register help

Hidden Cave, NV

Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3 of 5 
NV > Reno
no permit
21 2 0
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 1.68 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,958 feet
Elevation Gain 225 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.81
Interest Ruins & Historic
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
21  2008-06-14 AZLOT69
Author AZLOT69
author avatar Guides 175
Routes 247
Photos 7,884
Trips 1,914 map ( 16,193 miles )
Age 70 Male Gender
Location Gold Canyon, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, May → 9 AM
Seasons   Early Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  4:51am - 7:11pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Go prepared! - Caving Checklist
Caving Hat Trick
by AZLOT69

remove free decal offer
Along the shoreline of ancient Lake Lahonton, Nevada lie many caves. Many of these caves have been linked to Indian culture thru artifacts. One of the best examples of relatively intact historical significance in this area is Hidden Cave. It was rediscovered by modern man in 1925 after a stage coach robbery in the area. The robbers claimed they had put the loot in a nearby cave. Children from a nearby ranch discovered the cave but kept it secret. About ten years later a guano miner discovered the cave while working several others in the area. One day while shipping a sample of guano, the miner mentioned that he would have more but there was so much Indian junk in the way, it was slowing him down. The mail clerk alerted a local anthropologist and he along with his assistant went out to find the cave. Without success, the anthropologist mentioned to his assistant, this cave must be hidden, thus the name. Luckily the cave was hidden, protecting its secrets from the ever present looters. The cave and its contents were kept secret with only brief excavation in the 1930's. It was sealed up and opened for further excavation in the 1950's. The 1980's saw further excavation and the BLM took over the site. The cave has been further protected since that time and the small entrance has a steel door. The ongoing work by anthropologists has shown that the cave was not used as a living quarters but as a storage shelter. The ancients who used this shelter were nomadic and had to travel with the seasons for food. Perhaps the first snowbirds, they stored their tools, and hunting equipment specific to this area in the cave along with an ample supply of emergency rations for lean years. The excavation of the cave is only partial and ongoing, expected to last for generations.

The BLM provides guided tours of this cave twice a month. On the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. Participants must meet at the Churchill County Museum in Fallon, Nevada and attend an orientation do's and don'ts. The group then caravans to the cave site. The hike starts from a modern BLM trailhead with a restroom but no water. This loop was run in a counterclockwise direction. Soon after leaving the trailhead petroglyphs similar to those at Grimes Point are seen. At this point we become aware that we are going to see three caves. The first and last having been looted and are unprotected with Hidden Cave being in the middle of the loop. The trail meanders thru the Basaltic boulder field on a steady climb. The first cave is called Picnic Cave and appears from around an alcove. It has quite an unusual roof of tufa, the interpretation being the cave was underwater at some time in history. We continue on the trail admiring the unusual rock formations. A short time later we arrive at the entrance to Hidden Cave. The BLM has a generator shack outside with lighting in the cave. Once entry is gained you must crawl on hands and knees about 20 feet to where the cave opens up. It is about 250 feet long and 110 feet wide in some sections. Wooden walkways direct you and protect the still ongoing archeological dig. In the lower parts of the cave many of the artifacts lie within at least ten feet of layers of mud and debris thought to have been deposited by monsoon rains washing it in off the mountain over thousands of years. The artifacts include caches of food, darts, arrowheads, and baskets. The cross section of dirt gives archeologists a timeline and based on current carbon dating, the oldest piece is believed to be 9,200 years old.

After getting your fill of Hidden Cave we continue along the trail to the north and around the mountain to Burnt Cave. This cave was no secret and has a gaping entrance which can be spotted and would invite the curious. A second chamber with an entrance requiring a belly crawl also exists. The first chamber has several examples of pictographs, many of which have been vandalized. Continuing a little further on the trail, more tufa formations and multiple small cave ledges exist for exploration. When you have your fill, return on the trail you arrived and you will see the more direct trail back to your vehicle. If your timing is not right for the guided tour you can still stop by, take the hike from either direction and see the caves with the exception of Hidden Cave.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2008-06-15 AZLOT69
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    For the guided tour, groups meet at the Churchill County Museum located at 1050 S. Maine Street Fallon, Nevada at 9 am on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, you can call to confirm at 702-423-3677. The site is located one mile north of U.S Highway 50, seven miles east of Fallon, Nevada. Watch for Sign, Archaeological Site.
    page created by AZLOT69 on Jun 15 2008 8:28 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    help comment issue

    end of page marker