Place Name: Great Basin National Park
Place Description: State: Nevada
Elevation: 13,063 Feet
Prominence: 7,563 Feet
Elevation Gain: 2,880 Feet
Lists: Great Basin Peaks List, Ultras Of The Lower 48, Desert Peaks Section, Nevada County High Points, Nevada Peaks Club, Western States Climbers
The Undisputed Champion of Nevada
Even though Wheeler Peak is not the high point of Nevada, it is clearly the highest “official” mountain in Nevada. Wheeler Peak plays second fiddle no other in the state and is worth the long drives out to Great Basin National Park. This is an amazing hike and should be on your list!
- Amazing views
- Easy trail
- Super cool National Park
- Long ways from anywhere
- Can be crowded
- Exposed above the tree line and prone to storms
What is there to say about Wheeler Peak that hasn’t already been said? As the high point of Great Basin National Park, Wheeler Peak and it’s 13,063-foot summit are well documented.
Even though it’s a popular trail, it’s still a must do at some point! The trail is a lot of fun and the summit views are amazing!
Getting to the trail is easy. The hardest part is finding the time to get all the way out to Great Basin National Park. It’s way out there and over four hours from the nearest metropolitan areas of Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and Reno.
Once in the park, drive up the Wheeler Peak Rd and a start at either the Summit Trail Head next to the road or slightly further ahead at the campground.
From the Summit Trailhead, the trail starts relatively flat and passes through a forest of aspens for about the first mile. This will merge with the trail coming up from the campground and pass the shores of Stella Lake.
Although it’s easy to this point, the climbing begins up through some meadows to the ridge that connects Wheeler Peak to Bald Mountain.
After gaining the ridge, you will quickly leave the trees behind and follow the trail steeply though the talus field. The views really open up to the west at this point and the large summit lies ahead of you with about 1,800 feet of gain.
Just follow the well-established trail and before you know it, the summit area will be obtained!
Soak in the views! The view of the southern Snake Range is absolutely breathtaking!
The ridge line connecting to Baker Peak looks super gnarly as does the traverse over to Doso Doyabi. Views extend for over 100 miles. Many summits such as Mount Moriah, Mount Grafton, North Schell, Ibapah Peak, and Notch Peak are all visible.
The Final Word
Great Basin National Park is so underrated and an absolutely amazing place to visit. Summiting Wheeler Peak is icing on the cake.
With many trails, lakes, streams, caves, Bristlecone pines and wildlife, a trip out here should be on everyone’s summer fun list!