by Steven Monson

For genuine high adventure, the ice caves are a true spelunking experience, while still being easy enough for any novice cave explorer. As you climb over rocks and crawl through tunnels there is the feeling of doing something venturesome and exciting, while still being safe enough for children (or your average college student) to traverse safely.

Bring a jacket because the ice caves do get cold.  The volcanic rock that surrounds these caves is a good insulator, so even on the hottest days of summer the inside of the cave teems with ice.  As you go deeper into the caves, large ice formations come into view, and ice crystals grow from the walls and ceiling.  The Ice Caves have a beauty all their own and are a lot of fun to explore.

Many people don’t realize that there is actually more than one ice cave.  Geologists  have found 7 along the Snake River Plain. Following are two of the closest and most noteworthy examples.

 

icecave2-interior-panoramaThe Ice Slide Cave

This is the most popular ice cave. 34 miles north of Rexburg, it is frequented by students and residents alike, and for good reason.

What’s it like?

The floor becomes icy as early as 15 feet in, and soon turns into a narrow tunnel.  As you continue farther into the cave, you can see large ice crystals growing on the walls and ceiling.  Solid ice formations give the cave a beauty all it’s own, and at the end, there is an open room that has a slope and a slide. Footholds chiseled into the ice form a staircase leading up to the slide.  After traversing the cave, visitors  can climb up the slide, and slip down the slope.   The slide makes for a fun destination activity, before heading back out of the cave.

The road to this ice cave is extremely rough and is not accessible by passenger car.  4-wheel drive will be necessary in order to get to this cave.

How to Get There

1. From Rexburg: Head North on 2nd East, (past Wal-mart) and continue North till you reach the red blinking light (500 North).
2. Reset your travel odometer (so you can gauge how far you travel from this point).
3. From the blinking light, travel 20.4 miles and turn right on the dirt road immediately after the Welcome to Jefferson County sign.
4. Follow the road 2 miles and hang a right at the fork in the road. 5. Follow the road for 1 more mile. The ice cave will be on the right.

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