Bloomington Cave, UT

To raise the appreciation of the cave resources and reduce the need for graffiti and stringing within the maze of passages within Bloomington Cave, routes have been marked. Currently, 5 routes are marked throughout the cave with different colored flagging. These routes wind throughout the cave. A lost caver shouldn’t be able to go far without hitting a flagged route leading to an entrance. These routes will make Bloomington Cave one of the best caving destinations in Utah.
The marked routes correspond to the updated map of the cave. The map of Bloomington’s maze of passages may be impossible to understand; however, matching the colored routes and numbered flags to the map should allow you to accurately and confidently navigate the cave’s maze.
Original display at Bloomington Cave
with cave map and trail descriptions
See the new display!
Safety
Flagged routes have been set to help navigate the labyrinth of passages within Bloomington Cave. These routes may deliver hours of pleasure exploring into the depths of the cave if properly prepared. However, they could easily lead you beyond your physical, mental, and equipment capabilities.
Be prepared! (1) Always wear a helmet, either a fancy climbing helmet or at least a construction helmet to protect your head. Most of the serious injuries are from falls. Without helmets, these falls become fatalities! (2) Always have at least one nice helmet-mounted light. Most all of these routes require climbing; you need both of your hands free. (3) Always carry at least 3 reliable light sources. Candles, matches and lighters are not considered reliable light sources. The farther in you go, the less likely you could make it out safely without light. (4) Wear appropriate footwear. Most people don’t climb well in gym shoes. Ankle support is strongly recommended to help protect and support your ankles during abusive travel. (5) And in case things go wrong, like flat tires or getting lost, inform dependable folks where you are, where you expect to be in the cave, and your expected return times. Most cell phones work out at Bloomington Cave so bring them along!
If you are with an organized group, you should seek your organization’s safety requirements to be sure you are covered under their insurance. Understand if you are leading a group, you are responsible for the group! You must provide adequate information, training, and equipment to ensure a safe, fun trip. If not, you could be heavily sued!
For Boy Scout Troop Leaders, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has caving policies and caving requirements. BSA’s policy states that all scouts must be 14 years of age or older, trips should have 2 adult leaders with one being experienced in cave exploration, groups should be less than 10 people, must have equipment be up to today’s caver standards, and that all caving trips require an approved tour permit. If the group doesn’t have a tour permit, they are not covered by BSA’s insurance!
Conservation
Along with your safety, please help protect the cave. Many hours have been spent restoring the cave by removing graffiti and trash from the cave.
All caves on federal lands are protected under the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act. Defacing caves through spray painting, leaving trash, or collecting mineral or biological samples is illegal! Overnight camping, firearms, and campfires are prohibited in this cave. If you vandalize Bloomington Cave, you will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Please report any violations or suspected activity by immediately calling the Law Enforcement Hotline (800) 227-7286
To maintain the open access to Bloomington Cave, everyone must cave responsibly, following safety and conservation standards. As groups continue to abuse or ignore these guidelines, future access restrictions are likely.
White Route
Main Route to bottom of Big Room via the Fanny Flume
The white flagged route leads to the bottom of the Big Room. This route is the most commonly used path through the cave.
The route starts at the South Entrance and goes straight to the Boardwalk where the cave register is found. After leaving the room just below the Boardwalk, the top of the Big Room (White #6) is entered. The high-angle slope drops about 70 ft to 100 ft to the bottom of the cave. After crossing the top of the Big Room, the route is marked going down the safer, but tighter, Fanny Flume (White #8-10), rather than the obvious and heavily used route leading straight down the well-exposed Big Room. To go directly down the Big Room a 100-ft handline or rappel is recommended. If going down the Fanny Flume, a short 50-ft handline and good teamwork is recommended. The White Route ends as it reaches the bottom of the Big Room (White #11).
Green Route
Boy Scout Route – Boardwalk to Lunch Room Junction to North Entrance
This route is the easiest entrance to entrance route. One should have climbing experience and no fear of tight spots.
This green flagged route starts by traversing the Boardwalk continuing straight past the White #3, until the start of the green flagging (Green #20) is reached. Quickly, the most difficult point along this route is reached. The “Slot” (White #19-18) is a tight 10-inch vertical crack that drops about 10 ft to a crawl below. The Slot is easier to navigate going down than up.
The Slot can be easily bypassed by taking the long flat wide crawl (Left of Green #19) then heading down a hidden climb to pop out at the Lunch Room Junction (Green #13).
