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Great Basin National Park is in large part a high-alpine park, but it sits in one of America?s driest, least populated, and most isolated deserts. That contrast is one facet of the diversity that characterizes this region. Within and outside the park are phenomenal landscape features, biotic wonders, unique environments, varied historic sites, and the local colors of isolated towns and ranches. Vast Snake and Spring Valleys, bracketing the national park, are also subjects of one of the West's most divisive environment contests, over what on the surface seems most absent but underground is abundant enough for sprawling Las Vegas to covet it?water.