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Sky Islands Forest Trail

Easy
 3.0 (2)

A short nature trail providing information about the unique forest that surrounds you.


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Map Key

0.3

Miles

0.5

KM

99%

Runnable

9,955' 3,034 m

High

9,932' 3,027 m

Low

19' 6 m

Up

24' 7 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

7%

Max Grade (4°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · River/Creek · Wildflowers

This trail is open from the late spring through the early fall when the Wheeler Peak area is open.

Need to Know

The parking lot at the end of Wheeler Peak Summit Drive fills up quickly, especially on the weekends, so you might want to get there early if you want to find parking easily. Its a popular area due to its proximity to Wheeler Peak Summit Trail, Glacier Trail, and Bristlecone Grove Trail. There are restrooms at the parking lot, but otherwise there are no other services here. The closest place to get food and drinks is at the Lehman Cave Visitor Center and store at the bottom of Wheeler Peak Summit Drive.

Runner Notes

This is an accessible trail that is either wood planks or a dirt trail covered in a mats to make it handicap accessible. If you're looking for a short run, this might be a good option.

Description

The Sky Islands Forest Trail is a nature trail that explains the unique environment that is found in the Alpine Lakes area of Great Basin National Park. The trail starts in the parking lot at the end of Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. It crosses a wooden bridge that spans Lehman Creek.

The Sky Island Trail continues straight ahead while the Bristlecone Grove Trail and Alpine Lakes Trail break off to the right. Now the trail meanders through the woods with signs providing information on what makes this area unique. For example, Wheeler Peak is so tall that it creates its own weather which provides water for the streams year round thanks to the rain and snow that falls in the area.

In areas where water flows toward the creek, an elevated wooden boardwalk allows you to enjoy the wildflowers and plants in the area. The reason that the trail is called Sky Islands is because the mountains have become islands in the Great Basin, providing unique environments where animals have essentially become stranded here. The forbidding landscape that surrounds the Snake Range prevents all but wind-borne plants, winged animals, or large animals from finding their way here.

As the trail wonders through the woods, benches provide an opportunity to sit and enjoy the sound of the birds singing and creeks running. The trail crosses Lehman Creek again and then meets up itself. From here, you can work your way to the right and either return to your car or explore some of the other trails in the area.

Flora & Fauna

Birch and pine trees can be seen throughout the area. In the spring, wildflowers bloom along creeks. You may encounter some deer in the mornings or evenings and birds can be seen and heard as they fly from tree to tree.

Contacts

Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 2 votes

#25917

Overall
  3.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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3 Star
100%
2 Star
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Trail Rankings

#230

in Nevada

#25,917

Overall
4 Views Last Month
90 Since Jul 19, 2020
Easy

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Photos

Mountains in Great Basin National Park
Apr 1, 2020 near Baker, NV
Instead of dirt trails, they have laid a mat like material on the trail to make it accessible for all to enjoy. Here the trail passes through some birch trees.
Jul 19, 2020 near Baker, NV
The trail continues on a boardwalk above the forest floor. Benches can be found along the trail where you can sit and enjoy the sounds of the forest around you.
Jul 19, 2020 near Baker, NV
Wheeler Peak and aspens
Apr 1, 2020 near Baker, NV
The trail crosses Lehman Creek right after leaving the parking lot.
Jul 19, 2020 near Baker, NV

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