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Monday, July 11, 2011

The Niter Ice Cave

One afternoon of our family reunion, the little one needed a nap but wasn't getting it at camp and my wife's allergies were flaring up because we were downwind from a lawn getting mowed.  Our best option was to take a drive, so we hopped in the car and drove over to Grace to look for the ice cave. 
The drive did wonders for all 3 of us.  My wife's allergies cleared up, the little one got to sleep, and I got to have a new thing to see.
There's a sign near the cave entrance that tells the story of a young lady who's family lived in the area that stored their perishable items in the cave.  They'd send her alone down into the cave to get the milk.  It was pretty cool to read about.  After reading the sign, we walked over to the entrance.  There were lots of barn swallows flitting about as we approached.  We saw their nests at the top of the cave just inside the entrance. 

 The cave was muddy with lots of dirt inside it.  It caked all over our shoes as we explored the lava tube. 
 We also found some ice further back inside.  Early July and there was still ice in there- amazing!
We pushed further and further into the ice cave.  The mud on the floor went from 3 inches of goop down to 1/2 inch of muddy goop.  Some places there were huge piles of rock from collapsed parts of the ceiling.  We went in deeper.  The light at the entrance was no longer visible.  Finally we reached a point where the ceiling got a lot lower and decided to turn around.  On the way out we saw several different instances of graffiti.  The oldest group was nearly 100 years old.  It was cool to see something from that long ago
 We also saw some more recent tagging done with spraypaint. 
Finally we saw the light in the distance slowly getting bigger.  As we stepped out of the cave, it was amazing to feel the warm air once again.  The cave is just under 1/2 mile long.  I think it would be fun to camp in the cave.

Nearest City: Grace, ID
Location: Ice Cave Road, Grace,ID
Time Needed: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Kid Friendly: Mostly
Additional Info:

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