Hidden Cave

Useful Information

Location: Near Fallon, Grimes Point. It is necessary to walk 400 m uphill to the cave entrance.
Open: All year 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month.
Start at the Churchill County Museum at 9:30.
Special tours after appointment.
Fee: Free, no reservations needed.
Special tours: Per Person USD 1, Minimum USD 20.
Classification: Speleologyerosional cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=46 m, W=61 m.
Guided tours:
Accessibility: Trail is not handicapped accessible.
Bibliography: David Hurst Thomas, ed. (1985): The Archaeology of Hidden Cave, Nevada,
Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, Vol. 61: Part 1, New York, 1985
Robert F. Heizer (1967): Analysis of human coprolites from a dry Nevada cave,
University of California Archaeological Survey Reports, no. 70, pp. 1-20.
Robert F. Heizer, Lewis K. Napton (1970): Archaeology and the prehistoric Great Basin lacustrine subsistence regime as seen from Lovelock Cave, Nevada,
Contributions of the University of California Archaeological Research Facility, no. 10.
Joel Janetski, David B. Madsen (1990): Wetland Adaptations in the Great Basin,
Museum of Peoples and Cultures Occasional Papers No. 1. Provo: Brigham Young University.
Address: Hidden Cave, Churchill County Museum, 1050 South Maine Street, Fallon, Nevada 89406, Tel: +1-775-423-3677, Fax: +1-775-423-3662.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


3,500-3,800 BP inhabited by ingeneous people.
1927 re-discovered by four school boys.
1935 visited by archaeologists M.R. Harrington and S.M. Wheeler. They named it Hidden Cave because it was so hard to find the small entrance.
1940 first excavation.
1951 second excavation.
1978-1980 last excavation by David Hurst Thomas.


Hidden Cave was named after the small entrance, which was difficult to find. However, this fact protected the contents of the cave for centuries, and so it is actually a pro of this cave. Hidden Cave is an archaeological site which is maintained by the Churchill County Museum, the Carson City District and the Bureau of Land Management who offer tours into the cave. There are regular guided tours to the cave. The cave is well developed with trails, railings, electric light. The entrance is rather small and requires stooping.

This cave was formed by the waves of a lake, the Pleistocene Lake Lahontan which consisted of the melting water of glaciers. The formation of the cave by erosion was completed about 21,000 years ago. Subsequently the caves repeatedly above sea level and then again submerged, because of the fluctuating level of Lake Lahontan. Around 10,000 BCE the lake was almost filled with sediments and became marshland. The moist climate ended about 7,000 years BCE, with the end of the last cold period. The climate started to change into modern desert climate, but was still much moister than today when people used this place to live her for two times, between 3,700 and 3,800 BCE, and again between 3,500 and 3,600 BCE. Finally the entrance to the cave was almost completely filled in and the usage ended.