Stella Lake is a crystal clear body of sub-alpine water located within the Great Basin National Park. It is to the east of and about 1,000 feet below the summit of Wheeler Peak. Core samples recovered from the bottom of Stella Lake span about 7,000 years, making this an excellent venue for research on glacial and climate activity, macro-invertebrates, fossils, and other geological, biological, and earth science studies.
In the late 19th century, gold deposits were discovered in the vicinity of Stella Lake. A head gate and rock dam were constructed by engineers from the Osceola Mining Camp to divert the lake's water through a series of wooden flumes and ditches for prospecting. Some remains of the mining activities can still be seen here today.
During the winter, Stella Lake freezes over. As the ice begins to thaw in the spring, Bighorn sheep and other thirsty animals can often be spotted here, using the lake as a water hole. The surrounding landscape contains some limber pine and Engelmann spruce at the tree line, but otherwise vegetation in the area is rather space. Stella Lake is most easily reached on foot by hiking about 1.2 miles along the Summit Trail.
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