Snake Valley Festival
The eleventh annual Snake Valley Festival will be held June 6-9, 2019 in Baker. This fun-filled event has lots of fun features, plus it’s a fund raiser for the Great Basin Water Network, which is helping to protect water in and around Baker and Great Basin National Park.
The Festival starts with an ice cream social and Bingo at the community center on Thursday, June 6 at 5 pm.
Friday evening at 6 pm, head over to the Whispering Elms for the Beer Tasting Party and a silent auction.
Saturday is the big day. Get an early start with a Pancake Breakfast at Kerouac’s from 7 to 10 am, then check out the community yard sale, bake sale, silent auction, book sale, and booths, all near Baker Hall (one block west of Kerouac’s).
At 10 am, grab a spot to watch the small town parade, which often circles around so you can look at it coming and going.
Following the parade, head over to the Baker Hall lawn for free entertainment and free kids games.
At 3 pm, cool off with a massive water fight on the playground.
You’ve likely worked up an appetite by the 5:30 pm Barbeque Dinner at the Border Inn. Raffle ticket winners will be announced, and then the Snake Valley Revue (talent show) starts at 7:30 pm.
On Sunday the Festival winds down with a softball game at noon. Bring your friends and a picnic and enjoy the fun! For more info, check out the Snake Valley Festival Website.
Getting into the High Country
The abundant snow and rain this spring has made the high country more difficult to access. Usually the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive in Great Basin National Park is completely open by Memorial Day weekend, but it may be mid-June this year. To see how much snow is up at the Wheeler Peak Campground at 10,000 feet, check out the Wheeler Peak Snotel website, which shows the temperature and precipitation records. As of the end of May, there was still more than five feet of snow up there. If you want to see the conditions for yourself, check out the photos taken every half-hour by the NevCan network.
You can borrow snowshoes from the Lehman Caves Visitor Center if you want to go up into the snow. But if you’re trying to avoid it, head to the Pole Canyon trail or the trail between the Grey Cliffs and Baker Creek Campgrounds. Both trails have great wildflowers and are (mostly) snow-free.
The yellow-bellied marmots are also out along the upper part of the Baker Creek Road, enjoying the green vegetation for the few months of the year that they’re active. As the snow melts, we can expect a fantastic wildflower year at the upper elevations.
Another fun location to explore is Strawberry Creek, which after being closed for two years after a major wildfire, is now open for day use. See how the landscape has changed and what vegetation is growing in the nutrient-enriched soil.
— Gretchen Baker
Visit Gretchen’s fascinating nature exploration website, Desert Survivor.