• Bristlecone Pine

    Great Basin

    National Park Nevada

Great Basin Timeline

Archeological dates

  • 10,000 years ago is the estimated date that Native American settled the Great Basin area.
  • 1,000 years ago Pueblo cultures inhabited the area probably forcing out the Fremont culture.
  • 800 years ago human remains were deposited in the natural entrance of the cave.

Historical dates

  • 1826-Jedediah Smith crosses Snake Range at Sacramento Pass.
  • 1843-1844-John Fremont passes through eastern Nevada.
  • 1859- Mormons establish a settlement in Snake Valley.
  • 1871-Gold discovered at Osceola.
  • 1873-1877-Osceola at its mining peak.
  • 1885-Ab Lehman discovers cave in the spring and had installed ladders and stairs throughout the cave by the fall, tours begin. (Discovery date is questionable.)
  • 1891-Ab Lehman dies in Salt Lake City, October 11.
  • 1892-C. W. Rowland buys Lehman's ranch.
  • 1909 -Nevada Forest Service established in the area surrounding the cave.
  • 1912-The cave is added to the Forest Service.
  • 1920-Clarence Rhodes takes control of the management of the cave.
  • 1922- President Harding proclaims Lehman Caves a National Monument. Rhodes continues operation of the cave for the National Forest Service.
  • 1933-Lehman Caves National Monument is transferred to the National Park Service jurisdiction on June 10th.
  • 1937-Entrance tunnel was started and finished in 1939.
  • 1941-Electric lights installed in the cave.
  • 1963-New Visitor Center/Administration/Café Building is dedicated.
  • 1970-Exit tunnel was completed.
  • 1974-Concrete trails installed in cave.
  • 1981-Talus Room was deleted from the regular tour route.
  • 1986-Great Basin National Park is established and Lehman Caves National Monument is incorporated into the Park on October 27th.
  • 2005 - Great Basin Visitor Center in Baker, Nevada, was completed.

Did You Know?

Lexington Arch

Great Basin National Park is home to Lexington Arch, one of the largest limestone arches in the western United States. This six-story arch was created by the forces of weather working slowly over the span of centuries. This type of above ground limestone arch is rare.