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Minnetonka Cave, Saint Charles

Categories: Caves, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 50+ reviews on the web
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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  • Do you hate light? Do you love stiff air? Do you love hanging out with bats and thousand-year-old formations? Are you interested in testing the limits of your claustrophobia? Well, then Minnetonka Cav...  read more »
  • This is an area that does not have a lot of traffic. Because of this you are able to totally enjoy the beauty of the cave. You are NOT rushed through so the next group can come through. It is worth th...  read more »
  • St. Charles, ID is a little place along Bear Lake, where one can take a turn-off to Minnetonka Caves, about a ten-mile drive. Yes, it's a bit windy as it the road wends its way up a rocky hillside to ...  read more »
  • Costs $8 per person to get in. You get a tour guide and a group of about 30 people. According to the guide the cave is about 1 mile long but sadly you only get to see half of it. They turn you around and walk you out the way you came which is awkward since you have to interrupt other tours to squeeze by. My main problem with this location is that the guides don't seem to have any training. It feels like they recruited a local high school kid to walk you through and tell you some really basic history and then spend a magority of time teaching you the nicknames they have given to the cave formations. Nicknames like "popcorn" and "cave bacon" (a repugnant name for a truly beautiful and delicate ribbon - like formation). This is fine but there is no followup with true names or scientific anecdotes so when it's over I'm feeling empty inside. The cave is great, the tour on the other hand is severely lacking. Also, this cave needs to be fully developed. This is a grievance I will take up with the forest service though. Cave tours are run by a private company.
  • Pretty awesome experience to go deep into the cave and learn about the history of the first explorers to the cave. Guided tours that have specific times and the unfortunate reason as to why it is 4 instead of 5 stars is they only accept cash or check, a bit annoying. Great formations inside the cave, a bit on the cooler (temp) side as expected. Overall a cool experience.
  • Dj was a great guide and it was a neat tour. They should add a room were they turn off the lights and turn on blacklights. $8 a tour. 30 in a group. No credit cards so cash or check only
  • Incredible experience. Kept kids attention. Learned a great deal. Our guide Kenzie was so experienced and did a great job leading such a large group. Can't wait to visit again!
  • Well worth the beautiful drive up the canyon. BE WARNED: You cannot purchase tickets in advance, and you can't buy tickets for the next day unless you have a giant group. Go up early in the morning and bring food and drinks for lunch. Weekends are much busier than weekdays. We went up on a Thursday at 9:30 and got out of the cave by lunchtime.
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