Idaho Caves, Day Trips, Nature May 03, 2018
This Day Trip To The Deepest Cave In Idaho Is Full Of Adventure
With summer right around the corner you’re probably going to be looking for ways to cool off here in Idaho. What better way to stay cool than hanging out underground? As the weather warms up, you’ll definitely want to plan a day trip to Idaho’s deepest cave: Minnetonka Cave. Hiding in the teensy-tiny town of St. Charles in southeastern Idaho, a trip to this cave will result in an adventure you’ll never forget.
The largest limestone cave in the state is located in the very southeastern corner of the state near Bear Lake. The Minnetonka Cave is an impressive wonder that definitely must be experienced.
The U.S. Forest Service offers tours of this incredible cave starting on Memorial Day and going through Labor Day. The half-mile tour is one of the most popular in the state. It's estimated that over 20,000 people visit the cave every year.
You'll begin the tour by making the descent into the cave. There are a
lot of stairs, so come prepared. All in all, you will traverse 444 stairs both on the way in and on the way out. That's a lot of climbing! Once you see the cave, you'll realize it's all worth it.
The cave has a long and fascinating story. Although it was first discovered in 1906 by a man named Edward Arnell, it wasn't until 1938 that the government began developing a trail into the cave and holding tours.
As soon as you step into the cave, you'll be struck by all of the weird formations surrounding you from every side. The cave is absolutely covered in stalagmites and stalactites. These structures were formed by lime deposits over thousands and thousands of years.
Don't forget to bring a jacket on the tour, no matter how hot it is outside. The cave maintains a chilly temperature of 40 degrees all year long. You'll immediately forget you're in Idaho! This place truly looks and feels like something from a different world.
The tour takes about 90 minutes to complete. The pace is slow and steady so you have plenty of time to climb the many staircases along the way. The price for the tour is just $8 for adults, $6 for children, and is free for children 5 years and younger.
One of the coolest things about the cave is that it is home to five different bat species. Because of this, the Forest Service asks that you don't bring any clothing or items that may have visited another cave in order to prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome (which is deadly for bats).
If you're looking for a unique adventure that also offers a nice change of pace from the crowds at Bear Lake, be sure to swing by Minnetonka Cave. These tours can fill up quickly so be sure to arrive early to guarantee yourself a spot on this one-of-a-kind tour.
For more information, you can visit the Forest Service website
Have you visited the deepest cave in Idaho yet? This place is simply massive! Maybe you’re the type of person who prefers aboveground adventure. In that case, visit this
Aboveground Cave In Idaho For A Surreal Experience.