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Top 10 Points of Interest and Activities Hidden Canyon Retreat guests ask about:

Photo Credit: Susan M. Snyder

1. Great Basin National Park Hiking

Great Basin National Park is a wonderful hiking park with trails of varying difficulty levels at different elevations.  We are happy to recommend various trails upon request.  Trails at higher elevations open at different times, depending on the snow levels each year.  Besides hiking, GRBA is also known for its incredible night sky, Lehman Caves, and Bristlecone Pines.

2.  Lehman Caves

This limestone cave, discovered in the late 1800’s by Absalom Lehman, was first a national monument in 1922 and then formally included as part of Great Basin National Park in 1986.  With its intriguing and sometimes rare formations, it is a popular attraction for tourists of all ages.  Lehman Caves may only be entered with a guided tour; tickets available here.

Photo Credit: Susan M. Snyder

3.  The Bristlecone Pines

Known for being the oldest non-clonal species on the planet, these amazing and strangely shaped trees survive in the harshest of environment.  The ancient trees grow just below the tree-line but have somehow survived for thousands of years.  If you can handle hiking at over 10,000 feet in elevation, we highly recommend checking out this “bucket-list” item.

4. Ely Steam Train and Historical Museum

The Nevada Northern Railway is a fully operational, historic railroad.  Riding on the historic steam engine, you can explore the area around Ely from the view of a coach car or their open-air car.  Traditional trips take about 90 minutes, but they offer multiple exciting and romantic.  Don’t forget to check out the train museum and behind the scenes tour!  

Photo Credit: Bates Family Ranch

 5. Crystal Ball Cave

Crystal Ball Cave is a natural limestone cave located in Gandy, Utah. The cave is now under the control of the BLM but managed by Jerald and Marlene Bates through a public private partnership. Donations for the tours are greatly appreciated and will ensure they continue. To schedule a tour call: 801-787-6675 or Email:   Info and picture courtesy of Bates Family Ranch

Photo Credit: Tonya Cooper

6.  Ward Charcoal Ovens

Perched in the Egan Mountain Range, Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park features six beehive shaped charcoal ovens that were used from 1876 through 1879 to help process rich silver ore that was discovered in the area. Once mining ended, the ovens were used to shelter travelers and even had a reputation as a hideout for stagecoach bandits. The ovens remain today and are open for touring.  *Check these out on your way back from the Ely train!*

Photo Credit: Melanie Heckethorn

7.  Looking for wild mustangs

Searching for wild mustangs can be tricky but some of our guests are willing to take a drive on the chance they’ll catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.  Wild mustangs are often spotted off HWY 21 between Garrison and Milford, Utah.  They are both nervous and protective so never get close.  4×4 highly recommended if you’d like to explore off the highway.

8. Gandy Warm Springs

Gandy Warm Springs is a collection of tiny waterfalls, pools, caves, and crystal-clear streams with water temperatures up to 81˚F. Located on the western edge of Snake Valley, near the Nevada border, the springs are at the base of the southern tip of Spring Mountain (also called Gandy Mountain).  Please note they are off a nearly 30-mile grated dirt road – not too far from Crystal Ball Cave.

9. U-Dig Fossils

Photo Credit: U-Dig Fossils

Experience the thrill of finding your own fossil trilobites. U-Dig Fossils operates a private that contains one of the world’s richest deposits of trilobites.  -No trilobite quarry can match the quality of U-Dig Fossils’ trilobite layers!  The best part is that you get to keep what you find!  No reservation required. Book online or pay at U-Dig Fossils quarry when you arrive. 

10. Crystal Peak

The unique white, sparkly rock of Crystal Peak makes the mountain stand out against the contrasting landscape.  Spend the day exploring this volcanic formation and its beautiful, desert vegetation.  It can be tricky to find so be sure to look up the directions and follow them carefully.

Photo Credit: National Park Service

Honorable Mention: Lexington Arch

This limestone arch is a rare enough formation there is a lot of speculation about how it was created.  Some believe it was once the passageway to a cave system while others believe it was a natural bridge formed by flowing streams.  Regardless, Lexington Arch is stunning but quite challenging to get to and not for anyone without 4×4, hiking boots, and rough terrain experience.  Be sure to carefully study how to get there on the NPS page (link).