18 Awesome Caves In Utah To Explore In 2024

Utah is full of magical places to explore.

But if there’s one area that Utah bests every other state in the US, it’s in the number of interesting caves the Beehive State offers to be spelunked.

In this guide, we’ll detail Utah’s 18 best caves, many of which you’ll be able to explore without a crowd on any given day.

Scout Cave

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Scout Cave in Utah offers an accessible adventure for those without technical caving skills. 

This trail, a blend of easy and moderate difficulty, leads through lava fields, stream beds, and Navajo Sandstone formations. 

Starting from Johnson Canyon Trail in Snow Canyon, the path initially crosses a lava field and passes by a housing development, signaling you’re close to the cave. 

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The final stretch includes climbing stairs and a rocky path, ending in a rewarding view of St. George Valley.

Wild Horse Window

Wild Horse Window, located near Temple Mountain in the San Rafael Swell, is an easily accessible natural bridge perfect for family outings. 

The hike to this stunning formation is less than a mile each way, with minimal elevation gain. 

It typically takes 1-2 hours to reach. Though photos don’t do it justice, the journey and the bridge itself are enjoyable for all ages. 

Visitable year-round, it’s advisable to carry water, especially in summer.

Belly Of The Dragon Cave

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The Belly of the Dragon offers a unique hiking experience in the southern part of Utah. 

This cave is actually a former water drainage tunnel situated beneath Highway 89. Over time, the flow of water shaped this human-made tunnel into a dark and interesting passageway straight through the ground.

The name ‘Belly of the Dragon’ likely comes from how the walls inside look like the bones in a ribcage and the tunnel’s extended shape.

You can find this hike roughly 17 miles to the northwest of Kanab, Utah, near Mount Carmel Junction. It’s in a great spot, close to three famous national and state parks

There are plenty of other awesome spots to explore right around this cave, such as Zion National Park, the sandy caves of Kanab, and some truly stunning waterfalls in the area.

Mossy Cave Turret Arch

For a glimpse of Bryce Canyon National Park’s iconic hoodoos without the strenuous trek, Mossy Cave Trail is your best bet.

Starting from Route 12, this trail leads to a waterfall, a cave, and a prominent rock formation featuring arches and windows. 

The scenery on this hike into Mossy Cave is about as amazing as it gets, and is what many envision when they picture Utah in their minds.

The hike is fairly easy and enjoyable for families, with some slightly steep sections mitigated by man-made bridges to aid hikers.

Wind Cave

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The Wind Cave Hiking Trail, a favorite in Logan Canyon and situated about 5.3 miles from the Guinavah Campground, offers a moderate hike with stunning views along the way.

Various rest spots along the trail allow hikers to pause and take in the vistas. 

The trail ends atop the cave, where entering rewards you with a window-like view of the canyon and an open cave ceiling creating a natural skylight.

Bower Cave

Bower Cave, smaller yet equally fun as Mammoth Cave, is located nearby. 

Accessible via a short walk and a ladder descent, it requires flashlights due to limited natural light. 

The cave floor is rough and uneven, so comfortable footwear is recommended. 

Bower Cave is a habitat for bats, so visitors should remain quiet and respectful.

Hobbit Caves (Logan Canyon)

Near Cache Valley and Bear Lake, Hobbit Caves are an easy and enjoyable spot. 

Just steps from the parking area, these small caves are a delight for children, especially fans of “Lord of the Rings” as you could probably guess by the name.

The path to the caves includes crossing a river over makeshift boards, offering an enchanting walk beside a fish-filled river, and leading to a mystical, movie-setting-like area.

Moqui Cave

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Moqui Cave serves as both a significant tourist attraction and a museum just north of Kanab, along the picturesque Highway 89. 

Divided into three main sections, among the different areas you’ll get an oral history of the cave, a gallery of Garth Chamberlain’s art, and a room illuminated with backlight to accentuate the natural glow of fluorescent rocks and ancient minerals.

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This one is excellent for history buffs.

Duck Creek Ice Cave

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In Dixie National Forest’s Cedar Mountain, Duck Creek Ice Cave offers a cool adventure…quite literally.

A short hike leads to this small cavern, which maintains a chilly temperature year-round. 

The temperature inside the cave is generally 30-40 degrees cooler than outside, and during the colder months the floor is often solid ice.

Despite its size, the cave’s natural cold temperatures make it a unique and worthwhile visit.

