Updated: February 11, 2019
This list is intended for responsible caving in the Northern Rockies of the United States and Canada, including the US states of Idaho (ID), Montana (MT), and Wyoming (WY) and the Canadian Provinces of Alberta (AB) and British Columbia (BC). The caves noted here are considered either closed or special access for a variety of reasons: private property, endangered species, bat hibernacula, permit/pass access, etc. Landowner relations are an important part of keeping caves open and accessible to the caving community. Please be respectful and avoid accessing any of these caves or properties without the proper permission and/or permits.
This list does not include every closed cave in the Northern Rockies. It is compiled and updated to the best of our knowledge. Contact local cavers for information about caves in your area before attempting to visit them. We welcome you to pass this list along to others—but please keep it intact. Your feedback and help is an important part in maintaining the accuracy of this information. Please CONTACT US with any updates, questions, suggestions, or concerns.
The following caves are considered closed and should be avoided at all times. Please go somewhere else.
- Blacktail Ranch Cave (MT-LEW)
- Castle Mountain Crystal Cave (MT-MEA)
- Cadomin Cave (AB)
- Flint Cave (MT-CAS)
- French Creek Cave (MT-BEA)
- Nakumi Cave (AB)
- Procrastination Pot (AB)
- Ram’s Horn Cave (MT-MEA)
- Shield Trap Cave (MT-CRB)
- Wapiabi Cave (AB)
Seasonal Voluntary Closures
The following caves are seasonally voluntarily closed due to wildlife or biological significance between November 1st and April 1st. Additionally caves with an asterisk are voluntarily closed through July 31st. Please go somewhere else!
- Columbia Mountain Cave (MT-FLA)
- Four Eared Bat Cave* (MT-CRB)
- Lick Cave (MT-LAK)
- Lick Creek Cave (MT-CAS)
- Little Ice Cave (MT-CRB)
- Mill Creek Crystal Cave (MT-PAR)
- Ophir Cave (MT-LEW)
- Old Dry Wolf Station Cave (MT-JUD)
- Shell Creek Cave (MT-MAD)
- Tate-Poetter Cave (MT-FER)
- Toeckes Cave* (MT-BRO)
- Wagner’s Cave (MT-GRA)
- Whitaker Sink (MT-JUD)
Special Access Caves
- Algal Cave (MT-FLA) – Gated. GNP caving permit required.
- Azure Cave (MT-PHI) – Gated. Access with BLM permission only
- Big Horn Caverns (WY-BIG) – Gated. Key must be obtained from NPS in Lovell, WY.
- Castleguard Cave (AB) – PC caving permit required.
- Great Expectations (WY-BIG) –NSS permit required.
- Horsethief Cave (WY-BIG) – Gated. Key must be obtained from NPS in Lovell, WY.
- Lewis and Clark Caverns (MT-JEF) – Commercial cave managed by MSP. Non-commercial access through MSP permission only
- Mystery Cave (MT-CAR) – Gated. access with BLM permission only
- Natural Trap Cave (WY-BIG) – Gated. BLM permission required.
- New Year Crystal Cave (MT-FER) – Gated. BLM permission required.
- Poia Lake Cave (MT-GLA) – GNP caving permit required.
- Pi’tamakan Cave (MT-GLA) – GNP caving permit required.
- Raspberry Rising (AB) – PC caving permit required.
- South Fork Cave (MT-JUD) – Gated. USFS permission required.
- Yakinikak Creek Cave #1 (MT-FLA) – Gated. Key can be obtained from USFS in Hungry Horse.
- Zoo Cave (MT-GLA) – GNP caving permit required.
Glacier National Park
A caving permit is required to visit any cave in Glacier National Park. Caving permits can be obtained (for free) from any Backcountry Office in the park. https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm
Banff, Yoho and Jasper National Parks
A caving permit is required to visit any cave on land managed by Parks Canada. For more information on engaging Parks Canada, contact the Alberta Speleological Society @ http://www.caving.ab.ca
BLM – Bureau of Land Management
GNP – Glacier National Park
MSP – Montana State Parks
PC – Parks Canada
NPS – National Park Service
NSS—National Speleological Society
USFWS—U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
WNS—White Nose Syndrome