Todays #FridayFieldTrip was a visit to the Lehman Caves in Great Basin National Park. I took my friend, Alba, on this journey. She loves road trips, too! It’s about a five hour drive from Vegas. We headed out early and arrived in Ely, NV in time for lunch at the Jailhouse Casino. Then, on to the Great Basin National Park and our 3pm cave tour. I’m glad we bought tickets in advance.
We took the long tour (about an hour and a half) which goes through 6 “rooms.” The cave was discovered in the late 1860s by a guy named Lehman. He’d headed west during the gold boom era, failed at that, but built a farm and orchard and supplied the miners with fruits and veggies and did quite well. Some of his apricot trees still bear fruit there. After finding the cave, he began offering the opportunity for adventure seekers. For a dollar he gave them a candle and candle box and a promise that if they weren’t out in 24 hours he’d rescue them. At that time you had to repel into the cave some 40 feet. Now, they’ve got an entrance and exit tunnel, much more manageable.
This was the first time I’ve ever been in a cave. The ranger said there were bats near the entrance, but I didn’t see them (fine by me). And, the Lehman cave has a lot of shield formations (top picture), which don’t show up in all caves.
I’ve wanted to visit the Lehman Caves for years, so this was a great Friday Field Trip! I’m already searching for more caves to visit. There are actually about 40 caves in the Great Basin National Park, but the Lehman Cave is the only one that’s been opened for formal touring and I have no interest (at this point) in exploring holes in the ground on my own.