Continuing along the normal route, another downclimb (Green #17-16) is reached. This climb is a bit exposed and slippery. The climb is easily negotiated by traversing along the ledge in the middle and then down. Climbing straight down leads to a long reach to a slippery point. This climb can be bypassed by continuing along the crawl at the top of the climb (Green #19) into the Lunch Room (Green #13).
After the climbdown (Green #16), the Lunch Room can be reached following the flagging by crawling through a small crack (Green #15-14). The flagging in the middle of the room (Green #13) is the junction with the Pink Route (Pink #23) and the Slot’s Bypass. There are a few flags to show the way through the vertical crack passage.
The route continues across the room working its way up through the cracks. Follow the flagging carefully for there are lots of tight cracks leading nowhere to be sucked into. After going through a tight 12-inch crack the route leads into a room. From this room the route continues up through a spiraling stoop way (Green #9-6). Crawling along the flat bedrock floor, you should start feeling the cold entrance air coming in. One can continue along this crawl (Green #6-5) all the way to the North Entrance (Green #0); however, the flagged route winds its way following the easiest path.
Pink Route
Boundary Route – Big Room to Outer Limits
This route is the longer entrance to entrance route. The route has lots of crawling and a bit of interesting climbing. This route uses both the White and the Green routes to make the loop so one should be familiar with these two routes before trying this route. This route is the most committing with the highest chance of getting seriously lost.
The pink flagging starts by traversing the flat bottom of the Big Room (White #11) to the north. This passage will quickly turn into a crawl and the pink flagging (Pink #1) will begin. The route will follow a long series of small traverses and climbs. Use caution, since the flagging can be a bit hard to follow through this highly-mazy section of the cave. When successfully followed, you will pop out into the long low Raceway passage (Pink #18-20).
The end of this passage continues up and up. A crack in the floor allows visitors in the Lunch Room to be heard below. From Pink #23 a short-tight 10-inch pitch leads into Lunch Room Junction (Green #13) and the Green Route.
Continuing up following the flagging on the normal route, the Hub (Green #6) is reached and the green route can be followed south to the North Entrance (Green #0).
Orange Route
The Miseries – Lunch Room to Big Room
This route connects the Lunch Room to the bottom of the Big Room. The route has slippery traverses on high-angled slopes with respectable exposure. The odds of slipping are higher than the Big Room, but the results would be a fast out-of-control slide, rather than Big Room’s straight-out fall. The route starting near the Lunch Room is very mazy; use caution not to lose the flagged route.
The route starts from Green #16 where the orange flagging leads down the easiest route down into the lower room. The route then zigzags through the room’s boulder field and then starts a steep descent into the cave. The first climb has a handline that other explorers left behind; however, the flagging shows an easier way to chimney down by using the ceiling and the floor to avoid the spacious short drop.
The route continues down with some interesting high pitching passages to follow. Good shoes will show their benefits through here. This type of traversing and climbing continues to keep you in the easier wider passages until a real bottom is reached. At the end of the route, you easily walk into the bottom of the Big Room (White #11.) Follow the white route to the South Entrance (White #0).
Yellow Route
Northern Exposure – Lunch Room to Crystal King Hall
This route goes into the northern section of the cave. It is fairly easy with only a few sections of steep easily-navigated slopes. The route can be reached from the Orange or Green Routes.
Enter the Yellow Route by descending the crack near Green #12 . Once through the crack the passage widens. Follow the flagging down the slope to Yellow #4. This point is where the Yellow Route completes its loop. Follow the flagging down into the Game Room (Yellow #5). This is a nice flat-floored room with nice size passages going off in all directions.
Follow the flagging or take the direct climb down to next room (Yellow #7). After leaving this room, traverse the large sloping passage to a stoopway. Scramble up through the breakdown to the base of a long slope. At the top of the slope (Yellow #14), a horizontal passageway is reached. Staying on this level, the passage is quickly traversed back to Yellow #4.
Once back at Yellow #4, the route can be followed to the intersection of the Orange Route. Follow the easy horizontal route. After an easy squeeze between two boulders, the route runs into the orange flagging (Orange #3 and 4).
Bloomington Cave Trails

Bloomington Cave Trails

To raise the appreciation of the cave resources and reduce the need for graffiti and stringing within the maze of passages within Bloomington Cave, routes have been marked. Currently, 5 routes are marked throughout the cave with different colored flagging. These routes wind throughout the cave. A lost caver shouldn’t be able to go far without hitting a flagged route leading to an entrance. These routes will make Bloomington Cave one of the best caving destinations in Utah.
