Basin And Range Trail

A 1090 Mile Cross-Country Thru-Hiking Route Across Nevada's Basin & Range Country

Thru hike nevada on the basin and range trail

Basin and Range Trail: An Introduction

The Basin and Range Trail is a cross-country thru hike adventure that offers the skilled and ambitious long distance hiker an opportunity to explore one of the last true wilderness regions of the west: Nevada's Basin and Range country. While this region is more commonly referred to as the Great Basin, Nevada is home to over 310 mountain ranges, second only to Alaska. Many of these ranges are practically unexplored from a backpacking standpoint. In between these tall and narrow, parallel-running faulted mountain ranges are vast desert valleys, or basins. This is called Basin and Range topography, for which the route was as named. 

 

BRT Quick Facts:

 

1090 Miles (expect to deviate from this, your route will be different!)

Highest Point: Wheeler Peak 13,064’

Lowest Point: Railroad Valley 4,851’

Mountain Ranges: 22

Valleys/Basin: 21

Wilderness Areas: 11

Wilderness Study Areas: 5

National Parks: 1

BRT Route 4

Watch The Basin and Range Trail Documentary

 

Watch "Pioneering Nevada's Basin and Range Trail", a 60-minute film documenting this new Nevada thru-hiking route. Also available on streaming services, fall 2021.

"The start of Poulin’s hourlong 2021 documentary film, “Pioneering Nevada’s Basin and Range Trail,” shows the 180-pound hiker donning his heavy backpack, traversing the difficult rocky scree that tumbles off a mountainside, pushing his way through a field of chest-high range grass, crossing streams, winding through copses of white aspen, all as big clouds slowly move across the vast landscape.

His breathing is measured as he narrates his journey, describing the personal allure of the great outdoors, the difference between mere hobby and real passion. He discourses on his own mortality, about getting too old to have such adventures, and striking your own path in life while you still can." - John Glionna, Las Vegas Review-Journal article on the Basin and Range Trail

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Lunar Crater

Why Hike the Basin and Range Trail?

The Basin and Range Trail was created for the hardy long distance hiker looking to get away from not only the crowds, but also the trails, and blaze their own footsteps. Nevada is perhaps the last frontier of backpacking in the American west, with few established hiking trails and almost no backpacking use throughout much of the state. Here, you will redefine your definition of words like desolate and isolated, without sacrificing the scenic beauty aspect of a long distance hike. With extensive cross country (off-trail) hiking involved, there is no actual path to follow along much of the route. Even with the information presented in the Basin and Range Trail Guidebook, hikers have the opportunity to blaze hundreds of miles of completely new and untested routes themselves and contribute to the evolution of the the BRT. Nevada has many hidden gems that await the hiker with the determination to get off the beaten path and see what lies beyond. The terrain is rugged, the vegetation is thick and the going is tough, but those willing to set foot here are rewarded with a unique and powerful adventure that is unmatched on any other long distance hiking trail. 

A New Long Distance Hiking Trail Is Born

The Basin and Range Trail is in its infancy. There are many forks ahead in the path forward for the BRT, but right now, the goal is simply to spread the word about the Basin and Range Trail and showcase the beauty of this unsung region. As more people hike it, the route will be revised and improved, and eventually a more permanent route can be established. The future of the BRT lies in the hands and the hearts of those who are inspired to take on this monumental trek next. Will it be you?