The Sad Fate Of This Idaho Natural Wonder Will Break Your Heart

Like the mysterious and geologic wonder that it is, up until 2001, Idaho was home to multiple natural ice caverns tucked away beneath the surface of its volcanic landscape. One of these, the Crystal Ice Cave near the Craters of the Moon National Monument, was a beloved destination — particularly during the summer. An escape from the heat that rarely topped 40 degrees, this cave was a unique example of ice formations not found anywhere else in the state.

Today, the cave is closed to the public, falling into disrepair, and returning to nature. Here’s what happened:

While the heartbreaking fate of this Idaho ice cave is an unfortunate one, Idaho is still home to a handful of other ice caves to explore – some of which are developed, others which will require an adventurous spirit and the directions of locals to find. Check out the ice caves in Shoshone, Paris, and St. Anthony to name a few – and be sure to share your photos with Idaho Only or tag us on Instagram!

For yet another unforgettable adventure, definitely take a scenic hike up to the Darby Wind Cave on the Idaho-Wyoming border. Here, experienced climbers will have the opportunity to take an additional trek up to a hidden ice cave just over the state line. Happy exploring!