Sep 15, 2010

Spelunking in Logan

Day 319

When Kristy and I went 4-wheeling with my sister we passed Logan Cave and it brought back a ton of memories. This well-known cave extends about 4,000 feet into the mountain, and is as high as 70 feet in some places. It was carved by water seeping along faults and joints in the limestone, which slowly dissolved the rock. The cave is 4,290 feet long and relatively narrow with no large rooms or caverns. Much of the floor of the cave is also a stream bed as water collects and makes its way to the mouth of the cave and then into the Logan River.

Now, Logan Cave is gated to protect Townsend’s big-eared bats that live there. The bats are being protected as a sensitive species because of their susceptibility to disturbance. Simply walking past a colony can cause them to permanently abandon their roost.

Which is interesting considering I have been in the cave personally twice and the bats are still there.

The first time I went through Logan Cave was right before my friend Joel left to serve his LDS mission to Taiwan. Joel, Lared and I went through during the dead of winter. Which is good because that means the water in the cave is low enough to wade through. But the water is extremely cold so you had to make sure you wore a lot of layers of clothing. I was a bit nervous going through but it was a lot of fun. That is until Joel dropped his large flashlight down a crevasse, about twenty feet down. I had my little Maglite which I held with my teeth most of the time and Lared had a small flashlight as well. But we made it out safe.

The trip takes about about 1-2 hours and if you are a little claustrophobic this is not the cave for you. It is really enclosed and only a few of the "rooms" were large enough that you could stand without hitting your head. And of course, being in a cave it is dark. I never imagined it could get that dark!

There are some hairy places that caused me to pause and rethink (and pray) what I was doing.

The first one was called The Wall. You get to a stage in the cave where there is a large gaping hole which goes down at least twenty feet (this is where Joel dropped his flashlight). On the two sides are these walls which are only 3-4 feet apart. To get further into the cave you have to prop your feet on one side of the cave walls and put your back (like in the sitting position) up against the other wall. You would push against each other and edge your way for about 10-15 feet.

Another hairy place is called The Razor's Edge. You get to a stretch to where the only thing in your path is a long pointy rock (hence the name) and the cave walls are not in reach and there is a 10-15 foot drop off on each side. So you straddle the rock and ease your way down the path.

And I saved the best for last, The Toilet Bowl. And I don't think it is called that because it could cause you to drop bricks (even though that is entirely possible). Basically you have to squeeze through a hole (going up) through a hole that is the size of a toilet bowl. It is a little bigger than a toilet seat (and no I haven't actually tested that) but it is really small. The trick it to out your arms all the way up through and grab the sides and push up with your face right in the rocks.

If you wanted to go through Logan Cave you would need to know your toilet's dimensions.

I have been though Logan Cave twice. The second time I took Kristy through on a date. It was right before Joel and I went to New York. We had to be careful going in because they were going to close the cave down and they were not allowing people in so we had to go late at night. Joel had a date and we went through the cave only this time it was in the summer and the water was pretty high. There were parts where you could swim under the rocks but we wouldn't let Joel do that. Kristy was pretty brave about the whole thing. What made me laugh through the whole adventure was Kristy's reaction to everything. We would get to a point in the cave (like at the Razor's Edge) and Kristy would claim that she couldn't do it and suddenly she would disappear. Where did she disappear to? She was already on the other side of any given task. She did this for every single hard part. It was like her mind told her not to but her body said go right on ahead!

I know the picture is fuzzy but I wanted you to see the large amount of water that comes from the cave.

I think it is a shame that Logan Cave is gated and closed down. I understand that we want to protect species of animals but if they found the bats after I have been through, I don't think they were disturbed enough to leave the cave.


  1. Wow! My days of spelunking are OVER! I will enjoy Cave of the Winds here in Co Springs (the whole tour which you can take and never have to really even bend you knees much).

    Very cool descriptions though.

  2. I don't normally ever suffer from claustrophobia, but after reading about some of your "tight squeezes" during spelunking, I suddenly have the urge to run outside and take in a deep breath of fresh air!!

  3. I too spelunked Logan cave twice. It was quite the experience both times. I love how you remember the details-it's awesome.