Monday, October 17, 2011

One long day in Great Basin National Park

Growing up my family had traveled all over the west visiting basically every state west of the Mississippi. Most of these trips I have fond memories of but one place I don't ever remember visiting was 'Great Basin National Park'. I think this was largely due to it being off the beaten path.

For probable the last year or so I had considered visiting off and on but never really got around either because of other trips, work, family obligations or mountain biking. With an upcoming move out-of-state I made the decision to go ahead and go. It was just a matter of when.

Sometime Thursday night I finally made the decision to go but for how many days I was still unsure of: one long day or an easier two day trip. Needless, to say preparations where made for at least a two day trip just encase.

So in the same manner as the Montana trip that I did at the beginning of the year it was a 2 am wake up call to be out the door by 3 am to hit the road. This wouldn't have been so bad had I not gone to 1030 pm the night before. Caffeine was my friend yet even at this point even that wasn't enough and a couple of cat naps where in order.

This had to be one of the most desolate routes I have ever traveled, between Santaquin and Delta, Utah I could've counted the number of cars I encountered on two hands and once out of Delta that number dropped off even more.

Lets just say I was thankful to see the light day once again.

With the rising sun I could see my destination, brightening my spirits and wading off that doziness that was haunting me knowing that I would be there soon.

Before making the trip into the park I had decided to stop at the 'Baker Archeological' site to check it out and see what was there. It also happened to be along a cut-off to the park. After visiting the site and getting a good stretch in I headed off to the park to start exploring. Thankfully, I had printed off the map of the park and trail information before-hand since both of the visitor centers where closed when I arrived.

Great Basin National Park in the distance.

Baker Lake Trail Head.

Wheelers Peak in the background and the highest point in the park at over 13,000 ft.

An avalanche area nearing the lake, it was an interesting site.

Baker Lake.

A small brown trout caught in some of the shallower pools. I tried to catch it with my barehands but it got away before I could catch it.

Trail maker, traveling past this point would've required snowshoes or ski's.

Heading back to my car for lunch after hiking a little 11.2 miles.

After lunch it I was off to the Bristlecone-Apline Lake Trailhead. At the end of the Bristlecone trail is 'Rock Glacier' the only glacier in Nevada.

Snow covered trail made for a slick time along the narrow route.

You can see the switch-backs on the trail a head covered with snow.

My final destination in the background.

It was just a little cold and windy up here.

A random wind chime up here. I'm sure why it is up here.

The valley below.

Teresa Lake.

Stella Lake.

Wheeler Peak on the right, the highest point in the park at just over 13,000 ft.

End of the day.

After getting off the trail it was nearly 700 pm and I had a choice to make. Either find a place to camp for the night or to go ahead and head on back. Despite the 2am wake-up call and the 20+ miles of trails I hiked I felt surpisely good and made the choice to go ahead and head on back.

The road was just as desolate as when I had arrived that morning till just outside of Delta when traffic picked back. After a stop for some fuel and a 24 oz energy drink I made it back home around midnight after a 22 hour day.

Overall, the trip was great and I felt relieved despite the long day.

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