Minnetonka Cave near Bear Lake Utah/Idaho

Minnetonka CaveBear in Minnetonka Cave

Minnetonka Cave is the largest commercially developed limestone rock cave in the state of Idaho, and one of the highest, with an entrance elevation of 7,700 feet.

The developed part of the cave contains nine separate "rooms" or chambers. The largest of these chambers is called the Ballroom, measuring more than 300 feet across and 90 feet high.

Some of the cave's most interesting features are the deposits of lime which form stalactites and stalagmites. Many of these interesting formations have been given names, such as the "Ballerina," and the "Bride and Groom." The oldest (and largest) of these are the "Three Sisters." Other intriguing formations are known by some as the "Wedding Ring", the "Gold Coins" in the Treasure Room chamber, "Miss Piggy's Tail" and "Kermit's Castle."

Location: In the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, Idaho.
Directions from Montpelier: take US 89 south to Paris, then Bloomington. Turn west on Forest Road 412 before St. Charles. It is about 10 miles further to the cave.
Time to Allow: 60-90 minutes of walking & climbing. Tours start every 30 minutes & they do fill up. So on a busy day you may have to wait a few minutes to catch the next tour. There are also around 400 steps down to the cave's entrance so I wouldn't recommend going if you're seriously out of shape, have a heart condition, breathing problems... you get the idea. The cave stays a brisk 40 degrees all year round so make sure to bring a coat!
Hours of Operation: 10:00am-5:30pm. 7days a week. Runs from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day... weather permitting. Tours run every 30 minutes. The last tour starts @ 5:30.
Fees: $5 for adults (16 years or older), $4 for 6 to 15 year olds, Under 5 years old are free, Family Pass is $20, Groups (30 people or more) get 10% off.
Phone: (435) 245-4422

Quick 1 minute movie of Minnetonka Cave