Lubbock Lake is located in a meander of an ancient valley, Yellowhouse Draw, near ancient springs. For thousands of years, people on the Southern High Plains used the water resources in the draw until those resources went dry in the early 1930s. Years of sediment covered the traces of human activity from the surface until 1936 when the city of Lubbock dredged the meander in an effort to revitalize the underground springs.

The first explorations of the site were conducted in 1939 by the West Texas Museum (now the Museum of Texas Tech University). By the late 1940s, several Folsom Period (10,800-10,300 years ago) bison kills were discovered. In a location of an ancient bison kill from a then unidentified Paleoindian group, charred bison bones produced the first ever radiocarbon date (currently the most accurate form of dating) for Paleoindian material (9,800 years old). The Landmark currently serves as a field laboratory for geology, soils, and radiocarbon dating studies, as well as being an active archaeological and natural history preserve.

Excavations today are conducted on an annual basis. The Museum of Texas Tech University has been involved with the discovery, preservation, research of, and education about the Lubbock Lake Landmark for over 65 years.