Great Basin National Park

Top choice national park in Ely

Near the Nevada–Utah border, 67 miles east of Ely, this uncrowded national park encompasses the 13,063ft Wheeler Peak, rising abruptly from the desert and creating an awesome range of life zones and landscapes within a compact area, including the richly decorated Lehman Caves (book guided tours through the Lehman Caves Visitor Center).

The peak's narrow, twisting scenic drive is open only during summer, usually from June through October. Hiking trails near the summit take in superb country made up of glacial lakes, groves of ancient bristlecone pines (some over 5000 years old) and even a permanent ice field. The summit trail is an 8.2-mile round-trip trek, with a vertical ascent of nearly 3000ft.

The park's five developed campgrounds are open during summer; only Lower Lehman Creek is available year-round.