Niter Ice Cave

Useful Information

Location: Near Grace, Idaho. Follow Main Hwy south for 4.8 km. Signposted.
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: Speleologylava tube SpeleologyIce cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours:
Address: Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 214, Grace Idaho, 83421. E-mail: contact
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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Niter Ice Cave is located south of the small town Grace, Idaho. It is easily found, as it is located at the main highway south some five kilometers from town. Ice Cave Knoll is located at the right side of the road, the cinder cone is quarried for the basaltic rock. On the other side 350 m in Ice Cave Rd lies the first entrance to Niter Ice Cave. The cave runs eastward from here on.

The lava tube was formed by a basalt lava flow about half a million years ago. This is very old for a lava tube, which normally collapses after some 10.000 years.

Niter Ice Cave was important to Native Americans and early settlers for food storage. John A. Dalton was the first who settled on this spot. He and his family used the cave for food storage as well as a safe but cold refuge from unfriendly native Americans. There are many similar ice caves in the area, and many were used this way.

Today the area at the cave is a popular picnic spot and recreation site. Unfortunately this resulted in explicit drawings and graffiti around, and in the ice cave.