Baker Creek Loop, Baker Lake Trailhead, Great Basin National Park, Nevada
Baker Creek Loop - 3.5 miles
Baker Lake Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||3.5 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||8,003' - 8,943' (8.943' max elevation on loop)|
|Elevation Change:||+940' net elevation gain (+1,022' total elevation gain)|
Baker Creek Loop - 3.5 Miles Round-Trip
The S. Fork Baker Creek Trail and Baker Lake Trail form a 3.5 mile loop through diverse, overlapping ecosystems in Great Basin National Park. The S Fork Baker Creek Trail climbs 750' in the first mile, then arcs around a meadow to a short connector trail. The connector trail rises and drops to the Baker Lake Trail and returns to the trailhead.
This moderate hike is ideal for families or those with only half a day, and showcases a wide range of ecological diversity in a relatively short space.
The loop passes through sage and rabbitbrush, aspen groves, mixed pine forests and mahogany hillsides. Creeks are lined by hanging bells, chokecherry and red osier. Deer, turkey and elk may be seen along the way.
The following description travels clockwise from Baker Lake Trailhead:
The South Fork Baker Creek Trail hops the creek on bridges and bears right at the split for Pole Canyon and Timber Creek (.13 mile).
The trail rises steadily through quick intervals of aspen, pinyon, ponderosa and small glades before turning sharply up a steep, rocky path (.5 miles : 8,248'). It runs just off the spine of a divisive ridge between the S Fork and Baker Creek drainages. Mahogany, serviceberry, cliffrose and manzanita dot this sunny, south-facing slope.
Travel moderates (1.0 mile : 8,715') and arcs around a grassy meadow to the Baker Lake - Johnson Lake Trail split (1.35 miles : 8,840'). Turn right toward Baker Lake.
This connector trail rises in thick timber, crests at the loop's highest point (8,943') and drops to the Baker Lake Trail split (1.85 miles : 8,824'). Follow signs (right) for the trailhead.
The Baker Lake Trail cuts across a steep slope above the creek, then edges away into a thinly-treed slope. It winds through open sage brush slopes with easterly views and a good chance to see deer and turkey (2.5 miles : 8,510').
The trail drops gently through open space and pockets of mixed pine and aspen back to the trailhead to complete the loop (3.5 miles : 8,003').
Interactive GPS Topo MapKey GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84
- N38 58.594 W114 14.740 — 0.0 miles : Baker Lake Trailhead
- N38 58.468 W114 14.762 — .13 miles : South Fork Baker Creek Trail split
- N38 58.332 W114 15.111 — .5 miles : Steep climb in mixed forest
- N38 58.234 W114 15.599 — 1.0 miles : Steep climb
- N38 58.041 W114 15.770 — 1.35 miles : Arc around meadow to connector trail
- N38 58.335 W114 15.976 — 1.85 miles : Baker Lake Trail split
- N38 58.465 W114 15.431 — 2.5 miles : Moderate descent through open sage slopes
- N38 58.460 W114 15.143 — 3.0 miles : Moderate descent through open sage slopes
- This trail is ideal for snowshoeing and skiing.
Camping and Backpacking Information
There are 5 developed campgrounds in Great Basin National Park. Reservations are accepted only at Grey Cliffs, May - September:
- Lower Lehman Creek Campground | $12 per night | 7,300' | 11 sites
- Upper Lehman Creek Campground | $12 per night | 7,752' | 22 sites
- Wheeler Peak Campground | $12 per night | 9,886' | 37 sites
- Baker Creek Campground | $12 per night | 7,530' | 38 sites
- Grey Cliffs Campground | $12 per night | 7,530' | 16 sites
- Snake Creek Campground | No posted Fee | 7,800' | 12 sites
No fee or permit is required to backcountry camp in Great Basin National Park, however free registration at trailheads is strongly encouraged for safety.
- Camping is not permitted within 1/4 mile of any road or bristlecone pine grove.
- Campsites must be 100' away from any trail and water source, and 500' away from archeological sites.
- Fires are not permitted above 10,000', including Baker Lake and Johnson Lake. Fires may not be more than 2' wide, must be attended at all times and must be completely extinguished before departure. Stone fire rings are prohibited.
- Bristlecone pine wood may not be used for fires.
- Group size limited to 15 persons and/or 6 pack animals.
- 14 day max stay.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs are not permitted on hiking and riding trails in Great Basin National Park.
- There is no fee to enter Great Basin National Park.
Directions to Trailhead
Baker Lake Trailhead is located 8.5 miles from the Highway 488 - 477 junction in Baker.
From the junction, drive 5.0 miles up 488 toward the Lehman Caves Visitor Center to the Baker Creek Campground and Trails turnoff. Drive 3.5 miles to the end of the road and trailhead. Drive slowly and watch for marmot. The road is graded dirt and suitable for 2WD.
Great Basin National Park
100 Great Basin National Park
Baker, NV 89311
8 AM - 4:30 PM, Monday - Friday
Lehman Cave Tours Ticket Reservations
Click for reservations through Reservations.gov