Fulford Cave

Useful Information

Location: White River National Forest, near Yeoman Park Ranger Station and Campground. 27 km south of Eagle. Follow Brush Creek Road southeast 16 km, turn left on East Brush Creek (FDR 415) for
Open: no restrictions [2006]
Fee: free [2006]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring own
Dimension: L=1,600 m.
Guided tours:
Address: USDA Forest Service, White River National Forest, 900 Grand Ave., P.O. Box 948, Glenwood Springs CO 81602, Tel: +1-970-945-2521.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1874 discovered by a group of explorers lead by Ferdinand Hayden.
1890 discovered by Captain Nolan Smith.
1892 Maxwell filed a mining claim on the area surrounding the cave.
1952 first survey by the Colorado Grotto.


Fulford Cave is a wild cave, which is considered to be a beginner's cave, as it does not require technical climbing. We had a look at the map and the pictures on the web and would call it a true wild cave. We must recommend appropriate equipment, helmet, multiple lamps, good shoes, and appropriate clothes. Always cave with the return in mind and never cave alone. And above all: tell someone where you went and when you will be back. Because of the height the cave requires some physical fitness.

Fulford Cave is on a remote spot, not easy to reach, and at an altitude of almost 3,000 m asl. This has the advantage that only a few visitors will find the cave. Nevertheless this is the sacrificial cave of Colorado and over the years visitors have slowly eroded the stalactites and stalagmites.

This cave was formed by a melting glacier. It was actually discovered twice. Rick Rhinehart, editor of the Rocky Mountain Caving magazine, has documents which suggests that a group of explorers lead by Ferdinand Hayden discovered the cave in 1874. However, it seem this info was never wide spread, and probably it was a different cave. So the book Caves of Colorado by Lloyd Parris, published in the 1970s, tells it was discovered in 1890 by Captain Nolan Smith. Only two years later a man named Maxwell filed a mining claim on the area. He left behind mine tunnels along the trail to the cave. But he always claimed silver ore to be found inside the cave, so he dug a pit entrance into the cave. Later another owner was planning to commercialize the cave, but this plan was never realized.