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Cave Rock Lake Tahoe

Cave Rock for over a century has been surrounded by myths deriving from the Washoe Native Tribes who came here during the summers to perform rituals and ceremonies. It perhaps may just be one of the most sacred sites in this region. Other names for Cave Rock are "Dao w ga" or "The Lake" since this is also one of the best locations to view all of Lake Tahoe at its worth the hike to the top.

When the miners moved on in and loggers this forced the tribe to move further east into parts of north western NV. The tribe would visit the Cave Rock region to gather seeds, reeds for basket making and medicinal herbs.

Cave Rock stands about 360 feet high and about 800 feet in width. It is the remnant of the throat of an ancient extinct volcano. That volcano was said to have erupted about 5 million years ago. How I know that is on top of the rock their is volcanic rock which resembles similarity of other volcanic sites in the high sierras.

When Lake Tahoe formed a few million years ago the water levels were much higher however over time its been proven that Tahoe's waters can fluctuate. The waves for thousands of years battered this rock thus causing the forming of various caves that today can be seen from almost anywhere from the lake itself.

In 1865 when the pioneers came to the area they built a stone road that went around Cave Rock. You can still see some of that road today however its no longer in use. In 1931 the same crew that blasted the tunnel up in Mt. Zion Utah
were selected to blast through Cave Rock which would create the Lincoln Highway.

At the time this was tribal land and our government took it upon themselves to blast through the rock only for a second bore to be created in 1957. This enraged the Washoe tribe as this was a very sacred site and I also read somewhere that it is a burial ground. Only a Washoe medicine men are allowed to visit this site based on their beliefs and till this day many of them are still the same believe it or not.

Later over the years the rock climbers came on in repelling from the top of the rock that is when it was banned. The stakes and gear has since then been removed as a way to preserve the site so that it does not get any further damaged. Not only that but this is a place of power and the natives felt that anyone who came in contact with this rock may not know how to deal with the spiritual power. This power may be a curse....haunting or possibly energies we should not reckon with so its hard to say what exactly the natives mean by this.

However hiking around or even on this rock is not illegal as long as you respect the land. Since our government now owns a portion of the rock and road that travels over 80 feet through it women are not banished from this site. However the Washoe tribe feelings differently as there practices do not allow women to visit let alone even look at this sacred place. If you view our third video in the videos section at the crown of Cave Rock you can see towards the end of the video that their are petroglyphs that I didn't even realize I filmed. This is a very old site and more then likely has been used for over 500 plus years for ceremonies and other spiritual practices.

There are two strange stories associated with Rock Cave the first is about a ghost story or spirit that others have sighted called "The Lady Of The Lake" some say they have seen her in front of the mouth to one of the larger caves. Who is she? Maybe she was sacrificed to the lake monster or serpentine of Lake Tahoe afterall in Lake Erie it was said a maiden was sacrificed so that peace would come to the tribe in return. I have read ghost stories about the cave and I did climb up into to check it out. I didn't honestly feel much of anything their was allot of bird dropping and feathers. As you look out from within the cave you can see a very good portion of Lake Tahoe and I am almost sure that is the one thing that has not changed here in thousands of years. People who boat often say you can see the Ladies face gazing out from the darkness peering and those who pass on by.

The second strange story or rumor is that beneath the outcropping of Cave Rock is an underwater cave where Lake Tahoe's Tessie is said to reside. This underwater dwelling is more then likely a lava tube which is said to be quite deep and large. I read that divers went on into the cave to find what looked like the ground had giant flipper prints similar to a the creature we call the Lochness Monster or a plesiosaurus.

However sightings confirm that Tessie is more like a serpent with a body as wide as a burial and as long as a city bus. The colors range from black to green to turquoise. The two areas sightings occur most is Emerald Bay
and near the out cropping of Cave Rock.

In the 1800's the natives passed along stories to the pioneers of small power creatures they called water babies which were said to be the young of Tessie. They were also said to be very strong and not a force to reckon with. These stories scared the locals and that may have been all it was perhaps is a tactic to get the white man to leave the area. Considering how the loggers came to the area in the 1800's they nearly cut down the entire ancient forest that once surrounded Lake Tahoe. However the Shamans and medicine men stated that these water babies could in fact blind or kill a man. Maybe what we are dealing with is a giant snake afterall they can swim in the water and cause injury. Look at the African Rock Pythons they crush their pray then devour it so the tribe definitely warned their children never to wander far from camp.

The final strange legend that surrounds cave rock is that at one time from atop of it you could view a Thunderbird that use to nest in the center of the lake. More or less it probably dove down into the lake to catch and eat the bountiful supply of fish that Tahoe currently has. The thunderbird was said to have gone extinct however today their are sightings and some native tribes believe it is as real as you and I.

No matter what the story is Cave Rock is a beautiful sacred place that is of great honor to our society. Not just for the hiking but to stand on top of this ancient site is a powerful feeling. Now all that remains is for us to uncover its mysteries!

Copyright By
Lord Rick
Founder
Author, Producer and Talk Show Host



          

     





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