Santaquin Meadows Cave

We found this natural cave a few years before the fire burnt most of Santaquin mountain (I don't recall the year). Its a fairly tight squeeze in, but opens up to an oval shaped pit about 12'x8'. Our first time there it was only 10 feet down from the entrance to the dirt floor. We began digging it out and were very surprised that the dirt was very light and uncompacted. As we got down about 15' there was a large boulder in the way and we could not continue any farther. The following year the mountain burnt right down to these ledges. It appears that the cave was discovered and a new crew completed the excavation for us. We returned the following year to find our cave completely empty.

Looking up at the skylight.

When we began excavating the dirt level was about where the upper brace logs are now.

The walls are covered in a thick layer of flowstone.

Unfortunately there was some significant damage done by the unknown excavators.

Grandpa's Cave

Grandpa's Cave could have been a very interesting hole until it was dug into by the local gravel pit company and destroyed.

This is looking at the original entrance. It is almost perfectly round and has a "Blowhole" type feeling to it.

This is the new entrance made by the mining company.

Looking up at the original entrance from within.

This is the back of the tunnel where the natural skylight is. This room is nearly 30 feet tall and 40 feet wide. We were unable to tell if this was a natural room that they broke into, or if it was completely man made. There were signs that this cave could have continued on from this point, but with the heavy excavating, any chances have been long since destroyed.

Roadside Cave

This cave is directly on the trail leading up Rock Canyon and is filled in about 15' down with breakdown. There is some old flowstone inside, but not much to see. I would like to spend some time cleaning out the bottom of it to see where it could go.

Looking up at the small skylight.

Red Baron

After a 2 hour hike of mostly scrambling, access to this cleft is gained by a short rappel off a 200' cliff.

The entry was excavated by the two original explorers in 1972 and is quite tight.

The entry passage is gated to protect the cave's formations.

Spee and Zimmie on "The Scenic Loop".

Helectites are plentiful!

Calcified roots in "Upper Walking Passage".

Brandon Kowallis and Zimmie in the "Lower Walking Passage".

A giant coat hanger of a Helectite in the "Lower Walking Passage".

Bright Green glowing formations in the "Upper Walking Passage".

Calcified Roots in "Slip n' Slide Passage".

What a beautiful cave!

Columbine Pit

Columbine is another Soapstone Basin cave. It is a 40' drop to a sloping tunnel that dead ends about 30' back.

Columbine is located at the back of a large meadow. It can be seen from the road near the cliffs overlooking Iron Mine Creek.


Gold Bar Cave

Gold Bar Cave is probably the shollowest cave in the Soapstone Basin area at only 27 ft deep and 125 feet long. It is fairly unstable inside with a lot of loose boulders and debris.

Stink Pit

Stink Pit does not really stink, but apparently did when it was named. The entrance is down climbable and then opens up to a 30' dia. x30' high room. A crawl leads to a 20' dia. room than is barely tall enough to crawl through, but has some beautiful swirling patterns throughout the rock. This is another Soapstone Basin cave.


Gollum's Cave

This cave was one of my favorites until it was cemented shut from this tragic incident a few years ago.

Deseret Morning News
The bodies of four hikers trapped in a small cave, just south of the "Y" on Y Mountain, were found Thursday morning after rescue crews pumped out enough icy water to safely enter the cave and search.Three of the bodies were found around 10:45 a.m. in the second of two caves, according to Karen Mayne, public information officer for the Provo Police Department.The first body, that of a 19-year-old woman, was found almost an hour earlier. She had been trapped in a small underwater tunnel leading to the second cave.The four hikers ranged in age from 19 to 28. The identities of the victims are being held, pending notification of next of kin.Rescuers were unsure whether the hikers died form drowning or lack of oxygen. A medical examiner was on scene all morning and was investigating.A group of five hikers started out early Thursday morning, entering the cave around 4:30 a.m., Mayne said. All but one of the hikers entered, one at a time, through a narrow tunnel and came into a larger opening. From that opening the hikers had to go under water through a small narrow tunnel to get to the second cave.Rescue crews had to force oxygen into the second cave, and pump water out of it, before they could enter.Steve Hundley, the hiker who remained outside the cave, first notified police around 6:30 a.m. when his friends did not return.Hundley, age 20, of Provo, said he would also have entered the cave but didn't because he had to work. He said he had been in the cave a few times before and said the water was extremely cold.

This is what the entrance looks like now. Filled with cement.

The entrance before it was cemented in.

Just inside the entrance is a crystal clear pool of spring water, only a foot or so deep.

This is the hole int the floor that leads to the underwater passage. After 15 minutes of "no you go first" one of us finally lowered ourselves down in and made our way to the submerged room.

Emerging from the submerged water tunnel.

The back room appears to be a natural cave, although the tunnel to it is definitely cut.

Hush Hush Cave

A dusty cave, with a 90 foot entrance rappel and some interesting mining artifacts (old ladders mostly). Some recommend wearing a mask because of all the dust and the rat poop. There's some dusty cave popcorn, and some calcite.