Explore Birds and Nature at Great Basin National Park

Check out four must-do activities while visiting Great Basin National Park in Nevada. Don't miss starry skies, wildflowers, birds and more.

Milky Way In Great Basin National ParkBlueBarronPhoto/Getty Images
The Milky Way over Great Basin National Park in Nevada

1. See the Stars at Great Basin National Park

Take a drive 8 miles up Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive and park at Mather Overlook for picture-perfect views of the stars. Save this stargazing experience for a clear moonless night and bring a star chart. The overlook is the best spot, but every part of Great Basin National Park offers amazing dark sky views.

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2. Take a Wildflower Walk

Hike Baker Creek Trail through meadows and woodlands for wildflower viewing. Arrowleaf balsamroot blooms appear in late May. Later in the season visitors can enjoy shooting stars, monkshood, yellow monkey flowers, clover and lupine.

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3. Learn Great Basin National Park’s History

Tour Lehman Caves with a park ranger who will explain the site’s history and geology. The Lodge Room Tour is an hour, and the Grand Palace Tour lasts for 90 minutes. Reservations are recommended. 

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Clark's Nutcracker at great basin national parkjtstewartphoto/Getty Images
A Clark’s nutcracker feeds on pine cones in the forests of Great Basin National Park, Nevada.

4. Go Birding at Great Basin

Great Basin National Park hosts plenty of species within five different types of rugged terrain. Find violet-green swallows, green-tailed towhees and bushtits in the ponderosa pines. Look for Clark’s nutcrackers and Steller’s jays in the alpine-aspen area. And head to the pinyon-juniper woods to see black-chinned, broad-tailed and rufous hummingbirds. On a lucky day, spot an American three-toed woodpecker at the campground.

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Rachel Maidl
Rachel Maidl is a former senior editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. She enjoys bird-watching in her urban backyard and local state parks, gardening for pollinators and researching new plants. Her favorite backyard visitors are the bumblebees that visit her sedums.