Civil Defense Caves Idaho

Submitted By: curnbryo on 6 Jun 2006
GPS Coordinates of Civil Defense Caves
Latitude: 44.158549
Longitude: -111.779082






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Directions to Civil Defense Caves
From Rexburg go North on the Salem Highway about 16.5 miles from the north Rexburg interchange. On the right side of the road there will be a yellow cairn (pile of rocks) indicating the turn off (See Photos). Turn right there. 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.

Caving / Spelunking Caving / Spelunking - Rated 4 by 5 user(s)Rated 4 by 5 user(s)Rated 4 by 5 user(s)Rated 4 by 5 user(s) (Rated 4 out of 5 from 5 reviews)

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Large lava tubes. It is cold inside the caves, even in the middle of summer you'll need a coat. From the entrance the cave heads in two different directions. The cave is pretty large if you go the easy route. The other route has been dubbed "Fat Man's Misery".

The Civil Defense Caves get there name from the Cold War era. Caves were valuable in eyes of civil defense because they could be used for several different purposes including: storage or materials, natural bomb shelters, and military prisons. Even though the Civil Defense Caves were never really used for defense, (nor was the idea really that practical), it's still a fun place to go and pretend that a nuke is going off outside. By the way, there are now cement markers like headstones that mark the way, one off the main road and the other at the fork.

Caving / Spelunking Reviews for Civil Defense Caves Idaho
Great place to take the friends. Make sure to bring lights and coats.
-joh04032 Rating: 5 of 5

area is closed from Oct. through april because of the bat habitate. North passage contains that bats.
-blakemcm Rating: 5 of 5

Not real caving, but perfect for beginners. I plan on taking my young kids to see if they like it.
-doclouie Rating: 3 of 5

I have not been out to the caves in years and had a hard time finding the roads as the signs no longer exists so here are some specific directions:

The first right off the main road is about 16.8 miles up North Salem Road, this is also the North Rexburg exit, from the I-20 interstate at N 44°06.273' W 111°48.285'.

The next turn, a left turn, is about 3.7 miles from the first turn off and is located at N 44°08.656' W 111°45.803'.

Go one more mile or 4.7 miles from the main road and you will arrive at the cave. N 44°09.326' W 111°46.551'.

The right fork of the cave is perfect for little ones as my 2 year old had no problem making it through. Enjoy and have fun.
-doclouie Rating: 3 of 5

The road out is in extremely bad condition DO NOT go unless you have a truck/suv normal sedans with minimal clearance will get stuck and have the undercarriage scraped by rocks. It is possible but just don't. The cave is located in a little canyon that goes maybe a 1/4 mile. the cave is on the far right side. There are some cool sights along the canyon and a couple little caves. also this is not a path these are a bunch of big rocks that you will be climbing over prepare accordingly.
-joxborro Rating: 4 of 5

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Pictures of Civil Defense Caves

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Civil Defense Caves Exit


End of the Cave

another tunnel

This is the entrance to the Civil Defense Caves just north of Rexburg