Hike the Bristlecone and Glacier Trail in Great Basin NP

Bristlecone Parking Lot - Search Nearby - Added by Sarah Levant

Hike through ancient Bristlecone Pine groves to Nevada's only glacier.

Great Basin National Park is known for its unparalleled dark skies and stunning display of ancient Bristlecone Pines. This hike starts at 9,800 feet elevation and will ascend about 1,000 feet in elevation upon reaching the only glacier in Nevada! Great Basin is a desert, receiving less than 10 inches of rain per year so witnessing a view of this glacier is pretty spectacular. Not to mention the trek will meander through groves of magnificent Bristlecone Pines which are some of the longest lived life forms on the planet. We loved this hike as an alternative to the Wheeler Peak summit which is an 8+mile trek with 3k elevation gain.   


4.6 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1100 ft Gain




Fitness, Photography, Hiking

Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Nearby Lodging


Ely, Nevada

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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Overall rating: 

Exceptional Unique Hike!

Two major rewards on this relatively short hike make it a must-do for anyone visiting Great Basin NP. The bristlecone pines are really cool to see and learn about up close - some of these trees are 4000 years old! The views of the glacial valley are incredible as well, rivaling anything in Glacier National Park (though there's just one glacier here...). The hike starts out pretty easy, though the last section is over quite rocky terrain so wear sturdy footwear.

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