I think this was absolutely one of the most under-rated things we saw in Idaho. Everyone we talked to said it was cool but just kind of a lot of rocks. Out of everything in Idaho, this was probably one of my absolutely favorites things to explore. Upon arrival it really does seem to be desolate and even soft of post apocalyptic in some ways. The day we went it was actually pretty chilly so everyone was bundled in layers. Unfortunately the visitor center closed early that day so we didn't get the junior ranger badge but we will for sure be back!!
After a decent walk, we arrived at the first cave called Indian Tunnel. The opening is quit large with a steep metal set of stairs that takes you to the bottom.
Once we were at the bottom there is a massive opening in the ceiling with a hill of rocks just below it. Standing at the top looking down and seeing the earth above was one of the coolest experiences. The entire time we were here we talked about how dragons would like living here. Our oldest had the greatest time ever pointing out shapes that looked like dragons hiding in the rocks or where they would nest in the walls.
Once you come down from the first hill and opening at the entrance you can walk back into the cave where another opening is formed. The passthrough was pretty dark until the sun came up. It's hard to express how massive these caves are.
Once we got to the second opening we hiked to the top of the second hill to see the opening of the earth above us.
The exit is definitely a bit of a squeeze. The kids fit fine and us adults just needed to turn around a few times to come out. The backpack almost got stuck but luckily we were able to all come out without too much trouble.
From above we were able to see down below where we had hiked. Although my nerves didn't let the kids get too close to the edge. Those are solid layers but all the lines and cracks made me too nervous. Our oldest did say that he found a dragon egg that had obviously hatched and wanted his photo with it.
The way the earth has settled is absolutely stunning. I loved looking at the different colors of the layers that were so easily visible. Talk about a winning homeschool lesson! There is so much we took away from this trip!
I think this will go down as one of my favorite photos of me and the kids. It is such an accurate representation to their spirits. Our oldest boldly exploring with adventure breathing from his soul. Our littlest happy as a clam where ever he is as long as he's holding mamas hand and running.
The drive out there may be a bit long but it is absolutely a must see. The caves are so incredible and large beyond explanation. Often times it really did feel like our oldest imagination was going to come to live and dragons were come to creep from behind the rocks. There is so much stillness within the rocks that it soothes the soul in so many ways. Kid friendly, family friendly, adventure friendly!
Happy adventuring friends!