• Grand Palace

    Great Basin

    National Park Nevada

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  • Telephones not working at Great Basin National Park

    The park is experiencing an outage with all incoming and outgoing telephone calls. We hope to resolve this issue soon.

  • 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.

Gypsum Formations

Gypsum desposits
Gypsum deposits seen off the tour route in Lehman Caves
NPS PHOTO
 
Gypsum Formations seen in the Gypsum Annex

Gypsum Formations were discovered in the Gypsum Annex of Lehman Caves.

NPS PHOTO

Gypsum: a rarity in Lehman Caves
Gypsum formations form in a similar way to calcite speleothems. Gypsum is a mineral, with the chemical formula CaSO4· 2H2O. Basically, it is calcium sulfate with some water attached. Gypsum can take forms known by cavers as snow, flowers, crust, needles, and hairs, depending on the shape. There are no gypsum formations along the tour route, but there are many in the Gypsum Annex. They tend to be white (or colorless), small, and very fragile.

Did You Know?

non-native plant, cheatgrass

One of the major ecological threats to the sagebrush-dominated Great Basin ecosystem is the introduction and spread of dozens of species of non-native plants. The most important of these, cheatgrass (or downy brome) covers the largest area: 25 million acres, one-third of the area of the Great Basin.