Lovelock Cave

Total Miles
9.4

Elevation

1273.1 ft

Duration

Hours

Technical Rating

1

Easy

Best Time

Fall, Summer, Spring

x-icon

Share

Copied To Clipboard!

Trail Overview

This flat gravel road is well maintained. Lovelock Cave was in use as early as 2580 BC but was not intensively inhabited until around 1000 BC. People occupied Lovelock Cave for over 4,000 years. The initial discoveries of artifacts and excavations, in the early 20th century, were not very well executed, which resulted in a loss of archaeological information. However more recent investigations were more careful and meticulous. A wealth of knowledge pertaining to life on the Great Basin has come from this important site because many unique artifacts have been successfully recovered.

Difficulty

The flat gravel road is well maintained. A 2WD car will be able to traverse this route.

History

In 1911 two miners, David Pugh and James Hart were hired to mine for bat guano from the cave to be used as fertilizer. They removed a layer of guano estimated to be three to six feet deep and weighing about 250 tons. The miners were aware of the artifacts but only the most interesting specimens were saved. Unfortunately, the first exploration was unsystematic and the loss of material and damage to the site strata was considerable in large portions of the cave. L.L. Loud of the Anthropology Department at the University of California was contacted by the mining company when the refuse left by the ancient people proved so plentiful that fertilizer could no longer be collected.

Technical Rating

1