The 1 mile long lava tube cave is completely dark once you get past the first area and enter the second small opening, so a good headlamp is necessary (photo on the right). We carried a flashlight, as did others who entered when we were there, but many ended up putting the light into their mouth so their hands could be free to hold onto boulders.
The inside temperature is fairly consistent year round, usually in the lower forties (degrees fahrenheit). Wear shoes with good soles for stability when climbing over the large boulders, and a jacket for warmth. Some people say gloves are necessary. We did not have any but I overheard a woman say that she wished she had brought some.
The first opening to crawl through can be seen down in the earth's indentation that surrounds the opening. After crawling through that opening, you will be in a chamber that still has light. The climb down to the next opening is not terribly difficult; however the boulders must be navigated and are too large for small children. Treacherous falls are possible. Most boulders are stable, but my foot slipped when one smaller boulder turned under my foot.
After crawling through the second opening, the cave becomes totally dark. Further on, the area opens up to a larger space. Deeper in, stone "drips" can be seen hanging from the celing. These were formed when the molten lava flowed through and melted the rock. It started to drip, then hardened into the icicle type shape as it cooled. The ceiling of the cave has several low areas, and the floor can be uneven or slippery. Watch your feet as well as your head!
The first photo below was taken down toward the second opening. The middle photo was taken by turning directly around from the view of the first photo, and looking back toward the mouth of the cave. The lower right photo was taken while coming back up and out, after going through the opening shown in the second photo.
Lamar Haines Trail
Aspen Nature Trail
Red Mountain Trail