The mercury can zoom into the 90s in Southern Idaho during July, and when it does, it’s time to head directly for tried and true, cool-off destinations. One sure-fire bet is the Shoshone Ice Caves.
We’re also recommending the Chaos Wars Belegarth event July 25-31 at Lake Walcott State Park, and the Twin Falls Ice Cream Fun Day on July 30, an ICE CREAM flavor contest!
The Shoshone Ice Caves feature a 1,000-foot underground lava tube. It’s an awesomely funky roadside stop, 17 miles north of Shoshone, along Idaho 75. A larger-than-life Native American chief stands guard by your car while you take the tour. You’ll also see a giant green dinosaur being ridden by a hairy cave man. Tours run daily. The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children.
Be sure to bring a coat — the temperature in the ice caves is about 30 degrees. There are also extra coats at the facility if you forget to bring yours.
The ice in the caves is formed by air currents flowing through the lava tubes, which causes subterranean water to freeze. The ice is up to 18 feet thick. Visitors have thrown pennies into the ice over the years and you can see them entombed in the ice.
Trained guides explain the geology, volcanism and history of the area. A museum contains Indian artifacts, gems and minerals. There is a gift shop as well.
When you’re driving to the ice caves through miles of sagebrush, watch for a bright yellow sign with ice caps on the letters. You’ll know you’ve arrived at the Shoshone Ice Caves. For more information, call 208-866-2058.
If you’re into the Belegarth Medievil Combat Society, that is, dressing up in medieval clothing and fighting with foam-padded weapons, there’s a big LARPing event happening in Southern Idaho at Lake Walcott State Park July 25-31. About 400-500 participants are expected. That means the park is going to be busy and quite colorful with all the dressed-up people!
All of the participants in the event can enjoy Lake Walcott’s amenities, including the shady cottonwood trees, many camp sites, and boating, swimming or fishing in the lake.