great Basin National Park near the town of Baker, Nevada, is a starkly beautiful drive on Highway 50, the “Loneliest Road in America.” Great Basin National Park is home to 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak, glacial moraines, 5,000-year-old bristlecone pines, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and mountain lions. Hike Wheeler Peak and spot Clark’s nutcrackers and Swainson’s and ferruginous hawks.
Elevation in the park ranges from about 5,000 feet to more than 13,000 feet, and the diversity of habitats means a huge variety of birds. Hike Lehman Peak Trail alongside Lehman Creek to spy western scrub-jay, pinyon jay, Steller’s jay, Say’s phoebe, and plumbeous vireo. Alpine Lakes Loop takes you by two lakes above 10,000 feet and is great for seeing raptors, including northern goshawk, golden eagle, and sharp-shinned, rough-legged, Swainson’s, and ferruginous hawks. The steep and rugged Wheeler Peak Summit Trail Count takes you to the top of Wheeler Peak, where you can count on chukar, common ravens, mountain bluebirds, Townsend’s solitaire, and black-billed magpies.
Spend the night in Baker and enjoy a hearty meal in the eclectic Lectrolux Cafe—the food is homemade and delicious.