Lehman Cave

Lehman Caves

Great Basin National Park

          Lehman Caves is a beautiful limestone cave with charming and unusual formations. Lehman Caves is one of the best places to see rare shield formations. Over 300 shields are known to exist in Lehman Caves, more than any other cave. All of the cave is lavishly decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, helictites, flowstone, popcorn, and other formations. Nearly every surface is covered with something interesting. You will not be disappointed in this family friendly adventure.

General Information:
Click Here for Map           The best time to visit Lehman Caves is in the winter months. You will not have to fight crowds and will often have the complete tour and tour guide to yourself. At most your tour group will be very small during the winter season.

          Cave tours are limited to 25 people and often sell out in the summer. Tickets can be purchased up to 30 days in advance by telephone at (775) 234-7331, ext. 242. Tickets may also be purchased online. Tours of Lehman Caves are scheduled daily. The cave is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. The National Park Service offers both a 60 minute tour and a 90 minute tour of the caves. Children under the age of 5 are not permitted on the 90 Minute Tour. If visiting from Utah please be aware that Lehman Caves are in the Pacific Time Zone.

          The elevation at the cave entrance is 6,825ft (2080m). The temperature in the cave is a constant 50 F (10 C) year round so a light jacket is recommended. Please wear shoes with good traction as trails may be wet and slippery. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

          The only items visitors may bring in the cave with them is a jacket, flashlight, and hand held camera (no tripods or camera cases). All other items, including purses, backpacks, strollers, food, water, tobacco, and gum, are not allowed. I recommend you bring your own flashlight for a little extra bang for your buck.

          The only reliable place for food, lodging and year round service is located in Border, Nevada at the Border Inn. Located on the Utah-Nevada Border on Hwy. 6 & 50. This is only 13 miles from Lehman Caves. If you don't know about the Border Inn and visit during the off season you might be in big trouble because everyone else is closed or open flaky hours. The Border Inn also contains a bar and small casino which is the only happening place in the area.

The Angel's Wing Lehman Cave

          Lehman Caves is located inside Great Basin National Park and is accessed from Baker, Nevada. From the center of Baker just follow the signs 5 miles west to the end of highway 488. You are heading toward the Lehman Caves Visitor Center, not the Great Basin National Park Visitor Center, which is located in the town of Baker.

Lehman Cave

Lehman Caves History:
          In 1870 Absolom S. Lehman and Olive S. Lehman settled at 600-acre ranch near Lehman Creek. Their ranch was about 1.5 miles below the cave which was still unknown to them.

          There are many stories about how and when Lehman found the cave, but his daughter Laura reports that he found it shortly after she and her mother and brother left the ranch to go back to Ohio in 1881. Olive, who was suffering from tuberculosis, died there in 1883. Laura said before her mother died, her father brought them stalactite specimens and told of an astonishing cave near their ranch.

          It is said that the native people warned Lehman and others that a little man with a blue beard would bring dire consequences to anyone who entered this sacred cave of the dead. The entrance to the cave had been used as a burial site.

          However, the discovery caused a great sensation, and soon people were coming from all over the state to climb the wooden ladder down into the cavern where they toured using only candles for illumination. They broke off formations as souvenirs and for profit and often inscribed their names and the date on the walls and ceiling.

          Soon, Lehman was charging $1 for adults and 50-cents for children 12 and over to tour the caves.

          Lehman died in 1891 and subsequently his ranch at Lehman Caves was sold to Charles W. Rowland. Mrs. Rowland guided visitors in the cave until the early 1900s.

          In 1922 President Warren G. Harding issued presidential proclamation establishing Lehman Caves National Monument. On October 27, 1986 President Ronald Regan signed the Great Basin National Park Act creating a 76,000-acre park that included what was the Lehman Caves National Monument.

Lehman Cave

Crystal Ball Caves:
          Crystal Ball Caves are located nearby at Gandy Mountain, Utah. Tours are available by appointment only at 435-693-3145.

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