17 Mile Cave - Cave and Hike near Idaho Falls, Idaho
Idaho Falls,Idaho
43.5422030045, -112.354299311
16.1 miles W of Idaho Falls, Idaho
GPS: 43°32'31.9"N 112°21'15.5"W
Maps | Directions
State: Idaho

Cave and Hike

Seventeen Mile Cave is a lava tube, a cave created by the pocket in which lava used to flow and was left empty when the volcano became inactive. The cave gets its name from its location, just 17 miles outside of Idaho Falls. The entrance to the cave can be found a few hundred feet from the highway. The tunnel itself is a little less than ¼ mile long.

The floor of this cave is much smoother than most cave floors. The practically flat surface makes it easy to walk the length of the cave. The cave is not lit and, like most caves, is cool and humid throughout the year. Visitors should come to the cave prepared with flashlights and jackets.

The cave has one main tunnel that is easy to follow. There is no need to worry about getting lost. The end of the quarter mile trail is marked by two pools accompanied by a swampy area. It is difficult to get further than this area of the cave.  

Seventeen Mile Cave is a cave that receives a lot of traffic from the surrounding cities of Rexburg and Idaho Falls. This heavy traffic has caused the cave to have heavy graffiti covering most of its walls. Litter is also frequently found on the cave floor.

For those who live in Rexburg and Idaho Falls, Seventeen Mile Cave is easily accessible. This cave is easy to walk through and great for beginning spelunkers.

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Be courteous, informed, and prepared. Read trailhead guidelines, stay on the trail, and don’t feed the wildlife.

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  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel & camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Directions

From Idaho Falls, Idaho

  1. Head southwest on Park Ave toward W Broadway St (367 ft)
  2. Turn right at the 1st cross street onto W Broadway St
    Pass by Anytime Fitness (on the left in 1.7 mi)
    (5.2 mi)
  3. Continue onto Hwy 20 W (11.1 mi)
  4. Turn left (194 ft)
  5. Slight left
    Destination will be on the right
    (292 ft)
or

17-Mile Cave is located only a few hundred feet to the south of U.S. Highway 20, about 17 miles west of downtown Idaho Falls, ID. You’ll know you hit the cave when you see the sign on the side of the road entitled “Elephant Hunters.” Park either at the sign along the highway, or you can pull off a little farther along the dirt road that circles the cave.

From Rexburg, hop on Highway 20 going west, and drive for about 45 minutes. It’s pretty easy to find.

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