Thistle Train Tunnel

I first went into this cave entrance when I was a teenager and just returned this past week. As I have been told this is an old train tunnel that was blasted and never used but I have not been able to find any resources online to verify that information. Although this is not officially a cave but rather a tunnel I thought that it was interesting enough to post.

Once you drop in the small opening and climb down the filled in shaft it becomes apparent that this was intended for a train tunnel because of it's size. I estimate that this tunnel stretches at least 300' to the base of the fill at the back of the tunnel.

Looking back toward the entry.

The back of the passage is filled in. Perhaps the tunnel continued even further beyond this fill.

Peekaboo River Cave

This cave has a good amount of water through it. The river flows in and out of the cave through several different openings which is how the cave gets its name. Just inside the entrance the river was about 3' deep, but you can make your way around it to the left is you want to explore this 50' long passage.

The main entry into the cave system is located just behind this rock.

Looking back into the main passage.

Another entry along the river.

Some of the water goes back underground at this point.

This is another opening where you can see the river flowing through the cave system.

Honeycomb Cave

We did not have the time to drop this one, but we definitely will next time we are in the area.

Wish Pit

This pit has well formed walls and looks as if it could continue much further, but about 25 feet down it is filled with breakdown and usually some snow.

I guess we will just have to keep wishing.

Foreman Cave/Mine

Foreman Cave is known to many treasure hunters since it was shown in George Thompson's book "Faded Footprints" about Utah's lost gold and treasures. While this is not originally a mine, this natural cave has been mined and more recently someone has put in a lot of effort to clean out the debris from the bottom of the pit.

This is the upper entry.

This is taken from just inside the lower entrance. The upper one is directly above the square hole in the framed platform.

Shane climbed down the old,wet and rotting timber with the aid of a hand line to investigate further. Where Shane is standing is about a 10' pit approximately 15' across. At the bottom of that pit is a short passage that is filled with water. Perhaps on a dryer year we could get to see the extent of this one.

White Collar Cave

For years we have been intrigued by the possible caves high in the cliffs above this rugged High Uintah canyon. We finally decided to make the effort and do a little exploring. Since these caves were located near the top of the canyon we decided it would be more effective to drop in from above and reduce the hours of hiking required from below.
Judd and Shane searching the top of the cliffs for the best route down.

 Spee and Zimmie heading out along the ridge at about 10,800'.

We were able to locate a relatively safe chute to descend. Pictures never quite do the angle justice. This was a very steep and loose scree slope that became dangerous at times to descend. Our heavier than usual packs made the descent even more difficult. We found it best to spread out to avoid any accidental rock fall (Shane Coles right middle).

We reached our destination. One of the most majestic cave entrances I have ever seen.

When we came around the corner my first word was "Wow"!

Zimmie (Judd) making progress but still a lot further to go.

As we attempted the climb we quickly found that both the red and grey colored limestone were extremely crumbly and unsafe and that we could not place any anchors in the cliff for climbing protection. The white formation around the cave is a brittle calcite spar which also limited our ability to gain entrance to the cave. After some discussion it was determined that it was not worth the risk of a fall and that we would return with an array of pitons to bash into the vertical "crack" up the center of the cave entrance at a later date.

A nice little 'artifact' right where we found it. A .44 Magnum cartridge.

This descent from the cave was the most difficult part. Never stable footing which made for a very tiring exit.

Just down the canyon there are several other smaller but similar cave formations that still require investigation.


We finally made it back up to explore this cave. Shane lead the climb into the cave by hammering pitons in the crack and made his way up and into the large hole. This took some time as the piton placement into the brittle rock was less than favorable. The belay was situated well away from the opening as we knew there would be considerable rockfall. However, many of the falling rocks seemed to head straight toward Spencer anyway as he belayed.

As Shane successfully reached the entry he made his way towards the back to find that it pinched down to a passage filled with dirt. Although the dirt is very light and easy to dig, it would require a good effort to clean it out.

At the back of this cave, to my dismay, I found a wire cable with a rusty quick link attached. Unfortunately someone had beaten us here. By the rusty condition of the quick link it looked like they had beaten us by more than a few years. It did, however, make for a quick and easy rappel point. I added my own new quick link, tested the anchor and began my descent, pulling the pitons as I went. I was unable to retrieve one lost arrow piton which, along with the new link I left behind, leaves our mark for the next indivuduals who too decide that they have to know where this cave goes. (Shane)
Although this cave did not go a far as we were hoping this had to be done. We had to see it for ourselves. It made for a most excellent adventure and that's what it's about anyway.

As a side note, the .44 mag round that I found in the cliff on our last trip I found it again. Only this time it was in the rock slide at the base of the cliff. It seems that the only way that it could have come out of it's place was for it to be removed by someone. I picked up the round and placed it back in it's home. (Shane)

8 foot pit

The name says it all. This is an 8' deep pit.

A log is stuck down in the hole to aid in the climb in and out if you feel up to it.

Hobbit Cave

This is a short cave with only a few helectities inside, but it is worth exploring if you are up by Step Up and Stone Plug caves.

Map courtesy of Rodney Horrocks.


Surprise Cave

This one goes back only about 35 feet then turns left into a tight dig. With some work this one could be lengthened some more. You never know when these tubes will open up to something big.

Map courtesy of Rodney Horrocks.


Herron's Hope

Herron's Hope is the largest of the Little Rock Canyon caves at just over 110 ft. It has a short downclimb, and some crawling back about 40 feet on the lower half, then another 50 ft. or so in the upper passage. Some small speleothems can be seen, and a cave cricket or two.

Map courtesy of Rodney Horrocks.


Step Up Cave

Step Up Cave goes back about 10 to 15 feet and then there is a small passage in the ceiling that goes another 10 to 15 feet.

Map courtesy of Rodney Horrocks.