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Minnetonka Cave, Saint Charles

#27 of 54 in Nature in Idaho
Minnetonka Cave is one of the larger limestone caves in the state of Idaho. It is located in Cache National Forest in Bear Lake County, Idaho, United States, above the village of St. Charles (located at the north end of Bear Lake). Tours through the cave are offered from Memorial Day (weather permitting) through Labor Day by Scenic Canyons Recreational Services, the concessionaire that holds the special use permit from the United States Forest Service. The half-mile route through the cave is lined with stalactites and stalagmites.The cave is a hibernaculum to five different species of bats. One species, the Townsend's Big-eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii), while not on the endangered species list is on the lists of both the State of Idaho and the Forest Service as a species of concern.
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Minnetonka Cave Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
65 reviews
  • What an amazing Friday and the drive up to Saint Charles ID was so beautiful. I took my 16 year old cousin with me and the cave was spectacular and the formations inside the cave were amazing. Our Tou...  more »
  • We visited Minnetonka Caves near St. Charles Idaho. We visited with our family over Labor Day weekend. It was very busy and we had to wait nearly an hour and a half before we got in. The caves are qui...  more »
  • Get here early so you don't have to wait as the groups they take are small. We we lucky to have Gabe as a guide and this young man was fantastic. He had a wonderful personality; was knowledgeable abou...  more »
  • This is a really fun place to visit if you are in the Bear Lake area. It's a short drive and there is no hike to the cave. However, once inside there are quite a few stairs to navigate so be aware. It's a beautiful cave with some interesting formations and worth a visit.
  • We had a great time at the cave. The stairs and trail were safe but it was still very natural looking. Our tour guide was FANTASTIC. (Jared) Couldn't have asked for a better experience.
  • Honestly, not the coolest cave in the world, but the ease of access, and a very friendly (and funny) guide added a star to a 4 star cave. I'm comparing the cave to Timp cave, which is a five star cave. The girl up front in this pic was our guide. If you're lucky you will get her to guide your visit.
  • Incredible! I'm not sure what is more amazing, the cave itself or the unbelievable workmanship of years ago to build walkways and stairs by hand and make this cave accessible for the rest of us. I loved the history that was shared by our young, excellent guide. Here's your free tip: it's really cool down there, even in the heat of summer. Wear pants and at least a sweatshirt. Gloves are nice too with all the cold wet handrails. This place is awesome and worth the wait. Get there early.
  • It was a really cool thing to see, and it wasn't an all day thing to go and do. The guides did a very good job too. I wasn't initially excited that they charged to do it (and that they didn't accept cards) but after seeing everything they did with the lights and other costs it makes sense. The experience was definitely worthwhile.

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