Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
110.00 ft (33.53 m)
Trail type
0.55 mi (0.89 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Interesting history


No shade

Trailhead Elevation

4,252.00 ft (1,296.01 m)

Highest point

4,317.00 ft (1,315.82 m)


Vault toilet
Historically significant
Family friendly
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada
Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada
Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada
Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada


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