Friday, September 2, 2011

The Great Basin

The Great Basin is the largest area of contiguous closed watersheds in North America. Geographically separated from the Pacific Ocean by the Great Basin Divide, all the watersheds drain into groundwater aquifers or eventually collect and evaporate in geographic sinks, like the Great Salt Lake (or Groom Lake for you UFO buffs).

Amazingly, the unique Basin and Range topography ranges from North America's lowest point in Death Valley to the Lower 48's highest point less than 100 miles away at the summit of Mount Whitney.

3000-year old Bristlecone Pine
Pinus longaeva

The green pine needles give the twisted branches a bottle-brush appearance

Nevada's only ice glacier in a cirque below Wheeler Peak (13,065 feet)

Alpine Paintbrush
Castilleja nana

Photography by Lisa Bourey

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