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    Great Basin

    National Park Nevada

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  • Road Work at Great Basin National Park

    Road work will begin in Upper Lehman and Wheeler Peak Campgrounds. Campgrounds will be open but may be noisy and have large vehicles on the roads. The Scenic Drive is open with up to 15 min delays due to road work. Click more for details. Updated 9/9/14 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?

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!