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Top 10 Things To See Around
By Gretchen Baker
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4. Listen For Bugling
During the fall rutting season,
you may hear the loud bugles of elk in Strawberry,
Weaver, or Snake Creeks as they battle for the right to
mate. A lot more wildlife abounds, too. The list of
charismatic fauna includes: Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep
(found usually near Mt. Moriah's Table, Old Man's Canyon,
and Mt. Washington), pronghorn antelope (on the benches
(area between valley bottom and trees of the mountains)),
yellow-bellied marmots (along Baker Creek road), mule
deer, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, kit fox, red fox,
gray fox, rattlesnakes, horned lizards, and Bonneville
Cutthroat Trout (in many streams of both the North and
South Snake Ranges).
Alternatives: The bird watching in and
around Baker is better than you might expect for the
middle of the desert. Two Important Bird Areas have been
designated, Great Basin National Park, and the David E.
Moore Wildlife Sanctuary (http://www.nevadaaudubon.org/Iba/Moore%20IBA.htm).
Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge is a mecca for
Pruess Lake south of Garrison, Utah is also a good spot
to see some water birds (http://www.greatbasinheritage.org/garrison.htm).
5. Compete In The Annual Turkey
Experience a bit of local
culture by participating in the Turkey Shoot fundraiser
for the local ambulance department. Held on a Saturday in
November, many categories (short and long distance,
different types of fire arms, more) are held. It's a
minimum fee to enter, and the winner of each contest wins
Alternatives: Every Labor Day weekend,
the Snake Valley Volunteer Fire Department sponsors a
picnic and dance (http://www.greatbasinpark.com/events.htm)
with the help of the Border Inn. Many past residents
return for Snake Valley Days. On Fourth of July, the
nearby community of Eskdale holds an impressive musical
program followed by a fireworks show that equals many of
towns that have 50 times the population. Announcements of
upcoming events are posted on the bulletin board at the
6. Ride The Train
The Northern Nevada Railway
made mining profitable in and around Ely, Nevada.
Lovingly preserved, the railway still operates, with
steam and diesel engines providing trips year round. An
extensive railroad museum is operated in Ely.
Alternative: Cars have replaced
railroads in importance, and the long, lonely highways in
Nevada provide thrilling opportunities for speed. Two
races are held on Highway 318 south of Ely every year,
one in May and one in September. Before the race
cars line the park in downtown Ely for everyone to
7. Hike Wheeler Peak
The second highest peak in the
state, Wheeler Peak, is located just outside of Baker
Rising to 13,063 feet, the peak is accessible from a
fairly good trail that begins near the end of the Wheeler
Peak Scenic Drive. The trail gains about 3,000 feet in
four miles and takes 3-5 hours to ascend.
Alternatives: Mt. Moriah at 12,067 is
the highest peak on the north Snake Range. From the east
it is a challenging hike accessible from one of the many
canyons. From the west you can drive a 4WD road up to
about 10,500 feet, making the hike doable in a morning or
afternoon. Over seven other named peaks rise more than
11,000 feet in the Snake Range. For those wanting a
shorter hike, the alpine lakes loop trail is a pleasant
two-hour stroll in Great Basin National Park, or try one
of the many other trails (http://www.nps.gov/grba/Plan/hiking.htm).