On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
This series was created by Alain Chamot (1971-2020).
This is one of the least visited, most isolated, out-of-the-way parks in the country. With plenty of time on our hands, and being just two day’s drive away, I decided we should go see it. It has two big sights: the Lehman Caves, with some pretty spectacular and rare cave formations, and the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, which goes up to about 10,000 feet where there are trailheads to see a remnant glacier from the ice age and a bristlecone pine grove.
Unfortunately, we didn’t see either one. I didn’t take the seasons into account when I laid out the trip. The Scenic Drive was closed above 9,000 feet, and cave tours won’t open until May 23rd, two weeks after our visit. Oops.
So we did what we could, a couple of short hikes and a 4×4 expedition to see parts of the park that were open. Another time, maybe, or other glaciers and other caves.
Wheeler Peak from Mather Point, where the road closed. No, not the snow-covered one in front, the one in back with the glaciated face. The summit is 13,063 ft, the tallest mountain in the Snake Range.
View from Mather Point.
Jeff Davis Peak. Wheeler is obscured behind it. It was named in 1855 for the then-Secretary of War. A change to Doso Doyabi, White Mountain in Shoshone, has been approved.
Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands, found between 5,000 and 7,000 feet. This was at the Nature Trail by the Visitor Center.
Pole Canyon Trail
Baker Creek, adjacent to the trail.
Baker Creek Road. Jeff Davis Peak on the right.
Grey Cliffs from Baker Creek Road. The dark streaks may be desert varnish.