The Great Basin Station

The Great Basin Environmental Education Center

Early in the century, scientists lead by Dr. Arthur Sampson came to research climate, soils, vegetation and grazing to determine how to stop the raging floods that thundered down on valley towns and farms each summer after rainstorms.  It was a problem that plagued the west. 

Over 100 years later, the Great Basin Experimental Range, as it is now called, is the site of the longest continuous range research in the world.  The research conducted here has guided range science and livestock grazing programs worldwide.  Locally, the research led to programs that healed the range and stopped the summer floods.

Although Great Basin researchers now have their offices at the Shrub Sciences Laboratory in Provo, Utah, they continue to measure the effects of climate, grazing and other uses on the range of the Wasatch Plateau. 

Rather than leave these historic buildings empty and deteriorating, the Forest Service, Snow College, Ephraim City and the state of Utah worked to restore the buildings so they could be used as an environmental education center.  The station became the Great Basin Environmental Education Center (GBEEC) in 1992.  In 2018 Snow College returned the compound to an earlier name, The Great Basin Station. It has provided housing and classrooms for students and teachers who come to learn about natural resources and the environment.  Researchers continue to visit and conduct experiments from the site.  The Great Basin Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and has received the Utah Heritage Award for historic preservation.

Visitors are welcome to visit and walk through the site.  A small museum tells the range research story with pictures, scrapbooks and samples of old equipment and supplies. 

You can reach the site from Ephraim, Utah.  Leave Main Street (Highway 89), turn east on 400 South then go to 300 East, where you'll make a right turn.  Follow the road south, then east around the curve to the mouth of the canyon, where the road is graveled.  Follow the graveled road for approximately seven more miles; you'll find the Great Basin Station on the right-hand side of the road nestled in the aspen. 

Along the way stop at the interpretive panels that tell the story of the place, the research and the people of the Great Basin Station.