Paris Ice Cave

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Paris Ice Cave in the Cache National Forest, famous for maintaining its ice year-round, is another unique cave that’s just over the Idaho/Utah border.

Spring visits require extra effort due to snow, but the cave rewards with stunning ice formations like stalagmites and stalactites. 

The hike involves elevation gain and traversing snowy and watery paths, making late spring the recommended time for a visit.

Timpanogos Cave

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One of the more popular of Utah’s hidden caves is Timpanogos Cave, which can actually get a bit crowded on the weekends.

Found within American Fork Canyon, Timpanogos Cave is celebrated for its unique colors and formations within its chambers. 

Visitors need to hike a steep 1.5-mile path to access the cave, with tours conducted under guidance and restricted to 20 individuals at a time. 

Typically, tours only run from the middle of May to October.  The hike’s not easy, but the scenery is beautiful.

These tours showcase the cave’s vibrant hues and geological wonders, including rare helictites, stalactites, stalagmites, and sparkling calcite deposits that are a real treat for the eyes.

Snow Canyon Lava Tubes

The Snow Canyon Lava Tubes are two large lava tube caves located in Snow Canyon State Park in St. George, which you’ll need to hike around .5 miles in on the Lava Flow Trail to reach.

Once to the Lava Tube caves, you are able to enter and explore both of them, but you’ll need to remember to bring a flashlight to do so.

The first Lava Tube is the bigger and more interesting cave to explore, but you’ll need to be careful as you descend down to the floor of the cave after walking just inside the rim.

You’ll very likely see bats when you shine your flashlight in this Lava Tube.

The second Lava Tube is just a bit further down the trail.

It’s smaller than the first, but it’s pretty easy to enter although you’ll need to do a bit of squeezing.  

There’s not as much room to explore in the smaller Lava Tube, but the inside is still quite interesting.

Meadow Lava Tubes

The Meadow Lava Tubes offer an exciting family adventure. 

Directly from the parking lot looking towards the far end, you’ll see a darkened tunnel that opens expansively and leads to caves.

The caves are highly accessible, requiring flashlights or smartphone lights for navigation. 

Being on public land, visitors are free to camp anywhere near the tubes. For a more seasoned adventure, camping inside the first cave is your best bet to avoid the wind.

Bloomington Cave

As the largest known cave within the St. George Field Office’s jurisdiction, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bloomington Cave is a vast tectonic cave featuring at least six discernible levels and a complex network of narrow passageways. 

Spanning a surveyed 1.43 miles and reaching depths of 240 feet, it ranks as Utah’s fifth longest cave. 

Visitors keen on exploring this lengthy and extraordinary cave must obtain a permit from the St. George Field Office, with daily access limited to three groups of no more than 10 individuals each. 

It’s highly-recommended to come prepared with appropriate gear, including three hands-free light sources and a helmet.

Patsy’s Mine

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Patsy’s Mine offers an enjoyable family hike leading to an old mine. 

The trail runs along foothills, providing views of a lake and Antelope Island. 

It’s a bit steep, but the trek is made interesting by potential wildlife sightings and a popular ‘Lion King’ style rock for photo ops. 

At the mine, exploring the dark tunnels requires flashlights. The main tunnel leads to various rooms, making for an exciting exploration.

Ledgemere Cave

Ledgemere Cave is a family-friendly cave with a deceivingly small entrance. 

Once inside, the cave opens up, allowing for comfortable exploration. 

It’s an easy cave for children, but remember to bring flashlights and waterproof shoes for a safe and enjoyable adventure.

Garner Cave

Garner Cave is an ideal destination for a short hike and climb in Utah. 

The trail becomes rocky and includes a section with a rope for assistance. Inside, there’s a main passage and smaller side passages to explore. 

Unfortunately, the cave has some graffiti and broken formations, so visitors are encouraged to help preserve its natural state by removing any trash they find.

Mammoth Cave

Mammoth Cave, one of Utah’s largest lava tubes, features over 2,200 feet of passages and spans around a quarter of a mile in Mammoth Cave National Park.

Visitors enter by climbing under a gate, navigating through pitch darkness, making high-quality flashlights essential. 

The cave consists of four main chambers, starting with a spacious area and progressively narrowing towards the exit.

Final Word

Each of these caves offer different allures, but all are pretty awesome in their own ways.

Just be sure that you bring along the necessary gear, clothing and shoes depending upon which one you choose.