The marked routes correspond to the updated map of the cave. The map of Bloomington’s maze of passages may be impossible to understand; however, matching the colored routes and numbered flags to the map should allow you to accurately and confidently navigate the cave’s maze.
Safety
Flagged routes have been set to help navigate the labyrinth of passages within Bloomington Cave. These routes may deliver hours of pleasure exploring into the depths of the cave if properly prepared. However, they could easily lead you beyond your physical, mental, and equipment capabilities.
Be prepared! (1) Always wear a helmet, either a fancy climbing helmet or at least a construction helmet to protect your head. Most of the serious injuries are from falls. Without helmets, these falls become fatalities! (2) Always have at least one nice helmet-mounted light. Most all of these routes require climbing; you need both of your hands free. (3) Always carry at least 3 reliable light sources. Candles, matches and lighters are not considered reliable light sources. The farther in you go, the less likely you could make it out safely without light. (4) Wear appropriate footwear. Most people don’t climb well in gym shoes. Ankle support is strongly recommended to help protect and support your ankles during abusive travel. (5) And in case things go wrong, like flat tires or getting lost, inform dependable folks where you are, where you expect to be in the cave, and your expected return times. Most cell phones work out at Bloomington Cave so bring them along!
If you are with an organized group, you should seek your organization’s safety requirements to be sure you are covered under their insurance. Understand if you are leading a group, you are responsible for the group! You must provide adequate information, training, and equipment to ensure a safe, fun trip. If not, you could be heavily sued!
For Boy Scout Troop Leaders, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has caving policies and caving requirements. BSA’s policy states that all scouts must be 14 years of age or older, trips should have 2 adult leaders with one being experienced in cave exploration, groups should be less than 10 people, must have equipment be up to today’s caver standards, and that all caving trips require an approved tour permit. If the group doesn’t have a tour permit, they are not covered by BSA’s insurance!
Conservation
Along with your safety, please help protect the cave. Many hours have been spent restoring the cave by removing graffiti and trash from the cave.
All caves on federal lands are protected under the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act. Defacing caves through spray painting, leaving trash, or collecting mineral or biological samples is illegal! Overnight camping, firearms, and campfires are prohibited in this cave. If you vandalize Bloomington Cave, you will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Please report any violations or suspected activity by immediately calling the Law Enforcement Hotline (800) 227-7286
To maintain the open access to Bloomington Cave, everyone must cave responsibly, following safety and conservation standards. As groups continue to abuse or ignore these guidelines, future access restrictions are likely.
White Route
Main Route to bottom of Big Room via the Fanny Flume
The white flagged route leads to the bottom of the Big Room. This route is the most commonly used path through the cave.
The route starts at the South Entrance and goes straight to the Boardwalk where the cave register is found. After leaving the room just below the Boardwalk, the top of the Big Room (White #6) is entered. The high-angle slope drops about 70 ft to 100 ft to the bottom of the cave. After crossing the top of the Big Room, the route is marked going down the safer, but tighter, Fanny Flume (White #8-10), rather than the obvious and heavily used route leading straight down the well-exposed Big Room. To go directly down the Big Room a 100-ft handline or rappel is recommended. If going down the Fanny Flume, a short 50-ft handline and good teamwork is recommended. The White Route ends as it reaches the bottom of the Big Room (White #11).
Green Route
Boy Scout Route – Boardwalk to Lunch Room Junction to North Entrance
This route is the easiest entrance to entrance route. One should have climbing experience and no fear of tight spots.
This green flagged route starts by traversing the Boardwalk continuing straight past the White #3, until the start of the green flagging (Green #20) is reached. Quickly, the most difficult point along this route is reached. The “Slot” (White #19-18) is a tight 10-inch vertical crack that drops about 10 ft to a crawl below. The Slot is easier to navigate going down than up.
The Slot can be easily bypassed by taking the long flat wide crawl (Left of Green #19) then heading down a hidden climb to pop out at the Lunch Room Junction (Green #13).
Continuing along the normal route, another downclimb (Green #17-16) is reached. This climb is a bit exposed and slippery. The climb is easily negotiated by traversing along the ledge in the middle and then down. Climbing straight down leads to a long reach to a slippery point. This climb can be bypassed by continuing along the crawl at the top of the climb (Green #19) into the Lunch Room (Green #13).
After the climbdown (Green #16), the Lunch Room can be reached following the flagging by crawling through a small crack (Green #15-14). The flagging in the middle of the room (Green #13) is the junction with the Pink Route (Pink #23) and the Slot’s Bypass. There are a few flags to show the way through the vertical crack passage.
