Took the scouts camping this weekend. We went to Government Cave, which is almost exactly 50 miles West of Blackfoot. I'd been there once before, on my bike, but I had some directions and gps coordinates and was meeting another group there but that was 5 years ago. In the daylight. We left Friday in the dark, and it took us a while to get there. Lots of rough desert road and we could only go about 10 mph for the last several miles. With a little luck, a map, a gps that kept telling us to turn around, and spotty cell / data service, we eventually found it.
Just a hole in the otherwise pretty flat ground. It's a really cool cave though- It drops about a hundred feet over bouldery rock falls and levels out. There are two wings- the right fork only goes in a couple hundred feet and tapers off to nothing. It's got a great floor though, so thats where we set up camp.
We were intruding on lots of these guys, but they were OUT. Don't think they'll be moving until spring.
Looking back up the cave towards the rock fall / entrance. Its a lava tube cave- formed thousands of years ago from molten lava flowing through the ground like an underground river.
About 4 in the morning, we had a visitor. This little (big) guy decided to go on a chip run and woke us up crunching away on the potato chips. Wasn't scared of anything, either!
Tried to take a bite out of the boot, then mustve smelled my granola bars 'cause he headed over to me-
Stuck his head in that yellow bag about 6 inches from my face and wouldn't leave for anything until I popped him one on the backside.
Morning finally came, although you wouldn't know it!
Sunrise on the desert.
It was CHILLY...
Fried up some of Kenny's Ca-ca for breakfast and wrapped em up for breakfast burritos.
After breakfast, it was time to head back in and explore the LONG fork of the cave.
So you head back in there a ways down the left fork, and you come to this:
Once you get through this little bottle neck (only about 10 feet long) it opens WAY up. Hard to see but I'm guessing its 30 feet tall through a long portion of it.
You get to go up to lava spills which are kind of cool.
At the very back is a guest book, and the cave just kinda ends. Lots of dirt back there.
Headed back out. This is at the top of the back lava spill, with a big cavern at the bottom.
Planking, of all places...
Other lava spill. Looks like concrete!
Back to the front, on the way up. Can finally see daylight at the top of the rock falls!
All present and accounted for, time to head home!
Great trip. Perfect for "winter" camping- it was CHILLY in the morning, but in the cave we stayed nice and warm. Guessing it was around 50 degrees. Can't wait to go back next year!