Great Basin Details

Snake Range, NV August 5 – August 14, 2013

UPDATE:  Thank you all for a wonderful time in Great Basin National Park!  With 20 scientists, volunteers, and students we completed all 4 sites on schedule, despite some threatening thunderstorms on Bald Mountain.  We identified more species on all sites for this 5-year resurvey and we are excited about the quality & quantity of the new data.

A special thank you to all our participants: Gretchen Baker, Meg Horner & Ben Roberts from Great Basin National Park, Jane Cipra, Drew Kaiser, Shannon Mazzei & Matt Romeyn from Death Valley National Park, Allison Colwell & Bruce Ponman from Yosemite National Park, Mark Darrach from the USFS, Glenn Clifton our Snake Range botanist extraordinary, Chris Kopp from UC Santa Diego, Brian Smithers from UC Davis, Adelia Barber from UC Santa Cruz, Prof. Stefan Schneckenburger from Darmstadt University of Technology Botanical Garden, and botanists Jim & Catie Bishop, Jan Nachlinger, Jessica Allstrom.

Some pictures from our week in the Snake Range:


Archived information below…..

For this trip, volunteers should be seasoned hikers ready for long and strenuous day hikes. This research is sponsored by Great Basin NP and the California Ecosystems Cooperative Studies Unit (CA -CESU)

Contact: Adelia Barber (

Key Personnel:
Gretchen Baker (Great Basin NP Ecologist)
Meg Horner (Great Basin NP Supervisory Biological Technician)
Angie Evenden (CA-CESU)
Adelia Barber (Field Organizer)

Camping/Lodging Details:

Staying in Baker is an option, with several motels available.

Most of the crew will be camping at the Wheeler Peak campground, elevation about 10,000 feet. This may be the best option to being well-acclimated for the hikes. Please bring all your own food, cooking, and camping equipment. There are often impromptu shared meals around our camps, but please come prepared to feed yourself. The campground has tables, fire pits, toilets and water.


From Baker, NV, directions to the campground: Take Highway 488 up to the entrance of Great Basin National Park. Upon entering the park (no entrance fee), take a right onto the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive and follow the winding road 12 miles up to the campground.


The hikes for this project are fairly long & strenuous, details below.  DOWNLOAD the Great Basin NP Map

Site #1: Buck Mountain – 3344m – 10971 ft – Hike begins from an overlook on the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, ~1 mile and ~1000 ft elevation one way (2008 crew did the ascent in 1hr and the descent in 35min)

Site #2: Bald Mountain – 3525m -11565 ft – Hike begins from the Wheeler Peak campground, ~3 miles and ~1400 ft elevation one way (2008 crew did the ascent in 1 hr 40 min)

Site #3: Wheeler Peak – 3981m – 13061 ft – Hike begins from the Wheeler Peak trailhead, ~4 miles and ~3000 ft elevation one way (2008 crew did the ascent in 2 hr 40 min)

Site #4: Pyramid Peak – 3635m – 11925 ft – Hike begins from the Johnson Lake trailhead in the Snake Creek Drainage. It takes about 1 hour 15 minutes to drive there from Wheeler Peak Campground (45 minutes from park headquarters). The hike is ~ 4.5 miles and 3600 ft elevation one way (2008 crew did the ascent in 3 hrs 10 min).  OPTIONAL camp at the Johnson Lake trailhead the night before.

Daily Schedule (Dependent on Weather and Other Factors):

August 4/5 – feel free to arrive early if you need to acclimate
August 6 – Buck Mountain
August 7 – Bald Mountain
August 8 – Wheeler Peak
August 9 –  rest day / move camp
August 10 – Pyramid Peak
August 11 – thunderstorm buffer day…
August 12/13 – If we have perfect weather, we might be done with the surveys by this date, in which case we’ll spend a couple days keying our specimens at camp and sending recon teams back to the sites if there are lingering taxonomic questions. However, if we’ve had bad weather or long days our schedule might change.

Pictures from the 2008 Set-up:

Other important documents:

Printable PDF Plant List by Family (Just Text)

Printable PDF Illustrated Plant List (One plant per page, 66 pages, 15MB) – upload this one to tablets, iphones, etc

Printable PDF Illustrated Plant List (Two plants per page, 33 pages, 9MB) – use this one for printing

PDF with maps and topos of our sites

Great Basin GLORIA Report from 2008

Plant List on Encyclopedia of Life

Great Basin NP Map

Flora of the Snake Range Online

To prepare for the GLORIA sampling protocol:
GLORIA Sampling Design Chapter (updated)

The full GLORIA manual (without the updated sampling design chapter):