Spring Cave

Useful Information

Location: White River National Forest, in the South Fork Valley.
Open: At the moment closed due to White Nose Syndrome.
No restrictions.
Fee: At the moment closed due to White Nose Syndrome.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


DEC-1891 discovered by a prospector named Hooper.
1920s cave signposted by the White River National Forest.
1931 first map by ranger Earl Ericson.
NOV-1962 survey by Mauck Briedis and Stephan Kaeds, Colorado School of Mines Grotto.
1975 first cave dive.
SEP-2008 survey by BigDaddyMaps.com.


Spring Cave is a wild cave of the kind sacrifice cave. This means the cave is publicly known and visited by many people who like cave exploring as a sport. The down side is the heavy vandalism and littering for over 90 years now.

Spring Cave has two entrances, both at the end of Spring Cave Trail. The first is a 2 m high passage leading to a continuous descend to the cave river. A deeper drop in the middle is equipped with a permanent ladder. The cave is a river cave and in spring it may be inaccessible because of high water levels. The level of the river rises and falls throughout the year, depending on the weather. It can even reach the cave entrance in spring after snow melt.

River caves are actually rather dangerous, because floods may happen after heavy rains outside, unnoticed by the cavers. We were astonished not read such warnings on the various websites about this cave. It seems not to be a problem here. Vandalism on the other side is definitely a problem. Probably the locals think, rising water is a good solution to vandalism...

This cave is a true wild cave, despite the high numbers of visitors and the sacrifice cave status. There are numerous drops, ropes are required. There is water in the passages and it is essential to plan the visit with the weather forecast in mind. It is possible to stay at the South Fork Campground for a fee (USD 15 per car per night, 2011). From here it is a short, steep walk to the cave (1 km, 100 m higher). Please accomplish the basic caving rules!