Idaho is a state located in the northwestern part of the United States. Since it sits at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, it is one of the states that many people flock to when they want to experience caving and look at the Rockies. Since there are plenty of caves, we will look at what are the best caves in Idaho?
There are plenty of caves in Idaho, and since it is one of the best states for caving, you will have your pick. The caves are all kept up well, which means they should be perfect for beginners and experts. However, there is always something to see, and for beginners, there might be plenty to learn about caving as well.
In the following article, we will look at some of the caves and allow you to consider which of them are the best. We have selected a couple of the caves, and these have a few features that will excite you and, in many cases, scare you as well. However, you will have a vast selection of caves to explore if you visit the state of Idaho.
Best Caves In Idaho – Top 6
Much like in other places around the United States, there are plenty of caves. Once an area is located close to a mountainous section, the mountain becomes rife with caves that many people want to explore. Since there are many caves, we have narrowed it down to the top 6, allowing us to have some of the best caves to get started.
1. Minnetonka Cave Near Bear Lake Idaho
Located in the Cache National Forest In Bear Lake County, we find the Minnetonka Cave. The cave is one of the biggest limestone caves in the state of Idaho and is located near the village of St. Charles. It has numerous rooms, and it is a solid cave that anyone can explore.
The cave is around half a mile in total length, and while you will find it to be similar to many other caves, there are numerous stalagmites and stalactites that one can observe. Many of these have been around for centuries, and some of them are even being analyzed by some of the experts in the field.
When it comes to dangers, there is not a lot that you need to worry about. The cave is open, which means there is not a lot of chances for claustrophobia. However, you will encounter 5 different species of bats. Those who are afraid of bats might have a hard time in caves, especially in the Minnetonka Cave.
2. Craters Of The Moon In Central Idaho
The Craters of the Moon in Central Idaho is one of the most protected places when it comes to nature. It is a national monument and preserve located in the Snake River Plains, formed thousands of years back due to volcanic activity.
The lava tubes along the crates have resulted in around 3 different caves that one can explore. Some of these caves can be as deep as 1000-feet. There is plenty to see, including icicles, and one can learn a lot about the cave formations.
However, the icicles might also be a source of danger, and you must be careful when you are walking. These caves can be cold and dark, and there are many slippery sections. The ice pools can be cold and lead to hypothermia.
3. Wilson-Butte Cave Near Jerome, Idaho
The Wilson-Butte Cave is another one of these caves you will find located on Snake River Plain. While many scientists are still not sure when the cave was formed, it is noted that evidence was found of the natives living in the cave as far back as 10,000 years.
The cave is one of the widest ones you enter, and large bubbles of lava have formed it. Many artifacts have been found in the cave, and they date back to the first existence of humans in the area. One can see many of the old remnants of the cave and some of the ancient artifacts.
There are not many dangers associated with the cave, and while it might be large, you always need to be careful when entering any cave. The cave is state of the art in terms of ancient caves, and we have not found any likely danger if you are careful.
4. Shoshone Ice Cave in Shoshone, Idaho
The Shoshone Ice Cave is a landmark spot in Idaho, and while many people perceive it to be a cave, it is a lava tube. The lava tube stretches 1000-feet in length, and it has ice depth ranging from 8 to 30-feet.
The area is a protected spot, and while you will notice, the cave is one of the oldest. The museum located nearby is one of the spots you have to visit. There are plenty of artifacts, and you can even be educated on the history of the natives.
Once again, the cave is maintained, and there are constantly people nearby, which means that it is not dangerous at all. However, you should always be cautious and safe when entering almost any cave, to be sure.
5. Niter Ice Cave In Grace, Idaho
If you want to visit one of the smaller caves in Idaho, you might need to look at the Niter Ice Cave. The cave is located about 3-miles south of the town of Grace, and according to archeologists, it is another cave form by volcanic eruptions.
On the inside of the cave, you will find icicles and short puddles of water. There are many forms of drawings inside the cave, but some explicit graffiti has also be found nowadays. Overall, it is a simplistic cave that was used by natives to store food and water.
In terms of dangers, there is not a lot you need to worry about. You must stay vigilant to ensure you don’t get robbed. However, the biggest issue is that you might slip on the ice and land in one of the puddles.
6. Hidden Mouth Cave in Mackay Idaho
Last but certainly not least, we have the Hidden Mouth Cave in Mackay, Idaho. The cave is located near the town of Moore, and much like some of the other caves in the state, it was originally formed by lava passing through the rocks.
The cave is one of the larger caves, and many people often misjudge the size. However, there are three distinct chambers, and all of them have history and drawing from some of the natives. These caves are ideal for the avid explorer.
However, there are a few dangers, and in certain areas, the caves can be rather small. Many people don’t like the feeling of the walls closing in on them, and this could be frustrating. However, the cave is perfect for those that enjoy new explorations.
Best Caving In Idaho Summary
Caving is one of the best things for those that want to explore, and it can take a lot of courage to get outside and explore these caves. We have selected some of the top caves in Idaho, but there are many more. Let us know in the comment section if we have missed any of your favorites.
Need Gear to Go Caving or Spelunking?
If you are planning a caving adventure, you want to make sure that you have the right gear. Check out our beginners guide for caving equipment.