When we left San Francisco after Labor Day Weekend, we planned to spend a few days at Lake Tahoe. When we arrived at Lake Tahoe though, we decided to blow it off and blaze another six hours across The Loneliest Highway in America to Great Basin National Park. We’d already seen Tahoe, and we wanted to get the barren straights of Nevada behind us.
Great Basin is in the middle of nowhere, and it’s in the middle of the desert, which you know how much Katie and I dislike.
We camped in the tiny town of Baker, NV, just outside of the gate, and we spent a few days exploring the park. Despite our growing disdain for the desert, we found Great Basin to be a really fun and low-key park.
We took a guided tour of the Lehman Caves, which are inside of Great Basin. We also took a couple of higher elevation hikes to subalpine lakes at the base of barren mountaintops near Mt. Wheeler, the highest peak in the park.
One of the best highlights for Katie and me at Great Basin though was our 18-mile downhill bike ride from the highest point in the park to the town of Baker.
On the first day that we drove to the top of the park, after our hike, I encouraged Katie that she should ride her bike all the way back down the winding roads of the mountain. She was hesitant at first, but she summoned the courage with additional encouragement from Jane.
Katie hopped on her bike and rode the entire length of the road, white-knuckling the tight turns as she coasted thirty minutes from top to bottom of the mountain. I drove the kids down in the car, and we were waiting for her at the base.
The next day, when we returned to the top of the park for yet another hike, it was my turn. Katie drove down the mountain with the kids, and I got to experience the long bike ride down the curvy mountain roads.
With two kids in tow, it’s often tough for us to get an adrenaline-pumping thrill. This fast and winding downhill bike ride was a refreshing rush for the both of us.
Here are pictures of our time in Great Basin National Park: