Among the lush green vegetation which hugs Lehman Creek, you’ll secure your tent or park your rv within earshot of clear mountain water which has tumbled 3000 vertical feet from the lakes and snowfields of the high Snake Range. Naturally landscaped with red-barked water birch, aspen and white fir a stroll through this sky island ecosystem provides for great bird-watching or a cooling dip in the stream while placing you just minutes from spectacular Lehman Caves. Be sure to make a reservation for a cave tour before you arrive in the park.
For guests at Lower Lehman Campground a number of recreational options present themselves.
The jaw-dropping Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive runs right past the campground entrance offering 12 miles of spectacular mountain and valley views while transporting you to near tree line at about 10,000 feet in elevation. From there a roundtrip trail walk of just under three miles will leave you with memories of iconic Bristlecone Pines which can endure for over 4000 years, and stand for thousands more after death.
Another short stroll from the end of the Scenic Drive highlights Stella and Theresa Lakes, both fish free because they freeze solid during the winter months, but begging for a sunset photograph with colossal Wheeler Peak looming in the background.
If a challenge is beckoning, you’ll find ample beyond the Summit Trailhead. Beginning at mile 11 of the Scenic Drive the Summit Trail will launch you on an eight-mile, day-long endeavor to the roof of Wheeler Peak itself, where you may ponder the desperate lives of bristlecones, limber pines and Engelman Spruce gracing the rocky moraine below the summit.
Renown Lehman Caves is just a 10-minute drive from your campsite at Lower Lehman (You’ll want to make a tour reservation before you arrive.) along with the remote solitude of the less-travelled trails of the Baker Creek Road. The Snake Creek and Strawberry Creek Roads are both unique experiences, but a but more diatant.
Fishing in the park is legal with a Nevada state fishing license, but access is challenging in the small brushy park streams, so consider a day-long excursion to Baker Lake. The experience includes a twelve-mile roundtrip hike to over 10,000 ft, but the trout fishing is fine and a more majestic venue could barely be imagined. Stop by one of the park’s visitor centers for fishing regulations, and please treat the delicate alpine environment around Baker Lake with respect .
During the summer months beneath the uniquely black night skies of Great Basin National Park astronomy programs with park rangers draw large crowds to the Lehman Cave Visitor Center, just three downhill driving miles away. Bring a chair and dress warm as even summer temperatures can drop dramatically in the Snake Range.
Lower Lehman Creek Campground is perfect for rvs, with large, paved, pull-through parking at six of the 11 camping sites. Each site offers a picnic table and fire ring, along with potable water and pit toilets within a stone’s throw.
Lower Lehman Campgroup is strung out along the lush riparian area hugging Lehman Creek, a small vibrant stream which has babbled it’s way for miles from the high country of the Snake Range, over half a vertical mile above. Most sites offer shade provided by white firs as well as juniper and pinyon pine. But at 7300 feet in elevation, uncomfortably hot days are rare.
Staying here is a wonderfull opportunity to dip your feet into cool water while diving into your favorite novel. Look up ocassionally. The limestone ridge just to the south anchors 12,771-foot Doso Doyabi to the broad Snake Valley below and the evening lightshow performed amidst one of the darkest night skies in the Lower 48 will likely keep you up well beyond your usual bedtime. If not, make sure that it draws you out.
Don’t forget, Great Basin National Park was forshadowed when Lehman Caves was annointed a National Monument in 1922. The cave and its underground wonders are just a few miles away behind the Lehman Caves Visitor Center. Access is by tour only, so be sure to book a reservation before you arrive, or stop by the visitor center to check on remaining availability.
From the east or west: From U.S. Highway 6 & 50, turn south on Nevada State Highway 487 and travel 5 miles to Baker, NV. In Baker turn west on Highway 488 and travel 5 miles to the park.
From the south (Utah): Travel north on Utah State Highway 21 through Milford, UT and Garrison, UT, which will become Nevada State Highway 487 as you cross the border. Turn west on Highway 488 in Baker and travel 5 miles to the park.
From the south (Nevada): Travel north on U.S. Highway 93 (Great Basin Highway). At the junction of U.S. Highway 6 & 50 drive east to Nevada State Highway 487 and turn south. Travel 5 miles to Baker, NV. In Baker turn west on Highway 488 and travel 5 miles to the park.