The route continues across the room working its way up through the cracks. Follow the flagging carefully for there are lots of tight cracks leading nowhere to be sucked into. After going through a tight 12-inch crack the route leads into a room. From this room the route continues up through a spiraling stoop way (Green #9-6). Crawling along the flat bedrock floor, you should start feeling the cold entrance air coming in. One can continue along this crawl (Green #6-5) all the way to the North Entrance (Green #0); however, the flagged route winds its way following the easiest path.
Pink Route
Boundary Route – Big Room to Outer Limits
This route is the longer entrance to entrance route. The route has lots of crawling and a bit of interesting climbing. This route uses both the White and the Green routes to make the loop so one should be familiar with these two routes before trying this route. This route is the most committing with the highest chance of getting seriously lost.
The pink flagging starts by traversing the flat bottom of the Big Room (White #11) to the north. This passage will quickly turn into a crawl and the pink flagging (Pink #1) will begin. The route will follow a long series of small traverses and climbs. Use caution, since the flagging can be a bit hard to follow through this highly-mazy section of the cave. When successfully followed, you will pop out into the long low Raceway passage (Pink #18-20).
The end of this passage continues up and up. A crack in the floor allows visitors in the Lunch Room to be heard below. From Pink #23 a short-tight 10-inch pitch leads into Lunch Room Junction (Green #13) and the Green Route.
Continuing up following the flagging on the normal route, the Hub (Green #6) is reached and the green route can be followed south to the North Entrance (Green #0).
Orange Route
The Miseries – Lunch Room to Big Room
This route connects the Lunch Room to the bottom of the Big Room. The route has slippery traverses on high-angled slopes with respectable exposure. The odds of slipping are higher than the Big Room, but the results would be a fast out-of-control slide, rather than Big Room’s straight-out fall. The route starting near the Lunch Room is very mazy; use caution not to lose the flagged route.
The route starts from Green #16 where the orange flagging leads down the easiest route down into the lower room. The route then zigzags through the room’s boulder field and then starts a steep descent into the cave. The first climb has a handline that other explorers left behind; however, the flagging shows an easier way to chimney down by using the ceiling and the floor to avoid the spacious short drop.
The route continues down with some interesting high pitching passages to follow. Good shoes will show their benefits through here. This type of traversing and climbing continues to keep you in the easier wider passages until a real bottom is reached. At the end of the route, you easily walk into the bottom of the Big Room (White #11.) Follow the white route to the South Entrance (White #0).
Yellow Route
Northern Exposure – Lunch Room to Crystal King Hall
This route goes into the northern section of the cave. It is fairly easy with only a few sections of steep easily-navigated slopes. The route can be reached from the Orange or Green Routes.
Enter the Yellow Route by descending the crack near Green #12 . Once through the crack the passage widens. Follow the flagging down the slope to Yellow #4. This point is where the Yellow Route completes its loop. Follow the flagging down into the Game Room (Yellow #5). This is a nice flat-floored room with nice size passages going off in all directions.
Follow the flagging or take the direct climb down to next room (Yellow #7). After leaving this room, traverse the large sloping passage to a stoopway. Scramble up through the breakdown to the base of a long slope. At the top of the slope (Yellow #14), a horizontal passageway is reached. Staying on this level, the passage is quickly traversed back to Yellow #4.
Once back at Yellow #4, the route can be followed to the intersection of the Orange Route. Follow the easy horizontal route. After an easy squeeze between two boulders, the route runs into the orange flagging (Orange #3 and 4).
Bloomington Cave is the fifth largest cave in Utah, at a length of 1.30 miles and a depth of 240 ft. Larger caves in Utah include Little Brush Creek Cave(5.93 miles), Big Brush Creek Cave(4.92 miles), Duck Creek Lave Tube (2.28 miles), and Main Drain Cave (1.47 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!
Location
37.059059° -113.735028° @ 3700′
The cave is accessible through BLM maintained roadway off of a neighborhood street called Navajo Dr. From there, drive up Cottonwood Wash. This is a moderately harsh road that would involve the requirement of a 4WD vehicle. Alternatively, an easier route can be taken from Highway 91 that most standard cars can take, at the expense of a longer trip from nearby St. George. Take the Apex Mine road and take a left at the first mainroadway fork (a sign is present), and this will get you into coming into the Bloomington area from the west
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Published in: on October 14, 2009 at 3:04 PM  Comments Off on Bloomington Cave, UT  
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