Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mammoth Ice Cave/ Sunday Idaho Adventure

We went on a Sunday Idaho Adventure this past weekend. A cuh-razy Sunday Idaho Adventure.

On Sundays, Hubs and I try to explore our portion of Southern Idaho. Often, we end up heading north to the gorgeous Sawtooth mountains. In the winter, often we'll head up to ski and eat. In the summer, we like to shop, hike and well, eat.

Along Highway 93, there are these giant signs that say "ICE CAVE" and literally everytime we go, I ask sweet hubby if we can stop. I'm one of those people who see the brown attraction signs driving along the highway and wonder how I've lived this long without seeing whatever it is... Lincoln's birthplace, giant yarn ball, mineral springs, oregon trail tracks.... you know the ones.

Well, on our drive on Sunday.... he turned. And people, it was beyond my wildest dreams. These pictures cannot do our experience justice. After driving through a desert plain, on a dirt road for about 1.5 miles you come onto this site full of old wooden buildings, stone faces, emus, and peacocks. Yep, peacocks.

 Inside, the wooden round building is a "museum," basically a collection of anything you've ever wanted to see taxidermied. Seriously: two-headed rabbit, giraffe, ostrich, anaconda, mountain lion, bears, spiders, bugs, and countless birds. That's not even close to half! The owner kindly starts the generator as you begin looking around, since there's no electricity for the lights.The owner told us it is a collection from three generations of his family.

Then, we explored the ice cave. It is a lava tube cave that is about a half mile long, but you have to enter and exit the same way. You carry a propane torch with you as you explore and it is so cold you can see your breath as you enter. There are signatures on the wall from earlier explorers and the earliest one found is from 1902.

I wish I could tell you I was brave and went to the end, but I have to say the further we got from that little hole of light, safety and air, the more I panicked. So I quit about halfway, where I could still see the exit and sweet hubs kept going.

The view of the exit from the inside. Did I mention it was dark inside?
All I can say is if you are ever driving North on Highway 93 towards the Wood River Valley in Idaho, you must stop and explore the Mammoth Ice Caves. You WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!
This looks safe....right?

Disclaimer: We explored the Mammoth Ice Cave which is different from the Ice Caves just a few more miles north. That one is much more sanitized and touristy. Probably very nice but might not have the same... ahem.... charm.


  1. The granola stuff from costco and the salami and cheese you packed was awesome! ( sticking to the food theme ) Love you!

  2. I am glad William finally turned in and let you explore the caves.
    The "museum" sounds a lot like my basement!

    1. I thought several times how much John would have loved it!

  3. How fun! I wish we would have know about it when we were in your area. Oh well, maybe next year. Love the pictures . I to have know, was it stinky?

    1. There was definitely a distinct smell.

  4. I read lots of awesome comments about Idaho's mammoth caves so my husband and I drove hours to go see the place. it was Horrible! the cave was probably less then half a mile so short it wasn't worth $10 per person on top of that it was so dark and all they gave you was camping lanterns you could only see a few steps to the front and back. The place looks so abandon I felt they were going to robe us and rape me we were in the middle of nowhere. the museum was horrible as well it was dusty full of spider webs and most of the exhibits were so old they were falling apart. it was mostly dried animals and bugs. We saw the whole cave and museum in probably half an hour. Every one who was arriving were First Time Visitors me and my husband felt so bad seeing them pay and be excited to enter the cave not knowing the disappointment they were about to receive.

    1. Jessica, I'm so sorry if I added to your expectations. Perhaps, the post's tone wasn't clear enough, but that place was quirky to say the least! We loved it because it was so unique, strange and had a feel about it from a different time. I don't think it is fair to say they were going to harm you, but it is an adventure.


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