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Strawberry Creek, Great Basin National Park, NV (Sep 8th - Sep 14th 2019)

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Great Basin National Park is a great example of the vast, open Great Basin region that covers all of Nevada, western Utah, and southern Oregon. It's an area of sagebrush-covered valleys and narrow mountain ranges, and uniquely, streams and rivers find no outlet to the sea. Instead, water collects in shallow salt lakes, marshes, and mud flats, where it evaporates in dry desert air. There is not just one basin here, but many, all separated by mountain ranges running roughly parallel, north to south. The landscape seems to perpetually undulate, alternating basin and range— broad basins hung between craggy ranges— from the Wasatch Mountains in Utah to the Sierra Nevada of California in seemingly endless geographic rhythm.

You might think of it as a monotonous landscape -- nothing out there but sagebrush, a vast sea of pale green shrubs. But appearances are deceptive. Above the valleys, rising thousands of feet from the sagebrush sea, mountain ranges from a high-elevation archipelago, islands of cooler air and more abundant water that make it possible for a rich variety of plants and animals to survive in these mountains, where they cannot in the lower desert. Great Basin National Park includes much of the South Snake Range, a superb example of a Great Basin mountain island. Here you'll find Bristlecone Pine trees, the oldest living thing on the planet, have a chance to walk through the unique gem of Lehman Caves, and take in some of the darkest skies found anywhere.

This project will center around the removal of .6 miles fenceline on an old allotment on Strawberry Creek. This project takes place above 8,000' elevation and entails post removal, coiling the wire and transporting said materials to the trailhead which is about 1 mile away. In addition, one mild of t-posts and several metal braces need to be removed and transported to the trailhead. Participants will commute to the trailhead daily. This project and the hike involved in getting to/from the work site to the trailhead will be mostly off trail. Removed materials will be hauled and recycled in Ely, NV. This project would not be completed without the help of volunteers. The fence is no longer necessary and poses a threat of entanglement to wildlife moving through the area.

This project is rated as a strenuous project.

Check out more photos from previous years Great Basin National Park projects in our gallery.


We highly recommend that those coming from low elevation (anything below about 5,000 feet) plan an extra couple days in the area before the trip to acclimate to the elevation for your own safety. Altitude sickness is a concern when traveling from low elevation to high elevation and getting acclimatized before the trip is one of the easiest ways to prevent it. If you need ideas on things to do/see before the trip contact your leaders.

Dates

Sep 8th - Sep 14th 2019

Service Project

Fence removal: post extraction, removal, and coiling of wire and transport of materials to the trail

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Free Days

Subalpine lakes/bristlecone hikes, Lehman Caves tour, night astronomy program, climb Wheeler Peak.

Accommodations

Tent camping near cars.

Project Difficulty

Strenuous : ~ 1-mile hike at 8,000'. Digging, lifting, bending, hauling, pulling, etc. Basecamp at ~7,000'.

Leaders

Zig Sondelski
Dudley McIlhenny

Equipment List

Mountain