Great Basin National Park Visited July 6, 2017
Great Basin National park is our favorite National Park so far. A lot of people ask us whats so great about it? Well it’s beautiful (but honestly most NPs are) Its out in the middle of nowhere so almost no one goes there. We LOVE hidden gems. The trails are easy for kids, but not ultra short. Throw in the caves, the mountains, and the lakes and this park really has it all. You will notice we visited the Nevada desert in July and there is still snow behind the kids. It doesn’t get much better. Also it should be noted, we only have 3 kids but we almost always travel with friends. The kids love it, and when they behave everyone is happy.
Where we stayed
We stayed in Ely Nevada. Ely is an hour outside of the park, but like I said it’s in the middle of nowhere so there aren’t really a lot of lodging options close by. You could camp, but we are not campers. Ely is actually a really cute small town and the kids really enjoyed staying here. We even spent one day of our trip hanging out in Ely. They have a cute little museum, and a train ride complete with story of how Ely used to be quite the mining town. We rather enjoyed Ely and didn’t mind the hour drive into the park.
What we visited
There are a few trails lower in elevation but when we went in July it was rather toasty and so we went up the mountain where the temps were delightful. **Edited** we went back May 23 of 2020 and walked along Lehman Creek trail it was lovely and took you through a forest, following a creek.
We took the Lodge Room Tour of the Lehman Caves. You can buy tickets and reserve online. The Lodge room was the only one we could take with our younger kids in tow. The caves are really cool (as in awesome and cold) The kids thought they were really neat and everyone enjoyed the tour. Pros, you get to go inside the caves, learn fun facts and see cool things. Cons, its a guided tour so you can’t go off exploring on your own and it can be a little scary for kids at times (it’s dark)
Sky Island Forest Trail
(not the one pictured above) This trail is super short, quick and paved. The kids like these kinds of trails because they are short so very quickly they feel they accomplished something. I like a longer trail myself but sometimes with kids you will take anything they are willing to do.
Alpine Lakes Loop
Our favorite trail. It has 2 lakes that you pass, this stunning green one (pictured above) and the lake at the top of the page. We almost always link up with the bristlecone trail in the loop and the trail ends at about 4 miles (round trip) 4 miles is a little long for the young kids. Penny was the youngest along and she is 4. Penny gets carried for a little but we do try and get our kids to walk as much as possible on their own. With the two lakes you have the opportunity to stop, rest have a picnic or snack break. The kids love splashing in the water, skipping rocks and free exploring around the lake. Once they have rested a good bit we would continue.