Bower Cave is a companion to Mammoth Cave in southern Utah. Located just south of Mammoth, these two caves can easily be visited together.
Bower Cave is a bit smaller than Mammoth, but just as much fun. One thing our boys enjoyed was the ladder that allows entrance to the cave. There is a drop of about twelve feet to the floor of the cave, and a sturdy, but crooked ladder is the only way down. (Note: this ladder is not appropriate for all ages!) The ladder is missing the bottom rung, so send an adult down first to help children get down into the cave.
Once inside the cave, you’ll need light. This is because the entrance is very small and very little sunlight hits the cave floor. There are also several passages to explore that lead a good distance from the opening.
We started out going to our right at the bottom of the ladder (facing it). Since Bower is more of a lava tube than a cave, it has a fairly high ceiling in most places and a nice round shape. The tube leads a short distance before turning back on itself until your back is to the entrance. From there, you can follow the tunnel for several hundred feet.
The floor of the cave is rough and uneven, so keep the light focused down as you spelunk along. Further on the cave is very wet, so don’t wear shoes that you want to keep nice. There were many puddles and gummy mud is unavoidable if you wish to continue to the end of the cave. It was beautifully cool inside the cave, though.
Bower Cave is home to seven different species of bats, so it is closed to protect them during the winter months from October to April. Please be respectful and quiet while you are in the cave, though we didn’t see any bats.
From the Duck Creek Visitor Center, head east on Highway 14 for 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Mammoth Creek Road (there is a sign). Follow for about 2.7 miles, then turn right onto a small dirt road. There is a small sign that says Bowers Flat, so keep an eye out. Follow the road for 0.6 miles until you find a small parking area. There is a sign for Bowers Cave at the trailhead. There is a short walk to the mouth of the cave.
Tips for Families
- Wear old shoes. It is wet and muddy in the cave.
- Bring flashlights. This cave has some dark sections.
- Be quiet and respectful of the bats that reside in the cave.
- Be careful where you step. There are lots of rocks that could trip and hurt someone.