These unique landscapes have been suggested for national monument status. But you don't have to wait for Washington, D.C., to decide. Here's where to go right now
The Great Basin is probably the most spectacular part of the West that nobody sees. You fly over it, you drive across it on I-80, you notice the flat basin and the crinkled mountains without realizing how gorgeous they are up close.
The Heart of the Great Basin centers on three mountain range—the Monitor, the Toquima, the Toiyabe.
One of the best backcountry drives in the West is on FR 002, which goes over the crest of the Toiyabe and then down through Kingston Canyon. What else to do in the vicinity? Berlin Ichthyosaur State Park has some interesting fossils. And Austin is a charmingly eccentric Old West mining town.
From Austin, take Big Creek Road south to FR 002 across the Toiyabes to Nevada Highway 376.