Old Man’s Cave is an interesting place to visit near Great Basin National Park. The cave is a maternity colony for bats in the summer. So you can only get in during the winter months. And the logistic’s are a little tough, since you have to get the key from Ely, which is a long way out of the way from the Utah side. Pre-planning and coordination are usually key elements.
This trip someone else had done all the hard work for me to get the key and permission to visit. Steph and I made a weekend out of it, staying at the exclusive Border Inn. (At the time there was not working TV or cell phone reception, that is how remote this part of the world it.) Steph opted to hang out in the room and get some things while I went caving on day 1, the next day we went through Lehman’s Cave for Steph’s first visit to Great Basin National Park.
Our first challenge for the trip to Old Man’s was getting the gate open. After fiddling for a while, Jim and Paul looked up to find one of the kids offering to help from the inside. It turns out the bat friendly gate stops an adult, but if your head is small enough you go right through. Good laugh for everybody, particularly when the gate was opened shortly afterward.
The main part of the cave is big walking passageway, with interesting domes and other solution features. A couple of us pushed almost every corner we could, while the main family friendly group headed up the main passage. We wandered all the way to the back in no particular hurry, and took plenty of pictures along the way. There are some neat big formations in the cave, but most of the little items have been damaged in some way over the years. Makes a great beginner cave in the winter, and I don’t have any problem giving it up to the bats in the summer.
Lehman’s Cave is a must see if you are in the area. Filled with formations, it is fascinating even if only from the allowed tourist trails. One of the unique things about it is the large number of shields throughout the cave.
I have the picture of Larry as the feature picture on this post. Mostly because it is one of my favorite pictures I have of a Utah Caver still using carbide. It had absolutely nothing to do with Larry’s age, he didn’t become an old man until a few years later than this…