Great Basin National Park

Scenic Driving

The Scenic Drive winds past the Lehman Creek Campgrounds on a long continuous grade to Wheeler Peak Campground. Several scenic turn-outs line the road. The Osceola Ditch pull-off offers a chance to explore the remnants of the former mining flume, while Mather and Wheeler Peak Overlooks offer incredible views of the surrounding area. When traveling the Scenic Drive be sure to heed the speed limit; deer and sharp turns may take you by surprise, especially at dusk, dawn and night. On the way down use a low gear to prevent overheating your brakes.

Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive provides good views of the range. Beginning near the park entrance, it leaves Lehman Creek to climb across a dry shoulder of the mountain, ending near treeline. In 12 miles, it gains 3,400 feet in elevation, passing through a variety of habitats, from pinyon juniper woodlands, along a creekbed lined with aspen trees, through a zone of shrubby mountain mahogany and manzanita, into deep forests of Englemann spruce and Douglas fir, to the flower-spangled meadows and subalpine forest of limber pine, spruce, and aspen at the Wheeler Peak campground.

As with all of the roads in the park, the Scenic Drive is open seasonally as snow conditions permit. Summer months are the best for access to the high country, but the drive is always open for three miles to the Upper Lehman Campground.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 10 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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