For a Sunday day trip we planned a trip up to Minnatonka Cave in Idaho. It’s right on the border of Utah and Idaho with Garden City Utah only 20 minutes away. The cave tours are run and maintained by the Cache National Forest Services.
We planned it to leave early enough in the morning to have breakfast at Crepes & Coffee in Garden City. We relaxed on the cozy outdoor seating that had a great view of the town. There is something for everyone, great favors and hearty on the savory crepes.
After our relaxed breakfast we drove up Minnetonka Cave Road that leads you right to the entrance and parking. We got our tickets and only had to wait 15 minutes for our tour. Our tour needed up being a small size of 12 people. The other tours that passed us all seemed to be 20 or more people in it. I think this worked out great, we could all ask question and have them answered and feel as if we had a one on one tour. This obviously doesn’t happen all the time and tickets are at a first come first serve bases when you show up. I think ours had a lot to do with it being close to lunch.
The cave had 9 rooms to it that could fit a decent size house in. For all the activity with humans it’s had in the past it’s still well maintained and still growing. There has been thankful more support to maintain and preserve the cave. This is by far the largest cave I have been in, though my numbers of how many caves I’ve been in are only 3. It’s something spectacular to see nature and geology at work. Seeing large Stalogmits and Stalactites still growing to the point they are almost touching. Something that takes millions of years to do, that’s as long as there is no natural disaster or human vandalism.
Water in a cave sounds close to people talking…..it smells ancient, fresh, living. Taking on the sounds around it. I wanted to follow its drops and streams. Where did it start and where did it go. What underground river did it lead to? There is so much mystery……
When our group was at the last room and end of our tour, our guide turned of the main lights to show us with his blue light the colors of some of the rocks. We were then lead out in full pitch black to the other side of the corridor, with one hand on the railing and the other on the shoulder of the person in front of us. Talk about a trust line and fears of the dark. It was in all good fun and spirit.
After the tour Jordan and I drove around Bear Lake found a decent beach and lounged for a few hours. The water was still far too cold for me to plunge all in, we were still able to enjoy the clear blue water and cool off from the heat. Utah and Idaho had such a great winter and spring for precipitation that now all of our lakes and reservoirs are at full capacity. It’s the first in almost a decade.
We ended our day adventure with the famous Bear Lake Raspberry Shakes.
We prepared for a full day of mixed adventure with warm clothing for the cave and swim clothes for the beach. Snacks, water are certainly a plus for a long day.