SHOSHONE ICE CAVES

1561 ID-75

(208) 886-2058

Status: Natural Wonder – Lava Tubes; Open Seasonally

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History

The ice cave was formed by the underground eruptions that created the Black Butte Crater Lava Field.

They were discovered by a boy in the 19th century who was looking for a lost goat.

People immediately began harvesting the ice out of the cave. Being human, they over harvested the ice creating openings at the far end of the lava tube which broke the fragile ecosystem.

The ice began to melt as warm air could now move through the caves. By the 1940’s the ice cave was nearly completely destroyed.

In the 1950’s the cave was bought by Russell Robinson who sealed up the holes the warm air flow was using. The ice returned, and the caves were saved for future generations.

The cave is a 1,000 feet long (305 metres) and temperatures stay between 24 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 and 0.5 degrees Celsius) all year long. They provide a wonderful escape from the summer heat; it is even recommended to bring a hoodie or sweater with you even on the hottest summer days.

US Olympic skaters have even practiced in the caves.

Visitors walk along a wooden bridge over the ice on a tour that lasts between 20-30 minutes.

 

Paranormal Activity

Both staff and visitors have reported hearing disembodied voices and heavy phantom footsteps in the cave.

Many people believe it to be the ghost of a cave bear that died in the caves in prehistoric times. Not sure exactly how a cave bear – even a ghost cave bear – speaks and a historical fact is conveniently put aside; there were no cave bears in North America, only in what is now Europe.

The more believable legend is that a Native American Princess was buried in the cave. And she may not be the only person buried in the caves; there are numerous reports of multiple shadow figures moving around behind the ice in the cave.

The Princess is said to be called Edahow and she calls out to anyone in the cave to free her body from it’s ice bound prison.