Shoshone Indian Ice Caves – Shoshone, Idaho
This lava tube is 1,000 ft. long with a ceiling height of between 8 and 30 ft. The collapsed roof serves as an entrance. The cold trap effect and the extremely different temperatures in Idaho between the summer and the winter make it a perfect ice cave. Now, the cold air flows down into the cave during the winter and freezes all the water entering the cave through fractures. This produces a continuous layer of ice. It is cold in the cave (obviously) with a temperature between -7 degrees C. and .5 degrees C depending on which area you are in. The outside temperature may reach 37 degrees C so warm cloths and sturdy shoes are a must.
There is a wooden bridge above the thick layer of ice covering almost the whole cave floor and the cave ends with a wall of ice. The cave isn’t the beautiful type cave that many of you have probably been in, the reason this is of interest is that it is an ice cave and you don’t get a lot of opportunities to see them and tour them.
Former owners of the cave thought that if they added some "charm" to the cave it would be more interesting to tourists so they added a green dinosaur with a cave man sitting on its neck, a three-story high Chief Wasakie statue and a bull at the museum entrance. There were some things inside the cave too but fortunately they have been removed. Concrete sculptures of early natives, stone age (ice) cave men and women, stand along the path down to the cave. Although they are of doubtful beauty, they are a great fun for children.
There are lots of legends about the cave and even a few that are said to be haunted, but in reality, it is a lava tube with ice. Nothing more, nothing less.
Nearby Shoshone Ice Caves is Bennett Hills Recreation Management Area which has fourteen lava tubes. One of them, called T-Maze Caves is accessible for visitors but undeveloped.
Outside the entrance to the Shoshone Indian Ice Cave are some "courtesy coats" for you to wear on your tour. It truly is cold in there and you are going to want a jacket of some sort. Although these may not be Macy’s best, they will keep you warm enough for the tour.
Location: 1561 N. Hwy. 75, Shoshone, ID
Directions: Hwy. 75, 17 mi. N of Shoshone.
Hours: May-Sep. Daily 8 am – 7:15 pm. (Call to verify)
Fees: Adults $7.50, Seniors $6.50 & Children 4-12 $4.00, Children 3 and under free; group rates.