Great Basin National Park, Baker, NV
The West’s untapped treasures
It’s easy to understand why Great Basin National Park is one of the country’s least-visited natural treasures: Just off U.S. 50, the Loneliest Road in America, it’s not near much except the Nevada-Utah border. Those who do make the effort to explore the park will find exquisitely formed caverns, 4,000-year-old bristlecone pines, and the continent’s southernmost glacier.
At Lehman Caves, sign up early for one of the guided tours through an otherworldly half mile of stalactites, stalagmites, and twisting, straw-shaped helictites. Bring a sweatshirt, as the cave is a constant 50°.
Afterward, drive 12 steep, curvy miles to the top of Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, where there are a variety of hikes to suit all abilities.