Great Basin: Caves, Trains & Wide Open Spaces

Discoveries America National Parks

$ 9.95

Share this product

Great Basin Geosphere is a unique 200,000 square mile piece of real estate. High desert and mountains cover 20% of the lower 48 United States... Including most of Nevada, southern Oregon, Idaho, Western Utah and a portion of eastern California.  This vast area is much more than “just a desert.”  

Featuring the Great Basin National Heritage Area 

Great Basin National Park, Nevada            

  • The park begins over a mile above sea level and reaches over 13,000 feet at the pinnacle of Wheeler Peak.
  • Explore mysterious subterranean passages on a ranger guided tour of Lehman Cave.
  • Hike through the Bristlecone pine trees which can live to be 5,000 years old.
  • Bask in the darkest of night skies.

Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Landmark

  • Experience a working museum where you can wander through old railroad buildings
  • Watch 21st century trainmen and women repair 19th century equipment.
  • Ride on a living, breathing, moving and steaming museum!
  • Tour the East Ely Yard & Shop Complex while engineers prepare locomotives for travel.
  • Learn from folks passionate about preserving this survivor from a grand era of railroading in the Silver State.
  • The Nevada Northern Railway is one of the best-preserved examples of a standard-gauge short-line left in North America and one of the most complete rail facilities still in existence. Consisting of the original railway locomotives, rolling stock, track, passenger station, and buildings that served the historic copper mining region of Central Nevada for over a century.  
  • 55 minutes
  • Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Download



NP30 REVIEW: Video Librarian 

Subtitled “Caves, Trains & Wide Open Spaces,” the latest entry in filmmakers Jim and Kelly Watt’s high-def filmed Discoveries…America National Parks series takes viewers to the Great Basin—a vast, 200,000-plus square mile area of the Western United States’ high desert region. With its boundaries stretching over most of Nevada, and parts of Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and a slice of eastern California, the Great Basin covers more than 20 percent of U.S. land. What makes it a basin? Instead of waterways draining into the ocean, all of the water in the Great Basin drains into itself—with moisture either working back into the soil, or evaporating under the hot sun. The Great Basin National Heritage Area is featured here, which preserves what is considered the classic Western landscape, and includes what is termed America’s loneliest road—U.S. Route 50, which has a 350-mile stretch with only six towns (meaning 60-100 miles between gas stations and munchie stops). Within the Heritage Area lies Great Basin National Park, a microcosm of the Great Basin, with groves of indigenous bristlecone pines (some dating back more than 4,000 years) and the spectacular Lehman Caves (formed from marble and limestone 550 million years ago), among other notable features. A majestic travelogue sure to appeal to armchair travelers, this is recommended. Aud: P. (C. Block) 

NP30 REVIEW: Booklist Online 

Great Basin National Park, Nevada, is located within the Great Basin Geosphere, consisting of 200,000 square miles in portions of Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and California. This program, a recent addition to the ongoing Discoveries . . . America National Parks series, introduces Great Basin National Park, Nevada, which boasts Lehman Cave, Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Landmark, and Nevada Northern Railway amid stunning landscapes. First we visit the cave, where a park ranger identifies stalactites and stalagmites that fill the underground structure. Lighting and handrails help visitors navigate the widened paths and appreciate the cave’s breathtaking natural beauty. The executive director of the Nevada Northern Railway talks about the historic rail facility and fills us in on details about the railroad, which once linked copper mines with mills and smelters. As a working museum, the facility offers opportunities for travelers to ride the trains and visit historic buildings. Potential visitors and armchair travelers will enjoy the journey. — Candace Smith 

NP30 REVIEW: The Midwest Book Review 

Part of the "Discoveries... America National Parks" series of beautiful, high-definition video essays showcasing America's natural splendors, Great Basin: Caves, Trains & Wide Open Spaces is a virtual tour of this spectacular area of high desert and mountains. Spotlights include the Great Basin National Park of Nevada; the Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Landmark, a museum that invites visitors to take a walking tour through old railroad buildings, and observe living, breathing locomotives from the 19th century; and the Nevada Northern Railway, one of the most complete rail facilities still in existence. A treasure for admirers of nature's breathtaking splendor and railroading fans alike, Great Basin is enthusiastically recommended for public library collections, gift-giving, or simply savoring the next best thing to a personal cross-country vacation! 56 min., available in both DVD and Blu-ray format.