All five of the lava tube caves accessible from the Loop Road are now free of snow and open for recreational caving. To prevent the spread of white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has killed over a million bats since 2005, screening is required before entering any of these authorized caves. Screening and cave permits may be obtained at the Monument entrance station or at the Visitor Center. Permits are valid for the five developed caves: Indian Tunnel, Dew Drop, Boy Scout, Beauty, and Buffalo Caves. All other caves are closed to recreational caving.
There is no charge for the permit but please be prepared to answer the following screening questions:
-Have you visited a cave or mine since 2005?
-Do you have any items with you that entered into the caves or mines you previously visited? (e.g., clothing, shoes, flashlights, cameras, watches, phones, etc.)
If the answer to both questions is yes, please bring gear with you which has not been exposed to other caves or mines. Cave permits will not be issued for persons using potentially contaminated gear.
Wildlife photographer and park volunteer, Michael Durham, has created a presentation with some remarkable footage of Craters of the Moon bats. You are invited to view this short presentation at the following link (it is the 4th featured video on the webpage):
There will be free admission to the park during National Park Week (April 21-29). Ranger guided walks into Indian Tunnel will also begin on April 22 and will be offered daily at 1 p.m. and also at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. Meet at the Caves Area trailhead with sturdy shoes, a flashlight and a cave permit. In addition, Rangers will offer short presentations on the Visitor Center patio daily at 3:15 p.m. and also at 1:45 p.m. on Saturdays.