The Best List of Caves in Idaho

The Best List of Caves in Idaho

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If you are a spelunker, or just want to find some new caves in Idaho, then this is the list for you! Caves are great places to explore and learn about the Earth. Caves often have stalactites and stalagmites that grow from the ground up which can be seen growing over time.

The Best List of Caves in Idaho

Caves also contain fossils of animals who used to live there long ago. Caves are also a great place to keep cool during the hot summer months. Caves often have really high ceilings and lots of air circulation, which can make them feel much cooler than outside! That makes caves a cool place to be when the weather is too hot.

The Best List of Caves in Idaho

Caving can help us better understand our own history and learn about how people used to live thousands of years ago. Caves have been known as sacred places for many cultures throughout human history.

Caves are also often used for meditation because they can be completely dark. Caving is a great way to experience nature and explore the Earth in ways that most people don’t get to do on a daily basis. Caves are great places to explore for all ages!

The Best List of Caves in Idaho

Does Idaho have caves? The state is renowned for its breathtaking mountains and majestic rivers, but the geologic processes have formed yet another wonder in Idaho – caves of every shape, size, color, and type. Some are distantly located, while others were used by Native Americans and have become significant tourist attractions.

The three major types of caves present in the state are corrosion, lava, and solution. A few of these caves will require you to do a bit of hiking, but if you are a big fan of historic hideaways and underground caverns, Idaho is the perfect state. 

The Best List of Caves in Idaho

The Top Caves to Visit in Idaho

There are many caves in Idaho, and since it is regarded as one of the best states for spelunking, you will always have your choice. The caves here are all well-maintained, which means that both beginners and experts should have no problems negotiating these caves.

Here is the list of the major caves in Idaho

  • Wilson Butte Cave
  • Niter Ice Cave
  • Minnetonka Cave
  • Kuna Caves
  • Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
  • Hidden Mouth Cave
  • Shoshone Ice Cave
  • Darby Moon and Ice Caves
  • Paris Ice Caves
  • Q’emiln Park Caves
  • Eureka Cave
  • Devil’s Hole Cave
  • Smith’s Crack
  • Gore’s Cave
  • Kuna Caves
  • Mammoth Cave

We know that some of you would find it difficult to accommodate all the caves in your itinerary, but it will be sad if you miss out on those who deserve a trip. So, for your convenience, let’s break this down a bit into different categories.

Top Caves to Visit in Idaho

Best Caves in Idaho

Let us take a closer look into the must-visit caves of Idaho. 

Ice Caves in Idaho

The ice caves that you find in Idaho may not be crystal-clear like you see in other countries, but they are magnificent from every angle. 

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Niter Ice Cave

Located in the Caribou County, the Niter Ice Cave came into existence through a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. A huge lava tube was formed that eventually cooled, and this cave was formed. In winter, ice collects in the walls of the cave.

The early settlers found this area suitable for storing food. Today, it is a popular recreation and picnic spot. There is no apparent danger, but you must be vigilant so that you do not get robbed. Do take care that you do not slip on the ice and land in one of the puddles. 

Ice Caves Idaho

Shoshone Ice Caves

The Shoshone Ice Cave is an iconic attraction in Idaho. While many people perceive it as a cave, it is actually a lava tube. The lava tube stretches for 1000 ft in length, and the ice depth ranges from 8 to 30 ft. It is one of the oldest caves and lies within a protected area.

There is a museum nearby which you should visit as you can learn about the history of the natives and even check out some of the artifacts. As for the ice cave, it is the largest of its kind in the world. The owners pump the water out regularly so that the ice does not build up and block the entrance to the cave. 

Craters of the Moon

The trail system at Craters of the Moon is spectacular, but the desert-like conditions in the summer can be misleading. Many people do not realize that the caves can get cold, and when the caves reopen to the public in spring, one will find the icy remnants from the winter.

You will love photographing the unique icicles along the Cave Trail. There are many slippery sections in the cave, and the ice pools can get extremely cold, leading to hypothermia. 

Free Caves in Idaho

Free Caves in Idaho

Did you know that just like free attractions, there are free caves too in Idaho? Yes, you do not have to pay any admission charge for some of the best caves.

Wilson-Butt Cave

It is an interesting cave located near Jerome as scientists are not sure when this cave was formed, but evidence points out that Native Americans used to live here more than 10,000 years ago.

The cave’s opening is among the widest that you will ever find, and lots of artifacts have been found in this area. There are no dangers in entering this cave, but you should always be extra careful. 

Hidden Mouth Cave

The cave is very close to the town of Moore, and just like the other caves in the state, it was formed when lava passed through the rocks. Surprisingly, it is one of the largest caves in Idaho and has three distinct chambers. All these chambers have a bit of history attached to them, and you will find drawings of the natives.

However, in certain areas, the caves can get small, which might be a tight squeeze for you. Many people are claustrophobic and would not love walls closing on them almost. But the cave is a good choice for an avid explorer. 

Hidden Mouth Cave

As you can tell, the state of Idaho has a lot of caves to explore. Make certain to always be safe and prepared before entering any cave so you can make your cave experience a good one!

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