Paleontological remains show this area, once covered with sagebrush and bordered with yellow-pine forests, had many springs.  These springs were centers of activity for large mammals. these fossil springs retained artifacts indicating the presence, 14,000 to 11,000 years ago, of several extinct animals: the ground sloth, mammoth, prehistoric horse, and American camel.  The first Nevada record of the extinct giant condor comes from Tule Springs

Small populations of desert culture people, from about 7,000 years ago to the historic period, depended upon vegetable foods and small game for subsistence

Late Pleistocene geological stratigraphy in few other areas is as complete and well known.  This site is important in the history of archaeology as the first place where C-14 Radiocarbon dating was used systemically and with verifiable results.