Great Basin National Park is up there on my list of favorites. It is one of the few places in the world where Bristlecone pine trees grow. They can live to be over 4,000 years old. There weren't any on my running route but I hiked to see them a few days earlier.
Great Basin is a contrast in geography. Standing on the mountains within the park and looking out at the vast flat landscape in front of you made me start to imagine a see full of ancient creatures not knowing in a few million years their home would be a dust bed. More about the Great Basin from the NPS web site:
"The Hydrographic Great Basin is a 200,000 square mile area that drains internally. All precipitation in the region evaporates, sinks underground or flows into lakes (mostly saline). Creeks, streams, or rivers find no outlet to either the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific Ocean. The region is bounded by the Wasatch Mountains to the east, the Sierra Nevada to the west, and the Snake River Plain to the north. The south rim is less distinct. The Great Basin includes most of Nevada, half of Utah, and sections of Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, and California. The term "Great Basin" is slightly misleading; the region is actually made up of many small basins. The Great Salt Lake, Pyramid Lake, and the Humboldt Sink are a few of the "drains" in the Great Basin."
I find it fascinating that none of the water found there ever finds its way out.
At the park, you can also visit the Lehman Caves which were discovered less than 200 years ago.
On my run I made it to Baker Lake at 10,620 feet and ran along Pole Canyon. I also had the hiccups almost the entire time. Makes for an entertaining video. Of the 52 marathons in national parks that I've run so far I reached the second highest point (10,620 feet) it had the third most climbing (7,244 feet).