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Hiking To This Aboveground Cave In Nevada Will Give You A Surreal Experience

Located near Lovelock, Nevada, Lovelock Cave is as amazing as its history. It’s a North American archaeological site that was once known by the following names: Sunset Guano Cave, Horseshoe Cave and Loud Site 18. Humans started using Lovelock Cave around 2580 BC. However, it wasn’t until 1000 BC that it was used extensively. Lovelock Cave was occupied for more than 4,000 years, and it was the first major cave within the Great Basin region to be excavated – making it one of the region’s most important sites.


Lovelock Cave is situated within the Lake Lahontan region—north of the Humboldt Sink. As a matter of fact, the lake’s wave action was responsible for the cave’s formation.

When an earthquake caused Lovelock Cave’s entrance to collapse, only bats were able to enter. After some time had passed, a mining engineer entered the cave and discovered six feet of accumulated bat guano – an ingredient used for making gunpowder. This discovery brought humans back to Lovelock Cave. As they were pulling out this valuable gunpowder-making ingredient, they discovered a variety of artifacts that showed how people lived in the area during that time. A few of these artifacts included bones, baskets, weapons and 11 duck decoys – eight painted and feathered and three left unfinished.

Getting there:

Getting to Lovelock Cave is really easy. First, you’ll take EXIT #106 off I-80 in Lovelock, Nevada. You’ll then take your first left off Amherst Avenue. From there you’ll follow signs for Lovelock Cave Backcountry Byway for approximately 18 miles. You’ll then arrive at the Lovelock Cave trailhead sign. The trail to Lovelock Cave is a loop trail and is only 0.5 miles long.

Have you ever hiked to Lovelock Cave? If so, what did you think? We’d love for you to share your thoughts with us!

Jennifer
Jennifer is the Alabama staff writer for Only In Your State.