Great Basin In Winter

Great Basin National Park is open year-round, with limited access and services during winter. Lehman Cave is a primary attraction and it is open year-round but is closed New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The Lehman Cave Visitor Center is also closed on those days.

The Great Basin Visitor Center is open May to September.

Wheeler Peak is also a major attraction at the park. It picks up heavy snow and is very beautiful during winter. It can be viewed from park roads and can be approached using cross country skis and snowshoes.

The park's fabled bristlecone pine trees grow at high elevations and are difficult to see during winter. Only experienced snowshoe adventurers should attempt to reach the ridges where these trees grow.

Popular Winter Activities

  • Auto touring
  • Cave tour
  • Cross country skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Photography
  • Wildlife watching

Average Winter Temperatures F°

Month High Low
November 49° 26°
December 42° 20°
January 41° 18°
February 44° 21°
March 48° 24°

Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive is open year-round to Upper Lehman Campground. The road provides impressive views of the mountain peaks and surrounding countryside. The upper portion of the road is not plowed and is impassable during winter because of heavy snow.

Baker Creek Road is closed during winter. Other remote park roads (Strawberry, Snake, Lexington) are open year-round but are snowy during winter and can be muddy or snowy in the winter and spring.

Snowmobiles are not allowed to operate in the park but can be ridden on nearby trails.

The park includes an extensive backcountry area that is all but deserted during winter. A few people explore backroads and trails using cross country skis and snowshoes. People heading into the backcountry need to be self-reliant.

Many people camp in the park during winter. Temperatures are cold but camping can be enjoyable if you have proper equipment.

Wildlife Viewing

Mule deer and elk migrate to lower elevations in the park during winter and are often seen by visitors. Pronghorn antelope may be seen in the surrounding desert. Black bears and cougars live in the park but are seldom seen and almost never cause trouble. Smaller predators are more commonly seen - foxes and coyotes are occasionally seen scurrying near roadways.

Hawks and eagles winter in this area and can be seen by observant visitors.

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