As it goes in Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho, there are a number of caves that you can go into!
These Craters of the Moon caves are lava tubes. This means that the caves were formed as a result of volcano activity and lava flowing through underground, which eventually formed the cave.
The Beauty Cave in Craters of the Moon is one such Idaho lava tube that you can walk into.
You’ll be climbing down over rocks to get into the cave. Once down there, you can take a walk further into the cave.
Share the Beauty Cave video with the people you’ll be traveling to Idaho with!
Walking the Caves Trail
You will find the Beauty Cave directly at one end of the Caves Trail.
Even if you decide that you’d rather not go into the cave, the Caves Trail is worthy as an above-the-ground activity as you can take a walk with lava fields all around you. Lava fields are areas where you can find a vast “field” of old lava flows.
And, know that any cave in Craters of the Moon that you walk into is considered to be a wild cave! This means that there are dangers associated with going into Beauty Cave.
That said, if you are reasonably physically active and as long as you are reasonably careful, watch your step, and bring along adequate lighting, then the Beauty Cave does not have any extreme risks.
But still, it’s nature, and things can happen unexpectedly. So, take care!
👆 Beauty Cave is a wild cave. Beware of the hazards. This includes unstable footing, falling rocks, low ceilings, and dark areas.
Officially, the National Park Service rates the difficulty of Beauty Cave as moderate.
You need a cave permit for Beauty Cave
You are supposed to get a Craters of the Moon cave permit before going into any cave in Craters of the Moon.
This means that you need a cave permit for Beauty Cave.
As of 2021, the cave permits are free and they are easy to get.
It is just a matter of stopping by the visitor center to get one after answering a few questions. Or, you can get one when at the Craters of the Moon park entry booth.
The purpose in requiring a cave permit is basically to quickly educate you about bats… and so you can help save the bats from disease.
There is a disease that has killed millions of bats.
This disease is thought to be spread by humans who bring in the disease after visiting different caves.
Bats are considered to be an important part of the ecosystem so it is said to be important to care about their well-being… and to try to prevent the death of bats by the millions.
Currently, this disease is not known to exist in Craters of the Moon, and the Craters of the Moon park rangers would like to keep it that way… and need your help!
So if you have been in any other cave in the past 15 years (yes really – I was asked about the past FIFTEEN YEARS by one park ranger!) then you are asked not to wear anything in a Craters of the Moon cave that you wore into another cave… and further it would be even better to not take anything into a Craters of the Moon cave that you took into another cave.
Likewise, after you have gone into a Craters of the Moon cave, you’re asked not to wear anything that you wore then into another cave anywhere in the world.
Take a full-body picture of yourself in front of Beauty Cave!
What to pack for Beauty Cave
You will want to be wearing good shoes for going into Beauty Cave.
Long pants can be a good idea for added layers to protect your skin in case you slip and fall onto the rocky surface.
You might want to wear a long sleeve shirt or a light jacket since the cave can be on the cooler side compared to the daytime outside temperature if you’re going in summer or fall.
And you will also need to bring a flashlight or headlamp.
Once you get away from the cave opening where there’s natural light, the cave is dark!
You will be walking into the darkness of the cave.
You are the only one providing the lighting.
Don’t rely on your cell phone light, although that is nice to have as a backup in case the batteries go out on your flashlight!
More below about a walk into the Beauty Cave!
I have a lot of 30-90 second Wyoming outdoor travel videos. A few of them might be on this page. If you can't see the video directly above, it might be because you have an ad blocker. Save the Grand Teton video playlist to watch on youtube later!
Plan more of your trip to Grand Teton and beyond:
- Easy-going one day in Yellowstone National Park
- Best places to visit in Wyoming with VIEWS!
- Driving from Devils Tower to Grand Teton
- Driving from Mount Rushmore to Grand Teton
- Driving from Chicago to Grand Teton
- Best places to visit in South Dakota with VIEWS!
👆 Explore the Grand Teton National Park map on google maps!
Also note: If you are using google maps to plan driving directions through Grand Teton National Park and it's showing you no driving directions exist, it is probably because of a closed road in the winter! If you are planning ahead for your spring or summer Wyoming national parks road trip, adjust the departure date (default is "leave now") to a random date in the summer!
See a lava tube in Idaho: Caves Trail to Beauty Cave
So there one main road that goes along the main attractions of Craters of the Moon National Monument.
And it’s along the main road that you’ll find a turn off of the main road for the caves area. You’ll see a sign for it. The Beauty Cave is located in this cave area.
So once you arrive at the Caves Trail parking lot, you can start the walk on Caves Trail! This is a paved path through lava fields.
Then after around 10 minutes of walking, maybe less, you’ll see the first cave opening. This is the Dewdrop Cave.
If you have time, then take a climb down into this cave. It’s a small area once you are in the cave. This can be your little intro to Craters of the Moon caving.
Then just past the Dewdrop Cave is where you’ll see an intersection where the trail goes in 2 directions. You’ll follow the sign to Beauty Cave.
Then, you will see the Boy Scout Cave directly along the side of the trail. This is another worthy cave to do. You can stop by before you go to Beauty Cave, or you can go on your way back.
Continuing the walk, the Caves Trail will lead straight to the cave entrance for Beauty Cave! Along this part of the trail, it’s basically a dead end at Beauty Cave.
If you walk directly from the Caves Trail parking lot to Beauty Cave, it might be around a 20 minute walk one way, maybe less.
And then you can climb down the rocks for a closer look at this lava tube in Craters of the Moon!
It’s a rocky entrance and you’ll be climbing over rocks to get down into the the cave.
You will be going DOWN to get into the Beauty Cave.
Once you are in the cave, you can continue walking deeper into the cave!
You will then come to the “end” of the cave where you will find a sign that signifies the end of the trail in Beauty Cave.
Then after you have taken a look around, you will walk back the same way you came to see daylight once again!
I spent around 15 minutes in total around the Beauty Cave.
Then, you can get back on the Caves Trail to hike to more lava tubes!
And that’s a bit about a stop to go into an Idaho lava tube at Craters of the Moon!
Plan more of your trip to Craters of the Moon: Best things to do in Craters of the Moon
Plan more of your trip to Idaho and Wyoming:
- Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon
- How to spend one day in Yellowstone
- Grand Teton to Yellowstone
- One day in Grand Teton
- Driving through Grand Teton
Explore more volcanoes around the US:
- Wild caving in a Hawaii lava tube
- Where to see old lava flows in Hawaii
- Black sand beaches in Hawaii (These beaches are black as a result of the volcano activity)
HAPPY GOING INTO THE BEAUTY CAVE LAVA TUBE!
Watch the videos to see Wyoming in action!If you see an activity you like, look in the description below the youtube video for the individual blog post about that specific activity!
Find things to do in Grand Teton National Park: Watch my Grand Teton videos on youtube
Find things to do in Yellowstone National Park: Watch my Yellowstone videos on youtube
Plan more of your trip to Grand Teton and beyond
- Best things to do in Grand Teton National Park
- The Grand Teton scenic loop drive
- Driving from Grand Teton to Yellowstone
- Best things to do in Yellowstone National Park
- How to spend 7 days in Wyoming
- Driving from Mount Rushmore to Grand Teton
- Things to do in Craters of the Moon National Monument
- National park in North Dakota