Lehman Caves, on the Eastern Edge of Nevada, are just outside of Great Basin National Park, not far from Zion National Park in Utah. They were discovered by Absalom Lehman in 1885. For us, our trip was not much more than a byway toward our home in AZ. We thought we would check out Great Basin National Park, which unfortunately, despite their website saying it was open, was closed. So the Caves ‘saved the day’ giving us a highlight we had not anticipated. You can see my limited photos of Great Basin National Park here.
We took a tour into the caves. The pathways were paved and well lit. Our guide was new, but friendly and informative. She explained how after Lehman discovered the caves, he invited everyone he knew to come check them out. They literally had parties and dances inside the caves, knocking down stalactites and stalagmites out of the way with sledge hammers to make more open space.
People would right their names in graffiti on the ceilings and walls of the cave with their candles.
There were sections that were dry and old.. others that had bred new life and were dripping into puddles below. It was a huge cavernous area full of a number of cave formations we would learn.
When we were there, there was a group of ‘cave cleaners’ who had volunteered to meticulously clean the inside of the caves. Using feather dusters on long sticks, toothbrushes, paint brushes and tweezers, donning their lit mining hats they carefully inspected and cleaned the cave floor, spires, and formations.
They had small trays where they picked up anything from hair strands, clothing fibers, to gum wrappers. What a pain staking job!
We found it fascinating and entertaining. It was an excellent reprieve from our long journey.