- 148.82 miles (239 km)
- 2.5 to 3 hours
- No fee for driving the byway, but Great Basin National Park charges an entrance fee.
Those traveling Highway 93 from Highway 50 to the town of Crystal Spring regale in high desert scenery, taking in Mount Gafton, Dutch John Peak and the Wilson Creek Range. The roadway passes through Pioche, an early 20th century mining camp filled with historic buildings. To the east of Pioche lie Spring Valley and Echo Canyon State Parks, each a haven for fishing, camping and hiking. Cathedral Gorge State Park rests to the south. Miller Point, at the north end, offers a good overview of the clay, gothic-like columns and walls. Lush, green farmland stretches from CathedralGorge to Caliente, a quiet, former railroad town noted for its imposing mission-style railroad depot. Between Caliente and Crystal Springs the striking beauty of Oak Springs and Pahroe Summits engulfs travelers.
Points of Interest Along The Way
Great Basin National Park was established in 1986 as a tribute to the unique region called the Great Basin in the western United States. Rather than being one large basin as the name implies, the Great Basin is actually a series of tremendous mountain ranges and wide valleys spread out over Nevada, Utah, and portions of California, Oregon, and Idaho. The national park exemplifies many features through spectacular mountain peaks, verdant meadows, pure alpine lakes and crystal streams, mesmerizing caves of limestone, and striking views at every turn.
The park contains 77,100 acres and is home to an incredible range of plant and animal life. The habitats encompassed in this park range from the Piñon-Juniper Life Zone typified by jack rabbits, scrubjays, and sagebrush to the Alpine Life Zone at frigid higher elevations.
The Great Basin National Park offers many recreational opportunities as well. There are several marked trails that take you through various types of scenery. Backpacking and camping are also permitted within specific areas in the park. Five campgrounds are scattered around the park and winter is an amazing time for backcountry skiing.
This forest is the largest National Forest outside Alaska.