12 Reasons A Trip to Great Basin National Park is the Actual Worst

12 Reasons A Trip to Great Basin National Park is the Actual Worst

curving road at sunset
girl looking at wheeler peak, great basin national park
old bristlecone pine tree
people jumping in middle of the road
canyon in great basin
nevada camping
people climbing a rocky mountain in great basin national park
hiker celebrates after reaching the top of a mountain
deer with big antlers eating grass
exploring a cave
cave interior
milkyway galaxy at night

1. First off, you’ve gotta take the UGLIEST stretch of road ever to get to the park. 

Totally a bunch of ugly, boring nothingness with bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Loneliest Road in America

2. …And when you get to Great Basin National Park, you really have to buckle down and fight the crowds.

Out here, there are just TOO. MANY. PEOPLE.

Great Basin Hiking Trails

3. There’s this ancient, Promethean Bristlecone Pine forest you can hike into in the park.

At 4,900ish years old, they sayyyy these are the oldest known living organisms on Earth…but see how they’re roped off and you can’t even get near them to really enjoy them? Lame. Besides, they’re just too old and dusty to merit any attention. In with the new!

Great Basin Hiking Trails

4. The fall foliage ain’t nothin’ to write home about. SUPER SNORE. 

5. Great Basin is home to Nevada’s only active glacier.

The same ol’ boring hunk of ice happened to carve out one of the most gorgeous mountain ranges in the state and is still in action. But, seriously. Slowing life down to a literal glacial pace and listening for occasional cracking and water flowing beneath its frozen surface? Ain’t nobody got time for that. BORING!

Great Basin National Park

6. Going camping to decompress and get back to nature? Forget it.

Camping creekside at 10,000 feet elevation at some of the state’s most beautifully updated campgrounds in the Silver State is the opposite of serene, anyhow. You might as well pitch a tent on the I-5.

Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive & Campground

7. Nevada is the most mountainous in the Lower 48 states, and the second tallest peak in the state lies within Great Basin’s park boundaries.

…But it’s way too much work and definitely won’t pay off if you hike up that thing anyway.  Keep that tushie parked on the couch—transformative experiences are the actual worst.

Great Basin Hiking Trails

8. If you do decide to hike Wheeler anyway, the views aren’t even worth it up top.

Hundred-mile vantage points, schmantage schmoints.

Great Basin Hiking Trails

9. The wildlife here is alright, if you’re into enchanting experiences, that is.

Sure, it’s one of the darkest and quietest places in the United States, so it draws a gargantuan amount of wildlife who come here to thrive in a true nocturnal environment. BUT, we’ll just stick to barnyards and petting zoos.  Hearing an elk bugle? So not on our list.

Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park

10. NOPE, we for sure don’t want to know why people in the 1890s snuck into this enormous cave system for parties and secret society meeting.

We don’t want to spelunk in a place with life forms that can’t be found anywhere else on the planet, and we definitely don’t want to carry cute little lanterns around as we explore. That Indiana Jones stuff is for the birds.

Lehman Caves

11. Even though it’s completely common for most other caves to have one or two shield formations, there are more than 300 of these ancient, human-sized shield formations in Lehman Caves.

But really, how many amazing formations do you need to see? Skip the Grand Palace tour at Lehman, photo ops like this definitely don’t make it worth the extra few bucks. Enough’s enough, make it stop already!

Lehman Caves

12. Above all else, if you haven’t truly seen the night skies, Great Basin is most certainly NOT the place to do it.

They say “Half the Park is After Dark,” but we really don’t get what they’re talking about. All we see is blown-out light pollution for days. Maybe if the Milky Way wasn’t so overbearing, we could actually see some darkness for once in our lives. Forget it, there’s too much fresh air in our ears by now, anyway. Get us out of this perfect nature experience!


For the inside skinny on plotting a trip to Great Basin National Park, click here if you must, but don’t say I didnt warn you. You’re much better off on the couch…Here’s to endless Netflix binging!