My family has been able to do the Minnetonka Cave Hike a couple of times. It is located in Cache National Forest in Idaho and despite what you may think – is actually really busy. You do have to buy tickets for each person in your group and there are some restrictions, but it is so much fun and super cool to see all the formations and wonders down in the cave. Here are things to know before you go:
- If you have a National Park pass you can get a discount on your tickets. You can also buy a family pass (for immediate family) to save you a lot of money.
- You can buy your tickets online (https://www.recreation.gov/ticket/facility/10087702) as well as at the ticket booth. They do a lot of tours, so you *should* be ok purchasing the tickets the day of. If you are worried, you can reserve them online.
- Plastic water bottles are not allowed – so be sure to bring stainless steel or leave them in the car for when you get back.
- There are restrooms near the parking lot – but nothing during the tour so go before you head down
- Wear good shoes – the trail is made of rocks and can be slippery because of the water
- Make sure your phone is charged so you can take a lot of pictures and videos
- The tour takes about an hour (give or take). I took snacks, extra water, a headlamp, etc in case anything happened and we had to stay longer.
- Take a jacket. It gets chilly down in the cave.
- The tours are guided and each guide will walk you through the cave and give you details and information about all of it.
We were camping at Rendezvous Beach at Bear Lake and made the drive up to the cave. The scenery is beautiful and we loved to cool mountain air. It does take some time to get up there, so be sure to plan accordingly. There is a station that you have to stop at to make sure you have your tickets before you head up to the cave. Don’t miss this stop.
Once you are there, use the restroom, make sure you have everything ready, and head over to the area where the tour begins. The boardwalk that goes over to the cave entrance is fantastic and the views are beautiful, so take your time and enjoy it.
About Minnetonka Cave
Minnetonka Cave is located on the Cache National Forest in Idaho. It is one of the premier show caves in the United States. Its limestone rock formations are truly remarkable; well worth traversing 888 stairs to see them. It is a karst limestone cave, formed from ground water flowing through limestone and carving sink-holes and underground waterways. It displays a wide variety of intriguing drip formations.
Each year, more than 40,000 visitors come to Minnetonka Cave and take the tours. Tours are conducted by guides who pause in five or six locations to explain the various cave formations, answer questions posed by guests, and give you a chance to catch your breath. There are up to five tours in the cave at a time, and passing is done with care. The cave stays a brisk 40 degrees year round so bring your jacket!https://www.recreation.gov/ticket/facility/10087702
I hope that this helps you plan and take your trip to the Minnetonka Cave. If you have gone, what did you think? What was your favorite part?
Other hikes we think you will like: