Minnetonka Cave - The Cave of Over 400 Stairs

by Troy Webb

A visit to Bear Lake is just not complete without dipping your toes in the soft sandy beaches, taking a swim in the crystal blue water, and, of course, enjoying a fresh raspberry shake. Most people who visit Bear Lake and enjoy this beautiful natural wonder spend most of their time taking part in the many water activities.

But did you know there is another remarkable natural wonder just 15 minutes from Garden City, Utah? Located in the beautiful St. Charles Canyon is the Minnetonka Cave. This beautiful cave offers a half-mile of fascinating stalactites, stalagmites, and banded travertine in nine rooms. The cave retains a constant temperature of 40 degrees year around, making it a great place to get out of the hot summer sun, while still enjoying a fun and exciting activity.

The Minnetonka Cave located in St. Charles, Idaho can be reached by traveling up the beautiful St. Charles Canyon. The road to the parking lot is fully paved and can be traveled by all vehicles during the summer months. Once you have reached the parking lot, you will find restrooms, tables, and the pay station.

Now we have had the privilege of visiting many caves and most of them required some effort to get to the cave entrance. For example, the Timpanogos Cave is a 1.5 mile climb straight up the mountain to the cave entrance. To reach the Minnetonka Cave, you simply drive to the parking area, park your car, pay at the pay station, and walk down a short trail to the entrance.

Getting to the cave entrance takes little effort, but to enjoy the full tour inside the cave, you must make your way up and down over 400 stairs. The stairs add to the whole experience of visiting the Minnetonka Cave.

The staircases are strategically placed to allow you to get up close to the beautiful cave formations, not to mention that this is one of the most spectacular gyms you will ever step foot into. There is nothing better than working out on Mother Nature’s playground.

As you make your way through the nine different caverns you will be treated to many different cave formations, colors, and sounds, and you may even get to see one of many bats that call the Minnetonka Cave home. The friendly tour guides provide information about the cave’s formations, and history. On our visit, we even got to experience what true darkness is.

As we made our way to the lowest cavern available to the public, hundreds of feet below the earth’s surface, the silence and the sounds of the dripping water were relaxing and rejuvenating. Then, with preparation from our tour guide, the lights went out. You could feel the darkness of the cave close in around you - what an experience!

Driving Directions:

From Garden City, Utah, travel on US-89 to St Charles, Idaho. Once in St Charles, turn left on the Minnetonka Cave Road.

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