Although the park is open year-round, deep snow and bitter cold limit aboveground activities during the winter. The cave, which has a year-round temperature of 50°F (10°C) and humidity of 90%, can be visited at any time. Outdoors, conditions are tied to elevation, which ranges from 6,825 feet at the visitor center to 13,063 feet at Wheeler Peak. Hiking trails at lower elevations are usually free of snow from late spring through early fall, but above 10,000 feet, snow is possible at any time. Summer thunderstorms are common during the afternoon but can occur at any time.

Avoiding the Crowds

Because Great Basin National Park is seemingly in the middle of nowhere, it receives far fewer visitors than most other national parks, about 90,000 per year. However, it isn't deserted. During the relatively busy summer season, you'll need to arrive at the visitor center early for your cave tour tickets (or purchase them in advance), and don't count on finding a campsite if you arrive late in the day, especially on weekends. The busiest times are Memorial Day weekend and from July through Labor Day. Although the park is quieter in spring, weather can be a problem, with snow in the higher elevations. The park has its lowest visitation in January and February, but that is also when it is coldest and snowiest. The best time to visit is from just after Labor Day through the end of September, when there are fewer people and the weather is beautiful -- warm days and crisp, cool nights. Early October is also usually nice, but you may find yourself in an early snowstorm.

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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.