We heard about a really cool cave at Ledgemere Picnic area at the bottom of Big Cottonwood Canyon. We’re not serious cavers, but our boys loved Craters of the Moon and Lehman Caves so we decided to give it a try. We didn’t know what to expect as we had little information other than that the cave went “pretty far” into the mountain.
The entrance to the cave is small, and many people probably walk right past it. We took flashlights and crawled inside. As you can see, the opening is pretty small, but not so small you have to get dirty, but watch your head. The cave appears to be man-made in that it is perfectly man-sized and you can stand up in it once you’re inside. At the beginning there is a turn to the right that goes a few feet and then a small passage that parallels the longer shaft. There are no visible marks (at least that we could see) that shows this cave has been carved out by people, but it sure seems like it. There is some graffiti on the walls, too.
The main passage continues for maybe 50 yards before abruptly hitting a dead end. Long before that, we came across water that was several inches deep. There are stepping stones, but only Dad was agile enough to go across. If you’re planning on going to the end, take shoes that can get wet and good flashlights.
To find the Ledgemere Picnic area, go up Big Cottonwood Canyon 1.5 miles from the light. Park on the left to avoid the fee (or take a picnic and enjoy the day, but a fee is required). Once you cross the bridge to the picnic tables take the paved path west (right). Follow it all the way to the last table. As you approach the last table, you’ll see the entrance to the cave a few feet off the trail on your left.
This is an easy cave for kids (with parents) to spend a few minutes exploring. Just remember light and waterproof shoes. And keep your head down in the entrance. The rocks are very painful!