Cave / Karst Systems
Great Basin National Park contains over 40 known caves, filled with unusual cave life and unique features. Some caves contain unique formations such as folia, bulbous stalactites, anthodites, and shields. Some caves contain features that suggest that deep-seated, hydrothermal waters influenced the caves’ development. The park has high-elevation vertical shafts and horizontal solution caves that have formed along fracture planes.
Please Note: The only caves in the park open to the public are Lehman Caves, and one permitted wild cave. All other caves remain closed to protect their fragile ecosystems.
Lehman Hill Caves
Baker Creek Caves
Snake Creek Caves
Snake Creek Cave is the most popular wild cave in Great Basin National Park. The cave is known for its spectacular aragonite anthrodite and frostwork formations. Signatures from Morrison and Roland in 1886 show a long history of the cave’s visitation. The Snake Creek Cave entrance is at an elevation of 6700 ft, and the cave is approximately 1700 ft long.
High Pit is the highest solution cave found in the park and perhaps the entire state, at an elevation of 11,200 ft. The interesting features of this cave are its high elevation location and the nèvè (compacted, old snow) in its interior. The bottom of High Pit is plugged with snow.
Long Cold Cave is located at an elevation of about 10,000 ft. The cave is the deepest cave in the park (perhaps in Nevada) at a depth of 480 ft.
Follow these links for more information about caves, cave geology, exploration, conservation, and science.
Did You Know?
The Sagebrush, a very common resident of Great Basin National Park, is well adapted to the area. The Big Sagebrush root system can extend as much as 90 feet in circumference. This adaptation allows the plant to collect as much water as possible during infrequent rains.