Beat the Heat By Exploring This Idaho Ice Cave That’s a Chilly 28° Year Round
It's likely that later on today, we're going to set a record for the most consecutive days of triple digit temperatures in Boise since 1940s.
The previous record is nine. It happened in 2003, 2006, 2015 and this year. If we hit 100 degrees today, that will make it a record 10. It's been so oppressively hot, that even some of the activities we normally look to for relief aren't providing much. We can't speak for you, but the pools in our neighborhood feel like bath water. On top of that, the hot temperatures and direct sunlight are negatively impacting the chlorine levels in many pools. Pool maintenance crews are struggling to keep up with the demand in the midst of a nationwide chlorine shortage.
If the pool in your HOA or apartment complex isn't safe, now what? You can try floating the river if you're lucky enough to score a parking spot at Barber Park or drive up to Lucky Peak...or you may just need to load up your car and take a two hour road trip to the Shoshone Ice Caves!
Thanks to a special door at the entrance that keeps warm air out in the summer, they're an icy cold 23-33° year round. According to the Shoshone Ice Caves' website, the caves are 1700 feet long, 50 feet wide and 45 feet high. According to a 1989 article from Deseret News, it's been around for over 35,000 years. After a young boy found it in the late 1800s and told people in town about it, it was used as a source of ice that people could you to refrigerate things at home or beer at the nearly two dozen saloons in town. It was also a popular destination for figure skaters to come practice since there was no local ice rink.
Unfortunately, a group of people who wanted easier access to the cave led to the ice's demise. They blew a bigger hole in the wall, allowing hot air flow in and to melt almost all the ice.
So how did the ice return? When the Robinson family took control of the land in the 1950s, Russell Robinson started to brainstorm ways to restore it to it's former glory. By 1962, his work adjusting the entrance size and understanding the airflow that allows the caves to act like a natural refrigerator allowed the ice to start forming again.
Today, Robinson's legacy is carried on by the newest owners Shane Wallace and Shelly Adamson who acquired the cave in 2019. They, along with their team of guides, will offer tours daily through the end of September. They're $8 for kids 4-12, $10 for seniors and military and $12 for those 13 and over. (Kids under 3 are free.) If you're interested in taking the coolest underground adventure you'll find this summer, you can learn more and book through their website HERE!