Civil Defense Caves Idaho

Submitted By: curnbryo on 6 Jun 2006

Latitude: 44.158549
Longitude: -111.779082
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.

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Caving / Spelunking - Rated a 4 by 4 user(s)Rated a 4 by 4 user(s)Rated a 4 by 4 user(s)Rated a 4 by 4 user(s) (4)

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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.

Caving / Spelunking Reviews for Civil Defense Caves Idaho
Great place to take the friends. Make sure to bring lights and coats.

area is closed from Oct. through april because of the bat habitate. North passage contains that bats.

Not real caving, but perfect for beginners. I plan on taking my young kids to see if they like it.

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.

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Civil Defense Caves Exit


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