Wheeler Peak



Country: United States

Location: Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Round trip: 13 km

Start elevation: 3020 m

Final elevation: 3982 m

Map:Earthwalk Press Hiking Map and Guide- Great Basin National Park

Contributor: David Sellars

getting there

From Visitor Center at Baker, follow park entrance road and Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive to trailhead near campsite or Summit trailhead.  Approximately 16 miles, paved.

featured plant

Fritillaria atropurpurea

partial plant list

Sedum lanceolatum

Castilleja nana

Phacelia sericea

Aquilegia caerulea

Dodecatheon jeffreyi

Lewisia pygmaea

Fritillaria atropurpurea

Ranunculus adoneus

Phlox pulvinata

Primula parryi

Silene acaulis

Potentilla ovina

Polemonium viscosum

Erigeron compositus


Wheeler Peak is the highest mountain in Nevada wholly within the state and there is a good trail to the summit.  The best route is from the campsite though the normal route starts slightly higher at a parking lot on the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive.  From the campsite, take the start of the Bristlecone Glacier Hike, cross the stream with Dodecatheon jeffreyi growing on the banks and turn right after about 150 m onto the Alpine Lakes Loop.  The trail recrosses the stream with more Dodecatheon and eventually joins the upper path just before Stella Lake.  Turning sharp right the trail heads through open areas in the forest and gains the ridge between Bald Mountain and Wheeler Peak. In open areas you will find Lewisia pygmaea with white flowers and Fritillaria atropurpurea.

The trail zigzags up the ridge towards Wheeler Peak on open rocky slopes with Polemonium viscosum, Ranunculus adoneus and Phlox pulvinata.  Higher up Silene acaulis and interesting Potentilla ovina. with small hairy leaves grows among the rocks.  The rocky ridge ahead is steep but the trail is easy.  Among the large talus blocks, Primula parryi grows in abundance at about 3600 m.


Blackwell, Laird, 2006 Great Basin Wildflowers, A Falcon Guide

White, Mike. 2006.   50 Classic Hikes in Nevada.  University of Nevada Press.