Last Updated on January 22, 2023 by Snezana Grcak
Preparing for a road trip from Salt Lake City to Great Basin National Park is an exciting adventure. You’ll be driving through some of the most beautiful scenery, including mountains, valleys, and deserts. From the Wasatch Mountains to the deserts of Utah, there are several lovely places for sightseeing opportunities and lunch breaks. Plus, once you reach Great Basin National Park, you’ll also have the chance to discover the park’s natural beauty.
Our travel guide will provide detailed information on the best places to explore while traveling and the top things to do after reaching your destination. So, pack your bags, and get ready for an adventure!
Drive From Salt Lake City to Great Basin National Park
The distance between Salt Lake City and Great Basin National Park is 234 miles via I-15 S and US-50 W/US-6 W/W US Hwy 6. If you drive non-stop, you’ll reach your destination in less than four hours. However, you don’t want to cover the distance within that time if you want to enjoy the road trip because you’ll miss out on some of the most beautiful and unique places.
With our itinerary, you’ll be able to take your time, stop and explore the areas, and truly appreciate the natural beauty and diversity of the landscape.
Attractive Stops Along the Way
Here are our top five places you must see on your way to the national park.
Depart Salt Lake City in the morning and drive south on I-15 towards Juab County. This will be a relatively quick drive, but you’ll enjoy the scenic views of the Wasatch Mountains as you head south.
Your first stop should be Utah Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in the state of Utah. It offers a variety of recreational activities, such as boating, fishing, and swimming. You can stop here for a picnic or simply enjoy the lake for a few hours.
After that, continue south to Mona Reservoir. It’s a man-made reservoir that offers a variety of recreational activities such as fishing, canoeing, kayaking, rope swings (for kids), and swimming. The reservoir is surrounded by beautiful scenery, making it a great spot to take a break and enjoy the views. Since there are picnic areas with tables and a place to set fire, consider having your lunch here.
Note that the water level is often very low, and the best time to visit the reservoir is in early summer.
After enjoying your time at Mona Reservoir, continue your journey through Juab County and take a turn towards Leamington Municipality from the city of Nephi. This stretch of the drive will take you through picturesque countryside, offering an opportunity to take in the serene beauty of the area.
As you drive along the winding roads, the Sevier River will come into view, flowing peacefully beside the road. The fast-flowing water and the greenery of the surrounding landscape create a mesmerizing natural tapestry that is sure to take your breath away. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, as the area is known to be home to a variety of birds and animals.
The largest city in Millard County covers the area along the Sevier River, and it’s a go-to spot for RV owners. If you’re traveling in an RV, you can stay the night in the well-maintained Antelope Valley RV Park. It offers a variety of amenities, and it’s great for taking a break before continuing on to Great Basin National Park.
If you’re just looking for a place to eat, there are the best spots along Main Street: Ashton Burger Barn, Rico Antojo Mexican Food, and Red Rabbit Grill.
After satisfying your appetite, continue west on US-6 towards Great Basin National Park. This road takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in the area, with great views of the mountains and valleys.
Along the way, stop at Sevier Lake, where you can enjoy the views and do some fishing and boating if the water level isn’t too low. However, even when the lake is dry, the area is covered in salt and looks amazing. It’ll be your last stop as your destination will only be 60 miles away.
Things To Do in Great Basin National Park
Great Basin National Park is located in eastern Nevada, encompassing 77,180 acres of mountains, valleys, and desert landscapes. It’s home to the 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak, the second-highest peak in Nevada, as well as ancient bristlecone pines that are over 5,000 years old.
Popular activities you can perform at this park include camping, hiking ranging from easy to strenuous difficulty levels, and exploring Lehman Caves with its intricate limestone formations and rare shield formations. We suggest visiting the Lehman Caves Visitor Center, which offers guided tours through the caverns filled with stalactites and other formations.
Other attractions include Baker Creek Road, leading to an alpine lake surrounded by peaks, Lexington Arch Trail to a natural arch formation, and Snake Creek Canyon Overlook, which provides stunning views of the canyon below.
Fun fact: Great Basin Bristlecone pine is one of the oldest trees in the world, estimated to be between 4700 and 5000 years old.
When planning your road trip from Salt Lake City to Great Basin National Park, it is important to consider the lodging options. While staying overnight inside the park can be a great way to fully immerse in the natural beauty of the area, it may not always be possible due to distance constraints or budget limitations.
In such a case, consider lodging options near the park, such as Baker Creek State Park Campground or Wheeler Peak Campground, both of which are located close to the park and offer various amenities for visitors.
Keep in mind that these campgrounds may have seasonal closures and availability, so it is important to check ahead of time and plan accordingly.
The Best Time for Your Road Trip
There’s no wrong time to plan a road trip from Salt Lake City to Great Basin National Park. The area offers breathtaking natural beauty that can be enjoyed year-round. However, summer is the peak season that most visitors choose, so you may want to avoid it if you don’t like crowds.
Late spring or fall are ideal times to visit, with comfortable weather and manageable crowds. The colors of the trees and the wildflowers are at their best during these seasons, but no matter when you make the trip, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
Tip: Check weather conditions before traveling, as mountain passes may be affected by snow in winter months and cause delays or road closures due to hazardous driving conditions.