Hidden Cave

Due to Federal Covid-19 restrictions, the Bureau of Land Management has not given us the authority to provide public tours. However, we are able to provide private tours to small groups (form at the end of this page). As soon as we know when public tours will be available, we will post the date on this website as well as on our facebook page. Please follow us for updates.

Thank you for understanding and stay safe!

Click the DVD below to view the Hidden Cave video produced by One Digital Media Technology Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, University of Nevada Reno on behalf of the Bureau of Land Management, Churchill County Museum, and Nevada DOT.

This video is shown as orientation for tours of Hidden Cave.

hidden cave dvd-01

The Churchill County Museum, and the Carson City District Bureau of Land Management welcome you to a tour of Hidden Cave. “Hidden Cave” was named because of the difficulty in finding its small opening.

Some Facts about the Hidden Cave

  In the mid-1920’s, the cave was visited by four school boys, the first 20th century humans to do so. The cave has since been excavated three times: once in 1940, again in 1951, and finally in 1979-1980.


A high proportion of the artifacts found in Hidden cave were unbroken and arranged in concentrations. That led to the conclusion that 3,500 to 3,800 years ago people used Hidden Cave more for a cache site than for their own shelter.


Chronology of Hidden Cave

Approximate Years Before Present Event of Period
Present to 3,500 BCE Dramatic reduction in sedimentation and human usage. Entrance to cave nearly closed.
1,100 BCE Volcanic ash layer from Mono Craters eruption.
3,500 to 3,600 BCE Midden indicates second episode of intensive human usage.
3,600 to 3,700 BCE Accelerated siltation indicates period of greatly increased precipitation.
3,700 to 3,800 BCE Midden layer caused by intensive human use of the cave.
4,000 to 10,000 BCE Dramatic change in deposits – windblown silts from dry lake bed washed in from hillside.
6,900 BCE Mount Mazama erupts, creating Crater Lake in Oregon and leaving a distinct layer of volcanic ash in the cave.
6,500 to 7,500 BCE Transition from mesic flora and fauna to present composition of desert species. This indicates change from a moderately moist to a much drier climate.
7,500 to 10,000 BCE Cave still moist inside from marsh environment and receding lake.
10,000 to 21,000 BCE Cave alternately submerged beneath and exposed above fluctuating Lake Lahontan.
21,000 BCE Completion of cave formation by wave action from Ice Age (Pleistocene) Lake Lahontan
Information gathered from Steve Weiss, 1984: “Hidden Cave: The Public Meets the Past”, in Your Public Lands, Cooperation in Resource Management, Winter, 1984. Washington, D.C.: BLM.

Interested in becoming a tour guide? Click this link!

Hidden Cave Tour Interest Form

We will ONLY use your email to get in contact about scheduling your tour.
Please give us at least one week's notice.