Shortly before we left Vegas, Dan and I ventured out to Great Basin National Park. Inside the park there is Lehman Caves National Monument. We signed up for a tour of the cave system, and while we waited we walked through a small hiking trail around the visitors center.
The trail was pretty interesting we came up on the original exploratory entrance to the cave system. This entrance was now closed since most tourists aren’t going to repel down to the floor. I scanned the tree line looking for the direction of the trail and spotted a deer! This was my first photo shoot with my DSLR camera and I was excited. I got a few really great shots of the deer. Then we were ready for the Lehman Caves tour to begin.
We passed a small log house at the end of the trail. Inside were photographs of the discovery of the caves. Once we met up with our group tour we got a little lesson on the history. The Lehman Caves was declared a national monument in 1922. There were actual parties held down in the caves during the 40s. Unfortunately, before modern protection of these national monuments, there has been some graffiti inside the caves.
Our tour guide lead us to the giant door to the tourist entrance. Inside there was a long, sloping ramp that lead down into a pitch black room. The only light was from the open door, and then the guide closed it. Ahh! It was the darkest black I’ve ever seen. Once we descended down into the first “room” or opening, there were lights that were set all along the large room. Now I could see all the different stalactites and stalagmites.
Stalagmites are formations of minerals that rise from the floor. Stalactites are mineral formations that hang from the ceiling. It was absolutely incredible how the formations are still growing and forming even now. Our group was awestruck as we moved from room to room, soaking in all of the natural beauty of the Lehman Caves.
After an hour or so of the tour we were back at the entrance tunnel. Another minute in total darkness and we were back into the bright light of day. We made our way back through the hiking trail and back to our car. The trip to the Lehman Caves was an amazing experience unlike any I’ve had yet. Being so far under ground and seeing how nature creates these magnificent formations was humbling.
If you are interested in learning more about Lehman Caves you can check out their website here. I’m always interested in new parks and unique locations (now mostly in Colorado), is there anywhere you could suggest for me to visit?
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