The caves area contains many stark contrasts: searing heat on the black surface versus the cool of the cave interiors, roaring afternoon wind versus the dampened stillness below ground, brilliant light and expansive views versus the enclosed darkness of the lava tubes. The drama of these contradictions draws people into this strange world.
Help Preserve the Caves and Cave Residents
Please do not bring food into the caves or leave trash in the caves. There is a trash can located in the parking lot. Remember that all cave features are fragile and irreplaceable. Do not remove any rocks or other objects from the caves area.
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Safety - Be Prepared!
These caves are undeveloped and contain many hazards. There is no artificial lighting, nor are there any paved trails. The floors are uneven and possibly icy; ceilings may be low with sharp stalactites.
Cave Descriptions and Maps
This is a very small cave, most of which is visible from the trail.
The tunnel is large. A stairway provides easy entry. Collapses in the ceiling allow sunlight to enter so a flashlight is not needed to travel in most of the cave. The size of the tube (30' high, 50' wide and 800' long) allows you to walk comfortably. If you are willing to scramble over a large pile and climb through a small opening, you can exit this cave at the far end. Follow the rock cairns with posts across the lava to return to the paved trail. Do not allow children to wander. There are deep holes in the rock near the trail.
Boy Scout Cave
This cave retains ice year-round. You must crawl over loose rock to enter, due to the low ceiling at the entrance. The floor of the cave can be a sheet of ice covered by several inches of water, and is very slick. Walk carefully.
You enter through a large opening and scramble down a slope of large rocks to reach the smooth pahoehoe floor of this uniform 300' long tunnel.
Did You Know?
Searing lava flows that initially destroyed everything in their path today protect the last refuges of intact sagebrush steppe communities on the Snake River Plain. These islands of vegetation, known as kipukas, provide important examples of what is "natural". More...