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The Bloomington Caves can be approached from Ivins or Bloomington.  The Ivins path is longer (if you start from St. George proper), but the roads are a bit better.

Update: I’d follow the directions through Ivins on your first time out, but instead of backtracking to return home, try going home through Bloomington (going towards Bloomington the many little forks are much less confusing, as you can see Bloomington in the distance) to get a feel for it.

Update: Tim has kindly provided a highlighted map for the Bloomington approach.

Tim's highlighted map

About the Caves

The Bloomington Caves are the fifth largest caves in Utah, with a length of 1.3 miles.  They are fairly well mapped.  There are some parts of the caves where it is possible to be injured due to long, steep slopes, but it is easy to have fun while avoiding those places. If you feel cautious about safety, I’d choose the north entrance.  However, a map is posted by the south entrance, so you may want to take a look over there just the same.

As an aside; in consideration of everyone, please carry out what you carry in.

Approaching Through Ivins

  1. Starting at the St. George Boulevard Exit # 8 going west to Bluff Street (SR 18) (1.8 miles).
  2. Turn right (north) on Bluff St.(SR 18) for 1.1 miles to Sunset Boulevard.
  3. Turn left (west) on Sunset Boulevard (SR 91) for 12.9 miles. You will pass through Santa Clara, bypass Ivins and the Shivwits settlement, and approach Utah Hill. This is the APEX mine turnoff.
  4. Turn left and proceed for 7.7 miles to a “T” in the road that turns left (east). From the leg of the “T” is a sign that reads:
  5. 8 MI Highway 91 >
    < Highway 91 12 MI
    < Bulldog Canyon
    < Cedar Pockets Wash

    You have just come from the “8 MI Highway 91” direction and are going perpendicular to that road on the one to the left.

  6. Proceed 2.2 miles to a right turn. There is a triangle of road here. The main road forming a base and the other two turn-off roads meeting 50 -70 feet to the south. Sometimes there are piles of rocks at this area to signal the turn-off.
  7. Turn right (south) for 0.5 miles.

You will find yourself at a “Y” in the road and there are 2 end points. They are on top of two ridges within 100 yards of each other.

If you take the left fork, you will find the north entrance just south, down the ravine from the “parking” area. The initial surface opening is surrounded by boulders and is only a couple of feet square.

If you go on the right fork, walk south from the sign, follow the natural staircase to the left, and you should end up within 15 feet of the entrance.

Approaching Through Bloomington (45-30 minutes)

  1. Starting at the St. George Boulevard Exit # 4 going west, go around the roundabout and go south on Pioneer for 0.6 miles.
  2. Turn right (west) on Man Of War for 0.7 miles to Bloomington Drive (after the bridge).
  3. Turn right (north) on Bloomington Drive for 1.6 miles. Bloomington Drive will curve and end up pointing south.
  4. Turn right on Navajo Drive (it’s about 0.5 miles long). Go straight and cross the cattle guard.
  5. Follow the dirt road for 4.7 miles until you reach another cattle guard (there are two semi-prominent forks in the road during this stretch. On the first, 0.8 miles in, stay left. On the second, 1.8 miles in, stay right.  Also, avoid the wash in favor of the road – there is a nasty drop off).
  6. Keep going straight on the main road. After 3.6 miles (a little after the rocky part that is tricky if you have low clearance), there is a triangle of road (a little island where three roads come together).
  7. Turn left (south) for 0.5 miles.

You will find yourself at a “Y” in the road and there are 2 end points. They are on top of two ridges within 100 yards of each other.

If you take the left fork, you will find the north entrance just south, down the ravine from the “parking” area. The initial surface opening is surrounded by boulders and is only a couple of feet square.

If you go on the right fork, walk south from the sign, follow the natural staircase to the left, and you should end up within 15 feet of the entrance.

On Road Conditions

Some people recommend taking cars with 4 wheel drive, but I’ve gone out in minivans and sedans.  I’d only recommend that if you are familiar with off-road driving, though.  One thing I would be careful about is mud; if it has rained or snowed recently, you may have trouble with the dirt roads.

10 Comments

  1. these directions are wrong. i went about a week ago and followed these directions and got lost.there is no tricky rock part and there is alot more then 2 forks before the second cattle gaurd. thanks though. good try! : )

  2. I firmly stand by these directions and their accuracy.

    You are right that there are lots of little forks – just don’t take them. The two most tempting ones are .8 and 1.8 miles in.

    By “tricky rocky part,” I mean the section where if you are not careful you can lose an oil pan (it’s happened before).

    Does that ring any bells? Out of curiosity, how fast did you go on that section? I usually take most of it at about 20-30 mph, but that section I drop down to 10.

    *I’ve updated the post slightly, and I hope it makes things clearer. I’d be interested in hearing any suggestions anyone may have (or simply independent confirmation on these directions).

  3. *Do Not Follow Those Directions*

    You will surely get lost!!!

    Bottom line, DO NOT take the Bloomington route – this saves little time (even if you live in Bloomington).

    I wasted an entire afternoon chasing those extremely confusing “directions”.

    Try These:

    1. Take the Ivins Route: Follow Sunset Boulevard west through Santa Clara.

    2. After you pass through the old town of Santa Clara, the road bends North-NorthWest and becomes Highway 91.

    3. Follow Hwy 91 North-West through Ivins and continue on as the Hwy bends west.

    4. Continue on Hwy 91 until you come to a Y – Hwy 91 to the left, bends south and Gunlock Rd to the right – CONTINUE ON HWY 91 TO THE SOUTH.

    5. Follow HWY 91 for about 1.65 miles until you see a “factory” on your left. TURN LEFT HERE – This is a major graded dirt road and is called the Apex Mine Rd.

    6. Follow this main dirt road in a southerly direction for approximately 8 miles until you come to a Y, with a brown wooden sign on your right and another main dirt road that breaks off to your left (east).

    7. TURN LEFT HERE and follow the dirt road east for 2.15 miles.

    8. You will come to a “Triangle Island”, TURN RIGHT (South)

    9. Follow the road south and continue on as it bends east and then south again. (About .5 miles)

    10. You are here!!! Either take the left road, or right road. (The Right road is a little easier and closer to the south cave entrance. It also has the cave mapping sign and information.

    I really recommend using Google Earth and doing a search for “bloomington cave utah” (Look for the two pin points)
    and study the map while reading these directions. This way you’ll be confident before heading out.

  4. I have updated by adding links to Google Maps, as well as adding a recommendation to come out through Bloomington before attempting to go in through Bloomington.

    I would appreciate someone timing and reporting how long it takes them to get there through Ivins, though any other suggestions are welcome.

  5. Do you think a car can make it the back way (highway 91) to the caves? or is it too rocky? please let me know

  6. You shouldn’t have any problems going the Ivins way, at least up to the point where both turn off toward the caves (the little triangle island), and a half mile is certainly walkable if you don’t feel confident about driving that part.

  7. I recommend 4 wheel drive with clearance on Navajo Drive through Bloomington. There are signs leading directly to the cave trail head, and they can be trusted. Avoid rainy weather and snow melt season – the mud can be challenging.

  8. Great information here. Do you mind if I link this page from my blog? My website is http://utcavinginfo.wordpress.com

  9. We are traveling from Boise Idaho
    to have a day in this cave. We are looking forward to the day. Thanks
    for posting directions. Hope the Idaho
    boys don’t get lost…more…later…Ron


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