If you’re planning a visit to the Bear Lake area this spring or summer, we’ve got an absolute must-see destination for you: the awe-inspiring Minnetonka Cave in Idaho. 

Located along the Bear Lake area, this natural wonder’s captivating underground realm attracts visitors every year. Imagine descending into a hidden world, where ancient rock formations and glistening crystals await your discovery; it’s enough to draw curiosity out of adventurers and non-adventurers alike.

Whether you’re a family seeking memorable vacation experiences or a corporate group searching for a unique team-building retreat, this geological wonder promises an unforgettable journey into the depths of the earth.

Let’s dive into our complete guide to visiting this remarkable cave!

Getting To Minnetonka Cave 

As you plan your visit and think about things to do at Bear Lake, make sure to add Minnetonka Cave to your itinerary.

This remarkable cave system offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and outdoor adventure, making it a perfect destination for those seeking to create lasting memories.

And the best part? 

Minnetonka Cave is conveniently located just a short drive from Bear Lake! So, it makes for a perfect Bear Lake summer activity. 

The cave is approximately a 45-minute drive (depending on which part of Bear Lake Valley you’re coming from), taking you through the area’s picturesque landscape and charming small towns like St. Charles. 

To reach Minnetonka Cave, Follow These Simple Directions:

  1. Head north on US-89 towards St. Charles, Idaho.
  2. After approximately 11 miles, take a left onto Minnetonka Cave Road.
  3. Continue on Minnetonka Cave Road for approximately 10 miles.
  4. Follow the well-marked signs for the remaining 5 miles until you reach the cave entrance.

Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a welcoming visitor center, where knowledgeable guides share their expertise and provide valuable insights into the cave’s rich history and geological formations. 

Go On A Cave Tour

A group of five hikers is walking along a narrow trail through a rocky terrain, likely on their way to explore a cave. They are all dressed in outdoor gear, including jackets, hiking pants, and sturdy boots, and are carrying large backpacks. The trail is surrounded by sparse vegetation and leads toward a cliff face. The hikers are moving in a single file, with their backs to the camera, showcasing their varied colorful attire against the rugged natural backdrop. The overall scene conveys a sense of adventure and exploration.

Minnetonka Cave is a remarkable limestone cave system that spans over 3,000 feet in length. 

As you descend the 896 steep stairs into the depths of the cave, you’ll be greeted by a world of awe-inspiring rock formations, intricate stalactites and stalagmites, and a mesmerizing play of light and shadow.

90-minute guided tours led by knowledgeable and friendly staff will take you on a journey through time, revealing the cave’s rich history and geological significance. You’ll learn about the fascinating processes that shaped this underground wonder and witness firsthand the incredible power of nature.

Key Highlights:

  • Stunning limestone rock formations and features, including the iconic “Devil’s Office” and the “Dwarf Kingdom.”
  • Underground waterways.
  • Opportunities to see unique cave-dwelling creatures.
  • Numerous fossils of animals that once lived there.

Beyond its geological significance, Minnetonka Cave also holds a rich cultural history.

Your guide will regale you with tales of the cave’s discovery and its role in the lives of the indigenous peoples who once called this region home.

Planning Your Visit to Minnetonka Cave: What You Need to Know

  • Location: Minnetonka Cave Rd, St Charles, ID.
  • Website
  • Guided Tours
  • Tickets: $12 for adults, $9 for kids aged 6 to 15, and free for children five and under.

Now that you know how to get there, let’s dive into some essential tips to ensure your visit is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Tour Times and Reservations

Minnetonka Cave is open for guided tours from mid-May through mid-October, with varying hours depending on the season. Check the area status to confirm it’s open to the public.

Over 30,000 visitors tour the cave each year. Because of this, tours are scheduled in advance, so it’s crucial to reserve your tickets ahead of time to secure your desired time. 

You can easily book your tour online or by calling the cave’s visitor center. Trust us; securing your spot ahead of time will make your experience hassle-free.

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind

Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind when preparing for your caving adventure.

  1. The cave’s interior maintains a cool 40 degrees year-round, so it’s recommended that you wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and bring a jacket or sweater. 
  2. Minnetonka Cave is a delicate and precious natural wonder. Visitors are asked to follow all safety guidelines.
  3. While portions of the cave are accessible to visitors with mobility challenges, it’s advisable to inquire about specific accommodations and accessibility options when making your reservation.

By doing your due diligence in preparing for your trip, you’ll be fully present during your tour.

Preventing White Nose Syndrome

A group of bats is hanging upside down from the ceiling of a cave. They are clustered closely together, with their wings wrapped around their bodies. The bats' fur appears light brown, and their faces are clearly visible, showing small eyes and pointed ears. The cave ceiling is rough and light-colored, providing a stark contrast to the darker bodies of the bats.

Due to the westward spread of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) in bats, certain restrictions are in place at Minnetonka Cave.

To help prevent White Nose Syndrome from spreading into Minnetonka Cave, visitors are asked not to wear clothing or hand-carried items that they have worn or carried in any other cave or mine.

These items include boots, hats, purses, cameras, backpacks, jewelry, and cell phones. It does not matter if you’ve washed these items. The disease can still be transferred no matter how many wash cycles the items undergo. 

Family-Friendly Adventure and Corporate Team Building

Whether you’re a family seeking quality time together or a corporate group looking for a unique team-building activity, Minnetonka Cave offers an experience that will leave a lasting impression.

Family Fun

The cave has been rated as one of the best things to do with kids at Bear Lake. For families, the cave provides an opportunity to ignite a sense of wonder and curiosity in children while creating cherished memories.

Children and adults alike are sure to be captivated by the cave’s wonders, fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world.

Corporate Team Building

Corporate groups, on the other hand, can leverage the cave’s unique setting for team-building exercises that foster communication, problem-solving, and trust. Navigating the cave’s challenges together can strengthen bonds and foster a sense of camaraderie among colleagues.

Elevate Your Bear Lake Experience with Bear Lake Premier Cabins

After your exciting journey through Minnetonka Cave, return to the comfort of Bear Lake Premier Cabins

Our cabins are designed with families and corporate retreats in mind. They offer spacious living areas, fully equipped kitchens, and a range of amenities to ensure a relaxing and rejuvenating stay.

Don’t just take our word for it – browse through our cabin gallery and book your stay with us today!