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Climb Utah - Canyoneering & Mountaineering
Nutty Putty Cave
Nutty Putty Cave is a naturally formed thermal cave located on the west side of Utah Lake. The cave consists of many rooms connected by small tunnels and narrow corridors. One extremely long and narrow tunnel labeled Bob's Push on the map is more commonly referred to as the "Birth Canal" or the "Worm Hole". This cave is extremely popular in the local area and is considered a good cave for beginners. The cave is a lot of fun and will be enjoyed by anyone seeking a little adventure.
On April 14, 2006, the Utah State Trust Lands granted the Timpanogos Grotto the right to manage the access to Nutty Putty Cave to improve the overall safety. Access to the cave is now restricted by a locked gate. For the latest information on Nutty Putty regulations and to request access please visit the Timpanogos Grotto's requirements page.
Take a headlamp with fresh batteries. A flashlight is inadequate. There is plenty of climbing, crawling and scrambling required and you will need both hands. You should also carry a backup light source. You can spend from one to four hours exploring. The cave is always very warm inside. I wear old Levi's and a long sleeve shirt; you will be crawling on your hands and knees over rocks and dirt. You will want a small disposable camera with flash for this adventure, do not take a good camera into the cave. Before entering the cave is a good time for a nature call. Do not visit this cave on a Saturday. Every Boy Scout and BYU student looking for fun visits the cave on Saturday. You will be extremely dirty and thirsty when you exit the cave so be prepared.
From Elberta, Utah travel north on highway 68 for 7 miles. 100 yards north of mile maker 7 there is a well-maintained gravel road on the west (left) side of the road, turn here. There are many spur roads in this area, Stay on the main road.
Travel the well-maintained gravel road 5.6 miles to a well traveled fork in the road. If you see a house, you've gone too far. Take the north (right) fork. Follow the wide and rutted dirt road for 2.3 miles to a cattle guard and gate at the end of a fence line. Turn east (right) on the road that follows the north side of the fence. Follow this road for 0.3 miles to a spur road that turns north (left) and heads up a step hill. Carefully driven cars and trucks can make this point in good weather.
Follow the steep 4-wheel drive track 0.6 mile to the top of Blowhole Hill. The entrance to Nutty Putty Cave in located in the top of the hill on the west side of the road. The 4-wheel drive track continues on to a higher hill to the east. The GPS coordinates for the cave entrance are N40.09745, W112.03684.
Nutty Putty Cave:
The cave entrance is 6-feet in diameter and drops down 15-feet. It is easy to see why the hill is called Blowhole. If you are looking for the blowhole on the whales back you can easily locate the cave entrance.
Downclimb to the bottom of the blowhole and crawl into the 2-foot opening. You must crawl for 20 feet and than the cave will open up into a room. If you fit through this opening you will fit most other places inside the cave.
There is usually a rope tied near the entrance, which leads down the "Big Slide". You can descend the "Big Slide" or visit the "Maze" which consists of many rooms connected by narrow corridors. It is almost impossible to get lost so feel free to explore. Use your Nutty Putty Cave Map along with a little common sense and you should have a fun time.
Use Common Sense:
The following is an Associated Press article about two teenagers who became trapped while exploring the cave. Use good judgement and you should have no problems.
Deputies Free Two Teens Trapped in Utah Cave
Thursday, July 29, 1999
ELBERTA, Utah (AP) Two teens exploring a popular underground cave were trapped for at least 10 hours after they got stuck in one of its narrow passages. Chris Hale was freed about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday from Nutty Putty Cave, located 120 feet below ground. His friend, Chris Marrow, was brought out a couple hours later, sheriff's Lt. Ron Fernstedt said. Both 17-year-olds only suffered minor abrasions.
The youths had camped in the area Tuesday night and entered the cave at about 9 a.m. They got stuck about 90 minutes later. The youths had taken lights and were well prepared, said Fernstedt. The youths became stuck in a portion called the Birth Canal, where hikers have to suck in their stomachs to get through.