Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bristlecone Pines and Rock Glacier Trail Great Basin National Park August 17, 2013

                                 Bristlecone pine tree

On my way south from West Wendover, Nevada, I stopped at Great Basin National Park to spend the night and go on a hike. I drove into the park at 1 pm so it became obvious I would have to pick a hike that wasn't too many miles. I chose to hike the Bristlecone Pine Trail and Glacier Trail. From my campsite at the Wheeler Peak Campground the hike would be about 5.3 miles. Elevation gain was low at approximately 1100 feet. This is a special short hike because it takes the hiker by Bristlecone pine trees which are some of the oldest trees in the world. The second part of the trail takes visitors to the only glacier in Nevada. Along the way views include 13000 foot Mount Wheeler, the desert in the valley and Mount Moriah to the north.

If you are planning on spending more than one day I would consult the National park website. Great Basin has many hiking and backpacking opportunities. Lehman Caves at the Visitor's Center is also beautiful and visitors should take the tour.

                      What magnificent trees; not to be confused with Limber pines

                                                     Bristlecone pine

                  The extent of the glacier at the base of Wheeler Peak. The glacier is much smaller today.

                      High desert scenery in the Snake Mountains looking north.

                      Storm clouds forming over Mount Wheeler's ride.

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