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Pets allowed
Yes-restrictions
Elevation Gain
110.00 ft (33.53 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
0.55 mi (0.89 km)
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Lovelock Cave is an area of archaeological significance now open to the public along a half-mile hiking trail about 20 miles outside the town of Lovelock.

At one time beneath the surface of the massive Lake Lahontan, and then near the receding edges of Humboldt Lake, Lovelock Cave serves as the setting of both Paiute tribal stories as well as the site of human skeletal remains and cultural artifiacts numbering in the several thousands. Most notably amongst these were duck decoys in pristine condition dating back an estimated 2,000 years. These decoys were the oldest of their kind known by scientists and are currently on display in Washington D.C.

Written accounts of old Paiute oral histories note that the cave was the last stronghold of a band of red-headed giants known as Si-Te-Cah in Paiute, and it was said this group harrassed the Paiutes until the tribe cornered and attacked them in the cave. Disputed artifacts and skeletal remains seem to lend credence to this story, however the Paiutes only recorded their history in storytelling form, leaving accounts of this a generation removed from the source.

Lovelock Cave is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Access to the cave is down a series of paved and well-graded gravel roads known as the Lovelock Cave Backcountry Scenic Byway. Although the trail is short, it requires a small bit of hiking and traverses shadless area. There is a vault toilet, but no drinking water or other amenities at the parking area. A visitor log and wooden deck sit at the cave itself.

The Marzen House Museum in the town of Lovelock is a great place to learn more about the cave and the area's history.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Interesting history

Cons

No shade

Trailhead Elevation

4,252.00 ft (1,296.01 m)

Highest point

4,317.00 ft (1,315.82 m)

Net Elevation Gain

70.00 ft (21.34 m)

Address

Unnamed Road
Lovelock, NV 89419
United States

Features

Vault toilet
Historically significant
Family friendly
Big vistas
Cave

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

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