Plan A Field Trip

 

We are glad that you have decided to visit Great Basin National Park! As guardians of your park, we want to make sure that you and your students enjoy your visit and have a successful, educational experience.

Great Basin National Park offers ranger-led tours through Lehman Caves for school and homeschool groups. Tours are 45 - 60 minutes long for elementary and middle school groups. 60 - 90 minute tours are available to high school and college groups. These programs are limited to 20 people each. If your group is larger than 20, teachers and chaperones included, you will need to schedule more than one tour.

Plan to have a minimum of one chaperone/teacher per seven students for grades 4 through 12. The chaperone to student ratio for K- 3 should be one chaperone to every 5 students. If your group is over the 1:5 or 1:7 ratio the extra chaperones will need to pay for their cave tour. If your groups is required to go over or under the ratio of chaperones to to students please contact the park to discuss. You can reach our Field Trip Coordinator at (775) 234-7511.

In addition to cave tours, there is a film about the park available at either visitor center, along with a 1/4-mile self-guided nature trail that starts and ends at Lehman Caves Visitor Center. Watching the film and walking the nature trail are great ways to learn a little more about the park. For those with more time and want to explore beyond Lehman Caves, there are many hiking trails throughout the park. While the park does not offer guided hikes at this time, a ranger can offer suggestions on where to go with your group.

 

Schedule Your Trip

To schedule your visit to Great Basin National Park, please contact our Field Trip Coordinator by e-mail or by phone at (775) 234-7511.

Please schedule your visit at least one month in advance; earlier is preferable. Also, have alternative dates for your trip in mind. We will try our best to accomodate your group on your preferred date, but it is not always possible. The park will respond within two weeks of receiving a complete Fee Waiver Application packet indicating approval of the fee waiver and a scheduled date and time for your field trip.

Please make sure the number of students and chaperones is accurate. If your group arrives with more people than indicated on the application we may not be able to get everyone on a tour.

 

Fee Waivers

Accredited educational institutions may obtain fee waivers for Lehman Caves tours. Complete a Fee Waiver Form (contact the Field Trip Coordinator for a copy), with a letter detailing how the visit fits into your curriculum, and send it to the park via mail or fax. The letter must be written on your institution's letterhead. Please be as specific as possible in describing your field trip objectives. For questions regarding fee waivers or to obtain a Fee Waiver Form, you can contact our Field Trip Coordinator via e-mail or call (775) 234-7511.

Remember to schedule your visit a minimum of one month ahead of time.
Generally "Leisure Learning" Groups do not qualify for Academic Fee Waivers.

 

Helpful Hints

Allow Extra Time: Please plan your trip to allow for extra traveling time and restroom breaks. Time for students to release energy is also helpful. During the busy season, the tour schedule is tight. If you miss your start time, you may have to wait quite a while before your group can go into the cave! Also keep in mind that Great Basin National Park is in the Pacific Time Zone.

Plan for a Snack: A picnic area near the Lehman Caves Visitor Center is open mid-spring through fall. Plan to arrive with plenty of time before your scheduled activities to allow for a snack or lunch at the picnic area. This is also a good place for students to run around and release some energy before their cave tour. Lehman Caves Cafe (open April - October) can provide snacks or lunch for your group, but you must arrange this service in advance by calling (775) 234-7221.

Divide Groups Ahead of Time: If you have more than 20 people (including teachers and chaperones), you will need to divide into groups. It is best to do this ahead of time. Give each group a name or better yet, let them pick their own! Names of cave formations or animals found in the park work well.

Dress Appropriately: Lehman Caves is 52ºF and 95% humidity. Please ensure that all students bring jackets and wear closed shoes with good traction.

Every Kid Outdoors Pass: 4th graders (students who are 10 years old) are eligible for an Every Kid Outdoors pass. This pass can be used to cover entrance fees to Federal Public Lands. Find more information on the Every Kid Outdoors pass.

If you would like your class to receive their 4th grade pass at the end of the field trip, plan on spending an extra 30 minutes at the park for passes to be distributed to your students. Have more questions about Every Kid Outdoors? Contact our Field Trip Coordinator at (775)234-7511.

 

Safety and Responsibilities

Discipline is Your Responsibility: The behavior and discipline of your students is the responsibility of teachers and their chaperones. While in the park, there must be one chaperone for every seven children in grades 4th through 12th and one chaperone for every 5 students Kindergarten through 3rd grade at all times, including when you are in the Lehman Caves Cafe & Gift Shop. If the rangers have any difficulty ensuring the protection of the cave or safety of the group, the program will end and the group will be asked to leave the park. Instructors and chaperones can be held legally and financially responsible for the actions of the group or individuals in the group. To minimize any potential problems, please review the rules and regulations with your students before your visit.

It is important to us that you and your students remain safe and comfortable throughout your visit to Great Basin National Park. This way, your educational adventure will be a success.

Lehman Caves: While in the cave, the group must stay with the ranger at all times. The ranger will turn off the lights behind the group as they go, so it is important for the safety of your students that they do not lag behind or try to leave the group!

 

Park Regulations

General: There must be the proper ratio of chaperones to students for every group. Everything in Great Basin National Park is protected! Do not pick flowers, collect rocks, take pine cones, or touch cave formations. While hiking, stay on the designated trails.

Lehman Caves: No food, drinks (including water!), gum, candy, or bags of any kind are allowed in the cave. Cameras are permitted in the cave, but students will be instructed as to when and where they may take photographs in the cave. Any behavior that compromises the protection of the cave or safety of the group will result in a prompt end to the tour.

Camping: Campsites are a mix of first-come, first-serve (which cannot be held for friends or late arrivals) and reservations. Quiet hours are 10:00pm to 6:00am. Up to two vehicles and eight people are allowed per campsite. To reserve a campsite or larger group site (located at Grey Cliffs Campground) go to recreation.gov or our camping page.

Academic Fee waivers do not waive or provide a discount to camping fees. All camping fees must be paid.

Fires: are permitted in fire rings and barbecue grills only. No fires are allowed above 10,000 feet. Dead and downed wood can be gathered and used for firewood, with the exception of Bristlecone pine wood or any type of wood found above 10,000 feet. Chain saws are not permitted anywhere in the park.

Last updated: September 6, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

100 Great Basin National Park
Baker , NV 89311

Phone:

775-234-7331
Available 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day

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