Great Basin National Park: Getting Away From It All

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You know how in the theater world some shows start with an overture? It kicks things off, acting as a transition from real world to the story… prepping us for what’s to come.  It dawned on me as we drove into Great Basin National Park from Hwy 50,  the ‘loneliest highway in America’, that this road is a bit of an overture itself.


It’s rather disconcerting actually, especially once it hits that you’ve been driving a very long time without seeing any sort of structure, car, or any other sign of civilization. Though if you had any confusion why Great Basin National Park is one of the lesser traveled parks in the US, the long remote drive will clear that up for you.



It’s also pretty exciting, driving through the middle of nowhere. It sets the mood, making it feel like an actual ‘legit’ sort of adventure, the type we wanderlusters seek and crave yet have a hard time truly finding. Until moments like this when we do.



If the road doesn’t give it away, you’ll know you’re in a ‘different’ sort of national park as you roll in and notice what’s not there. No welcome gate. No rangers in a tiny guard station in the middle of the road there to hand you a map. No entrance fees. This park, in all its remote glory, is free.



In the video above we give you a look at a few of the things we did during our incredible visit to Great Basin National Park, so I hope you’ll go take a look. There are loads of things to do in this expansive and diverse setting.



Although the cave tour seems to be the most popular thing to do, it isn’t the cave that makes a journey to Great Basin an epic trip of a lifetime.

It isn’t even the 4,000-year-and-older bristlecone pines, in all their gnarled and weathered magnificence— and the wondrous moment when you realize you’re touching one of the oldest living things in the world. 



Nor is it the opportunity to get up close and personal with Nevada’s one and only glacier, while it still exists.



What makes the journey to Great Basin special is the experience of going somewhere so enchantingly isolated. The park sneaks under the ‘tourist radar’, leaving it unspoiled in a way we’ve not felt in other parks we’ve visited. We talk about Great Basin being “lonely” in the video a lot, but don’t misinterpret that. It’s a welcome sort of lonely.  A sort of lonely we all crave and need sometimes.



For James and me, with our very social, chaotic, and event-filled lives, there was something rejuvenating about our time in Great Basin National Park; a rare and wonderful experience that only comes from being in a place so empty of other souls.



So, next time you really need to “get away from it all”, remember Great Basin. And since I’m already longing for our return visit myself, who knows… perhaps we’ll see you there.


xo, Stef (and James and Mel!)

After 15 years as an educator in both the public K-12 setting and the University level in Special Physical Education, Stef made the leap to her true passion… the fitness world. She’s currently a personal trainer and wellness coach specializing in seniors, medical conditions, and injuries. Stef loves running, cycling, and being “Mugga” to her two favorite mini-humans — Punky and Marshmallow. ❤️

    19 thoughts on “Great Basin National Park: Getting Away From It All

    1. Kyle

      This might be a strange comment, but my wife really likes your shoes and we’re currently looking for some good hiking shoes for her. What are you rocking on your feet?

    2. Brian

      Thanks for the video we stayed in the exact campsite this Labor Day weekend 2020 and hikes up to the glacier as well! It was great to have such a nice free spot inside a NP

    3. Will

      LOVE GBNP and Nevada.

      In June on our way to GBNP, we boondocked two hours north of Las Vegas next to the Big Rock Wilderness just off US93. At dusk we had a herd of elk walk through our camp. Elk, two hours north of Las Vegas. Who knew? It was magical.

      In my estimation, Nevada is vastly underrated as a tourist destination. Outside of LV and Reno, it’s all wide open, unspoiled spaces.

    4. Joseph Goodgame

      Hi guys great video as always. Quick question you were using a portable grill could you tell me which one it is and does it fit under the passenger bed



        1. Bill Sprague

          James & Steph,

          What a great place! Thanks for taking me along and expanding my bucket list.

          Best regards,


    5. Rob Theodore

      I noticed you removed the glass top on the sink and it appears you mounted the original rack on the hinges.
      Can you confirm that’s what happened.
      Did you need additional hardware to mount the rack. What was your thinking on the pros and cons of having the glass top as additional counter surface. love the stuff you’re doing and we love our Travato 2019 K

      1. James

        Yes. We removed the glass top and put the original rack in its place. No additional hardware was required.
        I can’t recall ever using the galley without using the sink. Ever.
        So covering the sink as additional counter surface inevitably means you will just have to move everything you’ve put on that additional surface so you can raise the lid and access the sink.

    6. Eli

      This episode was really good. Being so far away from everything and enjoy true solitude must be fascinating!

      We love your channel… We really do!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        It really did feel almost otherworldy… very different than our other park visits. Hope you can get there sometime, Eli! xo

    7. Scott S.

      I’ve always wanted to travel there, and I’d like to take my cat Penny. She seems to enjoy travelling in the car. Does your cat?

      Thanks for the video. Looks like a great place. And…Highway 50 (in Sacramento where I live) is literally a 15 minute walk from our house.

      1. Stefany - Post author

        It’s interesting, Mel gets a lot more agitated about car travel than he does traveling in the van… he seems to view the two things very differently! He loves being in the van; it’s his safe space. The car? Not so much, LOL!!!


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