Falcon hiking guides are usually fairly straightforward affairs. You get a route description and directions to the trailhead, and not a lot else. This compilation by Bruce Grubbs is a major exception. Full of natural history and geography this book will add to your appreciation of the region. It is also quite comprehensive, including every trail in this spectacular area and many more in the Mt. Moriah Wilderness north of the park.
Hikes in the book include the classics of the park, most notably the guided tour of Lehman Caves and the climb to the summit of Wheeler Peak, Nevada's highest at 13,061 feet. But using this guide will get you to many other nice destinations as well. Ancient Bristlecone Pines nearly 5000 years old can be found within the park as can several nice lake basins and archeological sites. My wife and I took several walks from this guide and are now planning another trip to Great Basin National Park. It is truly the best outdoor experience in Nevada and this is a good book to plan a vacation around.
I'm planning a backpacking trip to the park this year, and have been reading the pertinent guidebooks. This one is a good intro for the average National Park visitor looking to do some of the good day hikes or short backpacking trips.
This guide contains a basic introductory section on the area: Human and natural history, and some very basic and generalized backcountry hiking and camping tips. The hikes described here can be considered a 'best of' for day hikers and one night backpacking trips, and are relatively accessible from the main park entrance areas. My main complaint is that there is no detailed overview map of the park, very poorly detailed maps of the hikes (which is an issue I have with most Falcon guides), and no coverage of the remote southern and western portions of the park.
Great Basin National Park is essentially a wilderness park, there are a few great hiking trails (such as those in this book) but the real wilderness opportunities are off-trail, cross country type hikes. For those interested in travelling the remote backcountry and alpine areas of the park, the out-of-print Kelsey guide is like gold. The USGS topo maps are essential for cross-country travel (the Earthwalk Press map being suitable for day hikes but annoyingly difficult to view topographic details due to the scale and coloration). Impeccable compass and land navigation skills are a must, as are Leave No Trace ethics and substantial wilderness experience. Water is often hard to find, rescue is days away, and even many of the designated trails are poorly marked and faint. Have fun!!
This is a good guide book to hiking trails and other information regarding Great Basin National Park. I have some of Bruce Grubbs' other books and he does a good job of preparing you for the trails. While I think it is admirable that the book is printed on recycled paper, it might also be the reason I find it difficult to read. I don't know if different ink can be used when printing on recycled paper, but my 50 year-old eyes require more contrast between the printing and the paper.