I was always intimidated about caving in Utah. My friends wanted me to go to the now defunct Nutty Putty Cave and crawl through the dark on my belly, and that seemed pretty extreme to me. But caving in Utah doesn’t have to be that way. There are several guided caves, and plenty of “safe” caves that don’t require special equipment (other than light) or getting very dirty. Here’s our list of caves for families in Utah (or very near to Utah). Also, be sure to scroll down and check out our quick list of caving tips before you begin spelunking! Click on any link for pictures, full details, tips, and directions to these Caves in Utah:
Timpanogos Cave: Some people are a bit daunted by the hike, but this guided tour is very safe and a great introduction to caving for kids. Every Utahn should go through this cave at least once.
Minnetonka Cave: This cave is also guided and is near Bear Lake (technically in Idaho). Though the features in this cave are less exotic, the vastness is really amazing. You have to be able to do some stairs to make it through this cave.
Meadow Lava Tubes: The lava tubes located near Fillmore are unguided and really cool. You could mostly do them without light as there is some natural light that filters in. Some scrambling and ducking is required.
Wind Cave: This is more of a hike than a cave. Located in Logan Canyon, most of the cave is standing in the open (you have to see it for it to make sense). You won’t need light, just a little stamina to make the hike.
Patsy’s Mine: This manmade mine goes back into the mountain about 75 yards. It is very dark, but flat and you can walk upright the entire way. You may get your feet a little damp, but this one is really fun (short steep hike required).
Ledgemere Cave: This one is a lot like Patsy’s Mine. It is manmade and goes directly back into the mountain for about 50 yards. Make sure you take plenty of light, and you do have to duck to nearly crawling to get into the opening, but it is located in a picnic area so the walk is very easy to the entrance.
Lehman Cave: Lehman Cave is a guided cave just over the Nevada Border in Great Basin National Park. There is no hike and the cave system is one of the best we’ve seen. We think of it as Utah’s 6th National Park.
Paris Ice Cave: Okay, this one is clearly cheating. Located in southeast Idaho near Bear Lake, Paris Ice Cave is not technically a Utah cave. But it is so unique with it’s pinnacles of ice in the middle of summer that we had to include it!
If you’re feeling adventurous, Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho has several caves as well! Leave us a comment with your favorite Utah cave, too.
Be sure to check out our 5 Essential Tips for Caving with Kids!
Tip: We love this headlamp from Vitchelo. The bright beam light is perfect for exploring caves. And we like to use the red light when we are stargazing. It has lots of features.