Lakes in Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Lakes in Great Basin National Park, Nevada
Great Basin National Park encompasses 77,180 acres in the 22,000 acre Great Basin region, composed of many large and small basins that span most of Nevada and parts of Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and California. Within the basins, water either evaporates, drains underground or flows into lakes and streams within the area. The park itself contains six lakes, all located just below the alpine region of the park.

Stella and Teresa Lakes

Near each other and the Wheeler Peak Campground Trail in the northern part of the park, these two lakes sit in a glacial-hollowed valley enclosed by sheer cliffs which is called a glacial cirque. Both are fed by snow melt, though Teresa Lake also is fed by a spring that flows into it. Hikers access the lakes from the three-mile Alpine Lakes Loop that begins at the campground. As with other lakes in the Great Basin National Park, Stella and Teresa Lakes are small, approximately two acres in area and less than 20 feet deep.

Brown Lake

Near to Stella and Teresa Lakes, hikers take an offshoot of the Alpine Lakes Loop about 1 mile to Brown Lake, which is in a glacial moraine (the build of rock debris carried and deposited by a glacier). Like all the lakes in the Great Basin area, water evaporates in Brown Lake during the summer months and the lake level decreases, leaving rings around the outer edges.

Baker Lake

Approximately 5 miles south of Stella, Teresa and Brown lakes, in the middle of the park, lays Baker Lake, which, like Stella and Teresa lakes, is also in a glacial cirque. Baker Lake is at the top of Baker Creek at an elevation of 10,730 feet and is accessed by a 12-mile round trip hike from the Baker Creek Trailhead. Baker Lake is the largest lake, covering four surface acres when it is at peak capacity and is a favorite fishing spot containing brook trout and Lahontan cutthroat trout.

Johnson Lake

Like a number of the other lakes, Johnson Lake is in a glacial cirque. It is located above Snake Creek slightly south of Baker Lake in the historic Johnson Lake Mine area of the park. Johnson Lake can be reached in a number of ways, from the Johnson Lake Trail itself, 7.4 miles above Snake Creek, from the South Fork of the Baker Creek Trail or in a loop trail over the ridge between Baker Lake and Johnson Lake.

Dead Lake

The National Park site mentions Dead Lake as one of the lakes located in a glacial moraine, but offers no additional description of its location or access point.

Article Written By Susan Lundman

After retiring from work in a nonprofit child development agency, Susan Lundman began writing about her passions of healthy foods and gardening. She writes for a variety of websites and blogs about her adventures for family and friends. Lundman holds a Master of Arts in English from Stanford University.