Sagebrush Flat Cave

This is all that is left of Sagebrush Flat Cave. A backhoe operator tore into it in the 70's trying to open it up larger, but only managed to cave it in. From what I have heard is was a fairly large cave.

You can still feel some cold air coming out of the rocks here, indicating that the cave cannot be too far beneath. I you would like to start digging on this one let me know and I will send you the coordinates. Just let me know when you open it. ;)

Thunder Shower Cave

Thundershower Cave got its name by a group who hid inside to escape a thunder storm. It is another Tony Grove cave that has some nice formations and a large room. This cave is still being surveyed, and a few small passages are being pushed to see if this one will keep going and maybe be the next Main Drain.

The Entrance.

Photo Courtesy Brandon Kowallis, Copyright 2008.

Photo Courtesy Brandon Kowallis, Copyright 2008.

Photo courtesy Brandon Kowallis, Copyright 2008.

Photo Courtesy Brandon Kowallis, Copyright 2008.

Neffs Cave

Neffs Cave is the second deepest cave in the state at 1,165 feet deep with 4,122 feet of mapped passages. We were able to do Neffs Cave a year or so ago, and it was one of the tougher ones I have ever done. Due to the agreement we signed to go in the cave, we are not able to post pictures of it here, but you can go to the timp grotto site and read a full historical description of the discovery and exploration of what was Utahs deepest cave until Main Drain was discovered and fully explored. Neffs Cave should not be atempted by novice cavers. There are several sketchy downclimbs that are usually wet, as well as a few places to get stuck if you take the wrong turn. While this is a great adventure, I don't recommend going unless you are up for the challenge.

Here is a link to the plan view of the cave.

Here is a link to the profile view of the cave.

Snowcone Cave

Snowcone is one of the many small caves in the Tony Grove area.

Map Courtesy Brandon Kowallis

The snowcone in front of the entry.

Looking into the entry from on top of the snowcone. You can see the ledge in the back left that takes you into another large room a few feet back.

Toothbrush Cave

Toothbrush was just recently opened by flooding from Little Brush Creek. The cave goes back about 20-30 feet, then slopes down in the 'funnel room', to the 'funnel pit', which drops about 40 feet. We're planning on rappelling down in the pit the next time we visit the cave. About 900 feet of the cave has been explored so far, with more potential digging, and a possible dig that would connect Toothbrush to Little Brush Creek Cave. Cave map can be found on Jon Jasper's website:


Main Drain

Main Drain is the 11th deepest cave in the nation, and the deepest in the state beating Neff's Cave by almost 100'. This was by far the coolest cave we have ever done, but also the most brutally painful! The 38 degree water and the -1,227 vertical feet make for a torturous ascent out. The slow 4+hrs down was an incredibly fun and awesome experience, but the 6+ hrs getting out nearly killed us. This is not a cave for the beginner, and should only be attempted after many hours of training, and with someone very familiar with the passages. Thanks again to Brandon Kowallis for being our guide and putting up with some Main Drain newbies.

Tony Grove is a beautiful area to hike in ! The hike to Main Drain takes about an hour and is about 1000' vertical ft.

The Entrance. 0'

Judd Zimmerman and Brandon Kowallis (aka - The Sunshine Boys) gearing up just outside the entrance.

Judd headed in.

Shane Coles looking up from the bottom of the entrance pit (-225') , with the huge snow pile behind.

Brandon snapped this incredible picture looking up at me on rope in Frayed Knot Falls Pit (-770). The light at the top is Shane Coles waiting to descend. (Image courtesy Brandon Kowallis, copyright 2008)

These were the biggest cave pearls I have ever seen! Beautiful! You can read about how they form here

Shane Coles getting off rope at the bottom of one of the smaller rappels in Waterfall Canyon (-500').

Working our way through "Caviar Canyon" (-400').

Judd standing on the top ledge of Frayed Knot Falls Pit (-550).

Shane at the top of "Frayed Knot Falls Pit"

Brandon headed into Kilo Pit. (-875')

Draperies in the bore hole that is "Overflow Hall" (-1,170')

There are several pockets of cave pearls throughout the lower portions, which give "Caviar Canyon" its name.

Standing in front of the Terminal Sump at -1,227' (left to right) Shane Coles, Spencer Coles, and Judd Zimmerman. The 11th, 12th, and 13th people ever to reach the bottom of Main Drain!

Photo courtesy Brandon Kowallis, copyright 2005.

What a great accomplishment this was for us! I think I speak for all of us when I say WE WILL NEVER DO IT AGAIN! ...... Unless we do.

Now for a little perspective...
This is a picture my brother took from the ovservation deck of the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). It is 1,353 feet above the ground. That puts this view looking down only 126' higher the the depth of Main Drain. Like I said... a little perspective.

Now imagine raising this platform five times higher than it currently is and you would roughly have the depth of Krubera Cave. 6,824' deep! This one is not in Utah, but is is no my to do list. :)