Nutty Putty Cave


WHAT OTHER S ARE SAYING... - If you have not visited their site, then take a gander.They are direct in their assessments....

WARNING: The directions are misleading.

Nutty Putty Cave

Useful Information

Location: I15 exit Santaquin, Hwy6 west, 20km to Eureka, turn right (north) towards the Salt Lake. After 11km turn right on dirt road at 7 miles marker, 14 km to the cave.
Open: gated, permits from the Timpanogos Grotto. [2006]
Fee: free [2006]
Classification:  Karst cave
Light: none
Dimension: mouse hole
Guided tours:  
Last update: $Date: 2008/10/09 18:38:54 $


2004 two cave accidents around Labor Day.
2006 cave closed by the local chapter of the NSS.


To make it clear: nobody from ever visited this cave. But its impact is rather impressive to us. Hundreds of people find this page every month, by a search engine. If all this people really visit the cave, and probably some more without web access, the number of visitors would mean a fortune to every commercial cave manager.

A website about this cave - see the first link below - tells something about this cave which sounds pretty familiar to us. Many western countries have this kind of caves. Narrow, uninteresting and overcrowded holes, popular torture instrument for bored kids. Where most of the caves are closed to protect nature, the few open caves, especially if they offer some sportive challenge, become extremely popular. The results of this popularity are well known: The air becomes bad, on weekends all visitors have to queue, the floor becomes polished, and speleothems evaporate.

In Germany this caves are called Opferhöhle (sacrifice cave), because they are sacrificed to the unstoppable urge to exercise some spelunking. Obviously some people see in caves a way to do sports and have fun ignoring all environmental damages they cause. To protect the other caves, certain caves are offered as a bait.

We listed this place for completeness sake, we do not want to promote it. But it seems to be mostly harmless. Just don't get stuck and use your brain. To find it, just follow the treck of spelunkers...

2006 Update

We left the original cave description unchanged, and it seems our original resentment was justified. The cave was visited by an increasing number of visitors, up to 5,000 every year. Finally on the Labor Day weekend in 2004, two vistors had to be rescued from the cave.

The owner of the land, the State of Utah School & Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) was not willing to keep the cave open, because of the potential damage and financial risk. They asked various groups including BYU, Utah Valley State College and the Boy Scouts of America to lease the land. But this lease would have included the requirement to build a gate, maintain the land and carry a $1 million insurance policy. Another accident in a nearby cave, where four people died in a narrow underwater tunnel in August 2005, stopped all negotiations.

Now Timpanogos Grotto, the local chapter of the NSS, signed an agreement with SITLA. They close the cave and allow access only to groups which submit an access request form at least one week before the planned trip and follow the strict safety rules. The rules are explained on their website in detail, and make sense to us. Hopefully this will prevent further accidents in the cave.



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