Bloomington Cave

Jon Jasper & Kyle Voyles

 

Bloomington Cave has just topped the mile mark. Bloomington Cave has reached a length of 1.30 miles and a depth of 240 ft. This length makes Bloomington Cave the fifth-longest cave in Utah! Other Utah caves over a mile include: Little Brush Cave (5.93 miles), Big Brush Cave (4.92 miles), Duck Creek Lave Tube (2.28 miles), Main Drain Cave (1.47 miles), Nielsons Cave (1.26 miles), and Candlelight Cave (1.04 miles). Bloomington Cave still contains many unmapped passages. Several thousand feet remain to be surveyed.

 

Bloomington Cave is a fault cave. The cave trends north and south with a western plunge of about 40 degrees. This plunge allows the cave to be descended to its maximum depth without ropes. The cave is three-dimensional fracture maze. The cave’s floor consists of large steps that are pinched off by a consistently sloping ceiling. Many of the walls turn up to be low connecting passages. At many locations the walls are indefinable. And many passages overlie each other. Many of the passages appear as if they were carbon copied at hundred of locations throughout the cave. The cave is truly a mapping nightmare!

 

Kyle exiting Bloomington Cave

 

Caving in Bloomington Cave

Bloomington Cave has been known since the turn of the century with the establishment of the nearby St. George. With the city growing only miles away, this well-known cave is facing increasing vandalization. In the mid-1950s, the Utah Dixie Grotto actually dynamited the cave’s entrances shut because they believed the cave was too dangerous. The cave was quickly dug open. Spray-painted graffiti litters the walls of the heavily traveled routes making Bloomington Cave the one of the most colorful caves in the country!

 

A cave register was added to the cave in March 2000 despite the belief that it would be stolen, trashed, or burned in a short matter of time. It wasn’t until November 2000 that the PVC register had been whacked to bits. The register was replaced. The register has recorded a total of 753 people visiting the cave in the 11 months from April to March. This is an average of 2.2 people/day!

Kyle Voyles, President of the Color Country Grotto, has been working to educate the public how to conserve the cave. He has created a cave education curriculum that he teaches to scout troops. The register shows that these groups are now independently performing trips to collect trash from the cave. Kyle is working to develop larger scale cleanup projects. A change is visible in the future.

 

The survey and cleanup trips to Bloomington Cave are occurring on a regular basis. Plenty of work is waiting. Anyone interested should contact either Kyle Voyles or Jon Jasper for details about how to get on the next trip.

 

Map of Bloomington Cave

 

Other Bloomington Cave articles are:

Bloomington Cave Trails
Bloomington Cave Graffiti Removal Project

 

 

Copyright © 2005 Jon Jasper

Maintained by Jon Jasper - last updated December 25, 2005