• Grand Palace

    Great Basin

    National Park Nevada

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Road Work at Great Basin National Park

    Road work will create delays on the main park road going up to Lehman Caves Visitor Center and Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. Wheeler Peak Campground will close at noon on September 2nd and portions of the Scenic Drive. Click more for details. Updated 8/25/14 More »

  • Snake Creek Road and Campsites Closed

    The Snake Creek Road will be closed from the park boundary into the park to begin work on campsites, trails and restroom improvements. Work will continue until snow closes the project. Work will resume in Spring 2015.

Flowstone

Flowstone seen in profile

A profile, or side view of flowstone deposits near the exit tunnel

NPS PHOTO

Flowstone: Waterfalls of Stone
Flowstone is one of the most common forms of cave formations, and is found throughout Lehman Caves. Usually, flowstone is composed of calcite, but can also be formed by other carbonate minerals. The formation process involves water flowing along the walls or over the floor of a cave passageway, creating sheetlike deposits of calcite in the wake of the water.

Minerals including calcium carbonate, aragonite, gypsum, and other minerals are dissolved in teh water and are despoited when the water degasses and releases carbon dioxide. The flowstone forms when thin layers of these deposits build up over time. Flowstone can easily be seen along the guided tours in the Wedding Chapel, The Lodge Room, and along the exit tunnel, where blasting has given us an idea of what flowstone looks like in profile.

Did You Know?

Bristlecone Pine; photographed by Kathy Billings

Many of Great Basin National Park's bristlecone pines were growing at the time the Egyptians were building the pyramids. Not only are the trees themselves old, but the needles alone can be 25-40 yrs old!