Timber Creek Loop
Great Basin National Park
The Timber Creek Trail and South Fork Baker Creek Trail form a 5.1 mile loop in Great Basin National Park. The Timber Creek Trail climbs 1580' in just two miles before leveling into a meadow with views of Pyramid Peak (11,926') and Wheeler Peak (13,063'). It continues on the S Fork Trail, which drops through intervals of mixed conifers, aspen and meadow back to the trailhead.
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The Timber Creek Trail climbs steeply to a high meadow with excellent views of Pyramid Peak's distinguished 11,926' summit
Hundreds of long, steep, N-S trending mountain ranges make Nevada the most mountainous state in the U.S.
Sagebrush tolerates a range of elevations and conditions and is widely distributed through the park
High points on the loop provide good views back east with useful perspective on the distinctly wide valleys separating mountain ranges in the Great Basin
Aspen trees can regenerate vegetatively by shoots and suckers that extend from lateral roots, creating 'clones'; aspen groves can be the genetic product of a single tree
Great Basin is a 'cold' desert in which most of its 10" of precipitation falls as snow; mountains here can see several feet of accumulated snow that may linger through mid-summer
Turkeys are not native to Great Basin, but have adapted much more successfully than anticipated by NDOW officials when released nearby to establish a hunting population in 2004
The Mertensia genus was named after German botanist F. K. Mertens; these 'hanging bells' prefer moist soils along creeks and springs from the montane to subalpine
The Great Basin Desert climate is shaped by the rain shadow affect of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains, which sap moisture from westerly flows before they can reach this region
Balsamroot is a long-living perennial forb native to western North America whose roots were used by Native American tribes for various medicinal purposes
Pinyon-Juniper stands become more sparse at lower elevations, and Juniper will be more common than Pinyon because it's more tolerant of dought
Wheeler Peak (13,063') is the tallest mountain in Great Basin, second tallest in Nevada and one of 30 peaks in the state over 11,000'
The Wild Turkey is not the only non-native animal in Great Basin NP: several trout species, wild horses and the house mouse have also been introduced
Great Basin National Park is part of two EPA-defined drainage areas in which water flows underground towards the Great Salt Lake in Utah
'Sky Islands' describe mountains or mountain ranges that are separated from other mountains by some distance, and surrounded by lowlands of a dramatically different environment