Wheeler Peak Trail via Stella Lake Trail

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Great Basin National Park

Wheeler Peak Trail via Stella Lake Trail is a 8.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Baker, Nevada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 8.2 miles Elevation Gain: 2,906 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

no dogs

Great Basin National Park is located in east central Nevada, five miles west of the town of Baker. The nearest airport is located in Ely, NV, 70 miles away, or Cedar City, Utah, 142 miles away. Major airports are found in Salt Lake City, Utah (234 miles) and Las Vegas, Nevada (286 miles). From the east or west: From U.S. Highway 6 & 50, turn south on Nevada State Highway 487 and travel 5 miles to Baker, NV. In Baker turn west on Highway 488 and travel 5 miles to the park. From the south (Utah): Travel north on Utah State Highway 21 through Milford, UT and Garrison, UT, which will become Nevada State Highway 487 as you cross the border. Turn west on Highway 488 in Baker and travel 5 miles to the park. From the south (Nevada): Travel north on U.S. Highway 93 (Great Basin Highway). At the junction of U.S. Highway 6 & 50 drive east to Nevada State Highway 487 and turn south. Travel 5 miles to Baker, NV. In Baker turn west on Highway 488 and travel 5 miles to the park. Public Transportation No public transportation is available to, or in, Great Basin National Park. Trailhead is near the end of Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive: http://www.nps.gov/grba/planyourvisit/wheeler-peak-scenic-drive.htm. If you reach the end of the summit drive, you missed the Summit parking lot, which is a separate parking lot. Note you can take a longer hike from the end of the road parking lot. For more info: http://www.nps.gov/grba/planyourvisit/directions.htm

hiking
rocky
snow
2 days ago

Definitely the hardest thing I have ever done, but definitely worth it for the breathtaking views! It gets really windy once you get above the tree line, so bring lots of layers. The snow is kind of thick right now. Wish I had ice cleats, but it was doable without them. I also had to crab walk down the first mile because the incline was so steep and rocky.

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike! This was my first time hiking up a peak. I’ve walked trails before, but never something this intense. I wanted to quit many times, but when I finally made it to the top, I felt amazing! This was not easy, and while I don’t normally hike, I’m in great shape and this was really hard. The last 200 yards was so tiring climbing mini boulders all the way to the top.

hiking
3 months ago

A classic. I’ve done this hike every year around September/early October for the last 3 years and will continue to do so. Steady grade up and the final mile gets pretty steep and grueling. The peak is over 13,000 feet, very exposed and windy most of the time so bring appropriate layers! Altitude sickness can affect people if they aren’t used to being up this high. If you are coming from sea level or don’t hike a lot, I suggest camping at the 10,000 foot wheeler peak campground and spending 24 hours at that elevation before attempting to summit to help your body acclimate. Also, you want to start this trail EARLY!! We always start the hike just before sunrise. The winds usually pick up and get stronger later in the day.

hiking
5 months ago

We did this hike in September on Labor Day weekend. No campsites we’re open so we stayed in Ely. This is the hardest hike I’ve ever done to date and was well worth the effort. The wind was about 40-45 mph! And it was warmer on the summit than it was on the exposed face of the trail. Lost two toe-nails from the descent.

hiking
6 months ago

I hiked this trail in late July just after most of the snow had melted. I was glad I packed not only my wind shirt but my Gortex rain jacket as well; it was incredibly windy. This hike took me 5.5 hours; the altitude kind of kicked my butt, folks used to it should have no problem. The views from both the summit ridge and the summit are stellar. I can’t wait to come back.

