11 June 2008


Found it this time! Though I was actually trying to find the Crystal Ice Cave... These are the directions I got for Crystal Ice Cave Road off of Google maps, with a few modifications:

27.9 mi – about 1 hour 12 mins
1.Head west on Idaho St toward N Oregon Trail
0.3 mi
2.Turn left at ID-39
6.0 mi
3.Turn left toward N Pleasant Valley Rd
0.4 mi
4.Turn left at N Pleasant Valley Rd
8.5 mi
5.Turn right at Quigley Rd
1.0 mi
6.Turn left at Roth Rd
0.2 +? mi
7.Turn right at Schultz Rd
2.1 mi
8.Turn left at Homestead Rd
2.0 mi
9.Turn right at Winters Rd
0.8 mi
10.Slight left at Ice Cave Rd
6.4 mi
11.Continue on Crystal Ice Cave Rd
0.2 mi

I tried the turn at Schultz Road, and did find Homestead Road, but the only right turn available at the indicated mileage was likely a private road between two fields, and there was no where to go left. So I doubled back, and, on a hunch, went further down Roth Road instead. There I came to Winters Road, which did yield a branch going off to the left. No label, but I'm reasonably certain that it's Crystal Ice Cave Road.

I didn't find the cave itself. If it was anywhere near me, there was no sign indicating this. But by making turns that kept me pointed toward the lava flow, I did make it to Wapi Park. Incidentally, do not attempt to go to Wapi Park in a regular car. Repeat: do not attempt to go to Wapi Park in a regular car ... unless you fancy having the bottom ripped out of it and would like to have multiple holes in any exposed tanks. Why am I emphasizing this? Because I am exactly the type of person to read such a warning and think, "Eh, can't be all that bad." It can. I wouldn't have made it there in my car. I had taken the pickup down to American Falls to pick up a chair (and work on the sink, but it turned out we didn't have enough parts) and decided to go exploring.

From the place where Crystal Ice Cave Road divides from Winters Road, it's roughly 11 miles to Wapi Park. You'll pass a bulletin board mentioning that you're entering part of Craters of the Moon. It's either 7 or 8 miles from there. There's a turn off to the left just past some large rock outcroppings, and it's roughly 5 miles from that turn off. There's another place where the road divides, near a large red rectangular..., er, thing. Bear left there, and it's about 3.5 miles. There's an unhelpful sign pointing back the way you came, claiming Larido Cave is 2 miles that way (no sign marking it if so) and that Highway 39 is 26 miles to your right. Go left, and it's about 2 miles to Wapi Park. You'll come to a hideously nasty bit of exposed lava bed in the road that would utterly decimate most cars. From there, it's roughly 1.5 miles. When you start seeing trees near the road, you're almost there.

Unfortunately, it was very windy and cold today, so I didn't get to explore much. When I've had time to process and upload and eat, I'll probably post a few pictures, but I wanted to get the directions down before I forgot them. Oh, once you get onto Crystal Ice Cave Road, don't expect to go very fast. On the good bits, you might make 20 mph, but there aren't very many good bits.

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