Management of Subterranean Ecosystems in Extreme Environments
Monte Neva Hot Springs

Map coordinates:  39.6667, -114.805
Water temperature:   174.2°F
Site ID:   NV-294

Melvin Hot Spring (monte Neva)

Monte Neva Hot Spring. Image provided by Matt Bowers, Third Media.

Traveling north towards Cherry Creek, Nevada, along the old shelf road on the west side of Steptoe Valley, ranches can be seen scattered here and there marked by a small stand of trees. Several places have trees but no longer have any buildings. Monte Neva Hot Springs is one of these sites.

The crystal clear water is so hot where it bubbles up out of the ground (176 F or 80 C) that a special louvered tower was constructed to allow for the cooling of the water before it could be used for swimming purposes. Minerals coat the tumbleweed branches that the wind deposits in the ditch. Recently, a Bull snake was seen that had fallen off of the bank into the water and was parboiled immediately before it had time to do more than raise its head out of the water.

Monte Neva Hot Springs today is only a ghost of its former self. Charles Osterlund's dream of a fine tourist playground and resort is gone. Where once bathers happily soaked easing their aching muscles, and swimmers of all ages dove, and played in the hot water of the swimming pool, weeds have cracked the cement and grow profusely. The wind blows dust and debris into the corners.

Osterlund built the rural resort complete with swimming, private spa areas and bar facilities during the 1920's, about 35 miles north of Ely, Nevada on what is now known as the Bell Ranch. There were rooms and cabins for rent, a dining room and dance floor and horseback rides could be scheduled to explore in the nearby mountains.

The advertisement on the back of the postcards states, "This building contains so many desirable features we haven't space to enumerate them all, but there are seven swimming pools, ball room, dining rooms, club rooms, and ten guest rooms. When completed, will be surrounded by parks and cottages, a golf course, tennis courts, ball grounds, air ports, etc." and "Now featuring Eastern Brook Trout dinners. Trout from our own private hatchery and the same fish are on exhibition in display tanks at all times. A large acreage of "Something Different" and a courteous reception extended to all."

Monte_Neva_Hot_Springs.pdf Get Topo Map New Hotspring Search

Melvin Hot Spring (monte Neva)


  1. Sample date:unknown
  2. Sodium (Na):162
  3. Potassium (K):n/a
  4. Lab-test pH:n/a
  5. Calcium (Ca):13
  6. Total dissolved solids:518
  7. Magnesium (Mg):1.1
  8. Iron (Fe):0.119
  9. Strontium (Sr):n/a
  10. Lithium (Li):n/a
  11. Boron (B):n/a
  12. Silica (SiO2):100
  13. Bicarbonate (HCO3):375
  14. Sulfate (SO4):17
  15. Chloride (Cl):17
  16. Fluoride (F):0.75


Image by Dr. Jean K. Krejca, Zara Environmental LLC

Cave ecosystems are often dependent on organic material carried in by water, which serves as the primary food source for the environment. In arid climates with minimal surface rainfall, the input of organic matter and nutrients into caves becomes limited, affecting the overall energy flow within these environments. The intricate interplay between surface conditions and cave biota presents unique management challenges for modern cave biologists. Image courtesy of Dr. Jean K. Krejca, Zara Environmental LLC.

Great Basin National Heritage Area

Lehman Caves mural in downtown Ely

Established by congress in 2006, the Great Basin National Heritage Area is a federally designated National Heritage Area in White Pine County, Nevada and Millard County, Utah. The area was defined to recognize and promote the scenic and cultural resources associated with this central portion of the Great Basin.

In 2016, concurrent with the NSS Convention in Ely, the heritage area's partnership arm helped fund a mural recognizing Absolom Lehman's explorations in the Lehman Caves of Great Basin National Park. Designed by NSS cave artist, Carolina Shrewsbury, the mural is now permanently installed on Highway 50 in downtown Ely.

The National Heritage Area includes Great Basin National Park and portions of Humboldt-Toiyabe and Fishlake National Forests, as well as Fort Deseret, Sevier Lake and the Topaz War Relocation Center.

Symposium Merchandise

Campfire Coffee Mug

Stay up all night with our personalized ceramic coffee mug. This 13oz mug is perfect for school, campfire socials, marathon thesis proofreading, and all-night grant-writing sessions.


JUNE 29, 2023
NCKMS Steering Committee Chooses Ely, Nevada as Host City for 2025 Symposium
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Advance registration for the 2025 symposium is expected to open in mid-2024. We will send an email to past attendees when that system comes online.

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