hiking
rocky
snow
7 months ago

Road to Wheeler Peak summit parking was still open, though patches of snow / ice were covering small portions of the road. Hard to say how much longer it will be open, but my guess is they’ll close it with next big snow storm. Completed the 8.6 mile round trip hike in about 4.5 hrs. The first 2.5 miles were fairly easy, with limited elevation gain and light winds. After 2.5 miles, a lot starts to change. The trail becomes significantly steeper, and you’ll run in to more frequent patches of snow. The real killer was the winds, which became brutal. I would estimate they were 50-60 mph on the way up, and 60-70 mph on the way down. I summited around noon, and was the first to have made it to the top for the day (from the log at the top, only one person summited the day prior). It was an absolutely incredible feeling, and having the summit to myself was pretty special. I probably passed 10-15 individuals on the way down, and the majority were struggling with the steepness and strong winds. I saw at least 4-5 groups turn around, and would be surprised if more than a handful made it to the top (not trying to over exaggerate here, but the conditions were getting really rough by early afternoon). I highly would recommend trekking poles for the descent down. The snow made things slippery when descending, and having the extra points of contact was really important. All in all a great hike, really fortunate to have had the chance to do it.

hiking
7 months ago

Climbed up on 10/20. The reviews of the wind, especially this time of year, are serious. Make sure you mainly have strong gloves and some face protection. The last half mile is non-stop bitter wind to the face. We started around 6:30 am, it was still dark. Highly recommend starting off for sunrise even if near the base of the hike when the sun is coming up.

hiking
7 months ago

Fantastic mountain to climb and had the entire summit to ourselves. Not a lot of traffic in October. Trail was bare rock with a few patches of snow. Windy half way up but the summit was dead calm. Had a weird temperature inversion, was around 55F on the top but was colder below in low 40s. This is a no fee park, no need to wait for NPS office to open. Would have opted for a start before 9am.

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail! First two miles are pretty flat while the grade increased significantly the last two miles. We completely in 5.5hrs with a much slower pace on the final mile. Summit was around 1pm and on the way down many clouds rolled in. Hike was incredibly windy so bring layers for last two miles above tree line.

8 months ago

Fantastic hike! We saw wild turkey, docile deer, awesome aspen trees and voluptious views on this hike. Well worth the effort!

hiking
9 months ago

Easy hike if you are ok with altitude. 1 litre of water worked for me. Bring sunscreen and an extra layer for the top section.

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked on August 15. The first mile or two are leisurely and pleasant. I would definitely recommend taking the extra time to hike around Lake Teresa and Lake Stella. Once you ascend above the tree line, you are hiking in what feels like loose gravel and the incline is pretty steep, especially the last mile of the trail. Bring lots of water and a jacket because it get windy on the ridge. The view is amazing and the trail is easy to follow.

Nice hike with mixed vegetation, a fun rock scramble in the end, and some nice views from the summit. It took us around 3:20 round trip, excluding a break at the summit, so this is a pretty quick hike.

hiking
no shade
rocky
9 months ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

Starts easy and turns into a scramble for the last two miles. It's totally doable from almost anyone if you are determined as I'm a dual amputee (AKA left leg and metatarsal right foot) and made it. The altitude can get to you near the top, which is very steep and rocky.

hiking
9 months ago

Epic trail! The last 2 miles were really steep with loose rocks but the view is worth it. Excellent hike!

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

First part of this hike was a leisurely walk to the ridge line. Once at the timberline the trail is steep and rocky. Hiked it in middle of July on a perfect clear day with no clouds. The alpine flowers were spectacular and the butterflies were bounteous. Hit the jet stream near the top and lost my hat. From the top one can really feel the curvature of the earth. Hundreds of ravens played in the snow patches in the south bowl. Some snow near the summit blocked the main trail so I had to take an alternate route.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
9 months ago

there's still some snow patches up top. last mile is tough but it's worth it for the view at the top.

hiking
no shade
rocky
9 months ago

Hiked to the top on 8/3/19. Beautiful view, well worth the last mile slog. I found that looking down at my feet made it easier than looking up at the top. Still a few patches of snow but nothing that can't be done in normal hiking shoes. Lots of people on trail. Bring sunscreen - not a lot of UV protection in the thin air and no shade for the last mile. Made it up in just over 3 hrs, down in 1.5. I'm a flatlander and home is about 1,000 ft above sea level - sleeping at the trailhead overnight was a big help in acclimating. Glad to have done it.

hiking
rocky
scramble
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful hike. Made it to the top 07/22. The very top of the trail is still covered with snow so I had to scramble. Elevation took a bit of a toll on me. It's a tough hike but worth it!

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