Lehman Caves at Great Basin National Park

Useful Information

Shields, Lehman Caves, USA. Public Domain.
Location: 8 km west of Baker, Nevada, near the Nevada/Utah border. Hwy 6 & 50 to Baker, 8 km on Highway 488 to the park.
Open: Visitor center: JUN to SEP daily 7-18, SEP to JUN daily 8:30-17.
Great Basin National Park: free.
Short Tour: all year daily 9, 11, 13, 15.
Medium Tour: JUN to SEP Sun-Thu, 9:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:30, Fri, Sat, 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, SEP to JUN daily 11, 15.br> Long Tour: JUN to SEP daily 9, 11, 13, 15, SEP to JUN daily 9, 13.
Lehman Cave: all year daily.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day. [2004]
Fee: Great Basin National Park: free.
Short Tour: Adults USD 10, Children (5-15) USD 4, Golden Age Card Holders USD 2, Golden Access Card Holders USD 2.
Medium Tour: Adults USD 10, Children (5-15) USD 8, Golden Age Card Holders USD 4, Golden Access Card Holders USD 4.
Long Tour: Adults USD 10, Children (5-15) USD 5, Golden Age Card Holders USD 5, Golden Access Card Holders USD 5.
It is recommended to prebook as tours may be sold out for days. [2005]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave. Limestone and low grade marble.
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=400 m, T=10 °C, A=2,080 m.
Guided tours: Short Tour (First Room Tour): D=30 min, wheelchair accessible.
Medium Tour: D=60 min, L=740 m.
Long Tour: D=90 min, L=870 m, minimum age 4.
Accessibility: Short tour: yes.
Others: no.
Bibliography: Al Hendricks (1987): Lehman Caves, Great Basin Natural History Association. 33 pp, numerous photos, almost one a page and many in colour, unusual size 23 x 20 cm SB.
Address: Great Basin National Park, Hwy. 488, Baker, NV 89311, Tel: +1-775-234-7331-242, E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


Soda Straw with water drop, Lehman Caves, USA. Public Domain.
1885 discovered by Absalom Lehman, a rancher and miner.
1909 included in the new National Forest.
1922 declared a National Monument.
1933 National Park Service took over.


Air Bubble at Soda Straw, Lehman Caves, USA. Public Domain.
Blocked Soda Straw with water escaping on the side, Lehman Caves, USA. Public Domain.

Lehman Caves were discovered by Absalom Lehman at an altitude of 2,133 m asl. This makes Lehman Caves one of the highest show caves in the United States. It extends into the limestone and low grade marble that flanks the base of the Snake Range.

Lehman Caves is said to be one of the most richly decorated caves in the United States. It is famous for the rare speleothems called shields, that consist of two roughly circular halves, almost looking like flattened clam shells. Beneath an abundance of stalagmites, stalactites, draperies and flowstones there are extraordinary amounts of helictites. The speleothems are generally very white, which means the limestone is rather pure, with low amounts of iron or other colouring substances.

A circular tour takes the visitors through most of the large chambers in the cave, entering and leaving via man-made tunnels. There is only one trail, but three tours of different length, the shorter tours just omit a part of the full tour. The shortest tour visits only the Gothic Palace, the first room in the cave, and is wheelchair accessible. Nevertheless, the middle tour is held more frequent. as the short tour is intended only for those unable to negotiate the stairs and narrow passageways of the longer tours. The tour is rather funny because of low ceilings, but also a little strenuous. Visitors should wear warm clothes and good walking shoes.

Lehman Caves Gallery