Relationship of Caving and Social Media

         For many years caving and the locations of caves was learned through experience and word of mouth.  This sport has done a great job staying off the radar and only gives to those that seek it with a passion. 

          The locations and details of these amazing places has done what it does best…stay in the dark.  The internet has had a large impact in the caving world.  With the locations being shared to many the traffic of these fragile places has increased and thus hurting them in permanent ways which has resulted in having many of them closed to the public.  Once the location has been posted or shared using social media, you can not get it back and the location will be available to anyone who wants it..forever.  This has created a group of cavers doing everything in their power to make sure the locations of the caves is kept secret.  The grotto (which is a caving group in any state)  is comprised of these cavers doing what they can to keep them safe. (i do recommend joining the grotto to learn safe caving techniques)  The down side they never share or show the locations of these caves, and many times take the location to the grave.  Caves are lost and only re -found sometimes.  There tends to be only a few people in the area that know all the locations of the currently known caves.  They take it upon themselves to be the “gate keeper” and only teach the elite the in’s and out’s of the caves.  They take the opportunity away for many people to experience caving. Why do they get to decide?  This puts caving in a difficult spot.  How to manage the locations and traffic of these amazing places.  Is all social media for caving bad? The answer is NO, social media can be a very effective tool to educate and inspire everyone to protect and conserve the caves.  Because photography is getting better the true beauty is starting to be seen.  I encourage anyone that is interested in learning more and see pictures showing how special they are, please visit the link to the Facebook page.  I hope this helps you see the beauty of these mysterious environments.


Big Brush Creek Cave

      Big Brush Creek Cave – Vernal, Utah – N This amzing cave is located high in the Uintah Mountains, Big Brush Creek Cave tends to be a popular destination for cavers. One can drive to the trail anytime there is not snow (depending on the year). The entire Big Brush Creek, along with thousands of acres of snowmelt (beware of flooding), flows into the cave during spring runoff.  Please check with local forest services to get an updated report before entering the cave.

        It is the second longest cave in Utah at 4.92 miles and 858 feet deep. (The cave could be pushed deeper if it was not for the bad air in dead air passage)  Best time to visit would be in summer through fall. If you have snowmobiles winter is a good time to visit. Avoiding visiting during spring dew to high unexpected, deadly runoff. (The cave has killed before) The cave is part of a larger caving system, and is similar to its brother, Little Brush Creek Cave. Ice crystal formation up to a foot long, and ice structures over 20′ long, make this cave an amazing winter wonderland.

Inside the cave, passage ways are narrow and cold. Many tunnels are plugged with logs and debris forced into it in past floods. Much of the cave is spent crawling and winding over very tight passages.  Further into the cave it opens up into a canyon that takes you all the way to the bath tub room and to dead air passage. 

Photo By: Benjamin Zack

This is where most turn back due to the bad air there that could be deadly depending on the conditions.  The wood and debris from flooding is pushed back and then ferments with CO2, which creates the bad air conditions.  This is a large cave and should be an all day event. If you make it deep enough it will require rope for small drops and climbs.  This cave tends to stay cold and wet.  The average temp is around 45-50 degrees F. This is a great starter cave when it comes to big caving.


Painting the Cave Picture

When someone says the word “caving” it tends to invoke a sense of dark, muddy,  getting stuck, and possibly wet and cold.  Why?

Cave photography has come a long way in the last few years and only now are people starting to see caves in a different light (Pun Intended).  In the past, it has been very difficult to get proper lighting into these caves to take quality pictures and get the detail needed to truly appreciate the beauty of the cave.  So for anyone that has not been into caves before and/or not seen good caving photography might have negative feelings towards caves.  With the use of Social Media, now amateur cavers are starting to take and share caving pictures that are inspiring others to see the beauty of these amazing places.  

Photograph by Brandon Kowallis

To see other amazing cave pictures please click on the Facebook Icon on the right-hand side of the page.  If you have any pictures you want featured on this blog please contact me.