Civil Defense Caves
Maps | Directions
The caves are large lava tubes. The name comes from the cold war era when they were anticipated as a safe area in the case of an attack. The entrance is pretty bouldery and does require a small amount of agility. Once in, it's easy enough for even little kids. Off the entrance, there are two main tubes. The right is pretty easy, the left is a little more difficult but does have bats. The right tube is mostly a flat gravely floor with a very large arched ceiling with rocks and boulders here and there. There's plenty of room to run around. College kids often play glow in the dark tag and other similar night games out here. It's pretty well patroled due to the high interest. At the end is a little more like caverns that you can crawl around through.
The caves are pretty cold year round. You're even likely to find some ice near the entrance. You'll want to bring jackets, lights, and good footwear. Sadly there is quite a bit of broken glass throughout the caves.
The dirt road up to the caves is very rocky and often washed out. You probably want to drive something with pretty good clearance.
The caves are closed October through April to protect the bat habitat.
From Rexburg, Idaho
- Head north on S 3rd W toward W 1st S (0.2 mi)
- Turn left onto ID-33 W (0.9 mi)
- Turn right to merge onto US-20 E toward St Anthony (3.1 mi)
- Take exit 337 toward N Rexburg (0.3 mi)
- Turn left onto N Salem Rd (8.5 mi)
- Continue onto N 1900 E/Red RdContinue to follow Red Rd(8.7 mi)
- Turn right onto Crooked Rd (3.8 mi)
- Turn leftDestination will be on the right(1.0 mi)
From Rexburg go North on the Salem Highway about 16.5 miles. Drive past the sand dunes then on the right side of the road there will be a yellow cairn (pile of rocks) indicating the turn off. It's about five miles to the caves from the turn off. On the dirt road you will come to a fork in the road. Make sure you stay left.
Other Caves Nearby
Rexburg Area Ice Caves
Rexburg, Idaho6.4 miles N
Not to be mistaken with the Civil Defense Caves (which are near by), the Ice Caves are about an hour North outside of Rexburg. The Ice Caves were originally formed as lava tubes. Over the years...Cave 0.6-2.0 mi
North Menan Butte ('R' Mountain)
Menan, Idaho27.7 miles SW
The North Menan Butte is more commonly known to the locals and college students as R Mountain. Many kids know it better as Ou'R' Mountain. The butte is a rare and unique geological area and provides...Camp, Cave, Hike