“Home to tons of critters”
Several living creatures occupy the Lehman Caves. Bacteria are the most common. Crickets, spiders, pseudoscorpions, mites, and springtails may live their full life cycles in the cave. They are dependent on organic material packed in by other animals or washed in from the surface. Other animals use the cave but must leave to forage for food. These include chipmunks, mice, pack rats and several species of bat. There are only insectivorous bats in the Great Basin. At least ten species of bats have been found in the vicinity of Great Basin National Park, including the Townsend's big-eared bat. The caves were originally protected as a National Monument in 1922, which was combined with the national park in 1986. According to the National Park Service, the caves were, most likely, discovered by Absalom Lehman in 1885.
The limestone Lehman Caves are found at the base of Wheeler Peak. The caves are home to various bacteria, as well as spiders, pseudoscorpions, chipmunks and the Townsend’s big-eared bat! The caves maintain a constant temperature of 50 °F and 90% humidity year-round. When you visit be sure to catch a tour by the National Park Service.
Very neat place to tour for relatively cheap. We were in a group of 20-25 to see the Grand Palace. Mark, our tour guide, has been working there for 14 years. We had to stay on a designated party, but we got to see quite a lot, take pictures, and get a lot of information on the speculations of the caves. We saw a bat and a psuedoscorpion... I'm glad no other creatures! Tour took a little over an hour and a half and was definitely worth it. Don't forget a jacket and good shoes!
I enjoyed this cave tour more than Carlsbad. The tour doesn't allow too many people at the same time, and the cave has been well-preserved with minimal carving out for foot paths.
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