Construction Projects Will Impact Great Basin National Park This Summer

Various construction projects will impact visitors to Great Basin National Park this summer/NPS file

Five major construction projects are planned or underway at Great Basin National Park in Nevada this summer, and they are expected to lead to short-term impacts to park visitors.

Park staff say these projects will result in disruptions to the visitor experience at the park, including campground, trailhead, and road closures; reduced cave tours; and relocation of evening programs.

“I am excited to see such a significant investment in the park’s vital infrastructure, but I recognize that many visitors will be affected by the work going on this summer,” Superintendent Ashley Adams said. “I ask everyone to have patience and understanding as we strive today to improve the visitor experience at Great Basin for generations to come.”

Projects and impacts:

  • The Grand Palace Tour of Lehman Caves will not be available until June 9, as park staff rehabilitate that area of the cave. Obsolete electrical systems are being removed, while aging and ecologically-damaging sections of trail are being rebuilt with boardwalks, bridges, and platforms to protect the cave ecosystem and improve the visitor experience. Lodge Room Tours remain available.
  • Beginning in June, there will be intermittent disruptions to water and wastewater services in the Lehman Caves Visitor Center area. A Legacy Restoration Fund project is set to renovate 60-year-old water and wastewater systems in the park, protecting public and environmental health while conserving scarce desert water. Later in summer, this project will prompt the Lehman Caves Visitor Center’s upper parking lot, amphitheater, and picnic area to close for approximately one month. This will result in cave tours being temporarily reduced, and evening and astronomy programs being relocated to the Great Basin Visitor Center.
  • Lower Lehman Creek Campground will close on May 28 to facilitate upgrades and expansion from 11 to 20 sites, including adding three sites fully accessible to people with disabilities. The campground will reopen this fall.
  • In July, the Bristlecone Trailhead and Wheeler Peak Campground will be closed for the season, and Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive will be closed at Summit Trailhead. Bristlecone Trailhead facilities will be updated and improved with reconfigured and repaved parking lots, a new picnic area, and barrier-free access for people with disabilities. Visitors wishing to explore the park’s alpine lakes and ancient bristlecone pine grove will need to begin their hikes at Summit Trailhead, adding about two miles to the round-trip journey.
  • From early July through early September, visitors can expect periods of one-way traffic control and temporary closures of park roads, campgrounds, and parking lots, as the park’s paved roads and parking lots will be chip-sealed, microsurfaced, patched, and crack-sealed, extending the life of the pavement and improving driving conditions.

The park’s visitor centers, cave tours, trails, and major scenic features will remain open throughout construction. However, visitors may have difficulty in finding a campsite, parking spot, or cave tours at peak visitation times, and may experience travel delays. You are asked to plan your visit accordingly.

Updates will be posted on the web at, and will be available in printed format at visitor centers and other locations in the park and the nearby town of Baker. Rangers will be available to suggest alternative itineraries, and to provide information about camping on Bureau of Land Management land near the park.

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