Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive

A scenic drive to the top of Wheeler Peak

Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive is a paved steep road located in the Great Basin National Park, in White Pine County, along the central eastern boundary of the U.S. state of Nevada.

Can you drive to the top of Wheeler Peak?

It's one of the highest mountain roads of Nevada. The true mountain road is 19.31km (12 miles) long. The road is narrow and twisty and wends through stands of trees. The narrowness of the road, and the danger of wildlife crossings, limits driving speeds to 35 mph.The drive offers spectacular panoramic views of the pine forests, lower mountains, lakes and the desert greet you.

Is Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive steep?

It starts at the Park boundary on Nevada Highway 488, at an elevation of 1.620m (5,318ft) above the sea level, and climbs up to 3.097m (10,163ft) where the Summit Trailhead starts. The elevation gain is 1.477 meters. The average gradient is 7.64%. Due to the winding nature of the road, it is illegal to pass traffic along the entire road.

Is Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive open?

This paved road is closed from November to June. It’s quite steep and windy. You rise over 3,000 feet in elevation on the way up to Wheeler Peak in just under eight miles. Vehicles and trailers over 24 feet in length are not permitted beyond the Upper Lehman Creek Campground.

How long does it take to drive to Wheeler Peak?

It’s one of the most difficult climbs in Nevada. You’ll cross through numerous ecological zones, the equivalent of driving from Baker, Nevada, to the frozen Yukon, thousands of miles to the north. As you leave the Great Basin Desert, you will be amazed as to the diversity of life that lives just feet above the barren desert beneath. It is not uncommon to see mule deer, marmots, coyotes, jackrabbits, as you climb along the road. Allow 2 hours just for the drive to relax and see the sights. As you travel along the road, take the time to stop at the many pullouts along the way.

 

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NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.