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We have the most beautiful and underused National Park in the country at Great Basin National Park, and you left it off your list? My husband and I spent a week in late September one year at GBNP and were awestruck by the spectacular fall colors. Driving to the top of Wheeler Peak you pass scores and scores of trees that are just brimming with colors. When you get to the top? There are aspens as big around as a man, tall as any you have ever seen, and stunningly changing.
In addition, you can take the trail and hike to the only glacier in Nevada and see Bristlecone pines that have been around since the Bronze Age and since the Mayan calendar was started. When you go back down the mountain you can visit the Lehman Caves that are just as wonderful (in their smaller way) as the Carlsbad Caverns [in New Mexico].
At night, you can join the stargazing group organized by the park that will show you more stars than you can see anywhere outside the middle of the ocean at more than 10,000 feet elevation.
Beware! In September it can be very cold. But what we saw was beautiful.
Kimberly is referring to the “Autumn in Nevada” article starting on page 16 of the September/October 2012 print issue (pictured at right).