Ice is in this cave year round as water runs down into the cave from the surrounding hills from a small brook. It is accessible when the water dries out around the middle of July. There are two entrances to the cave that lead downward into the cave. It is very cold and contains ice even during the hottest summers.
Although the Paris Ice Cave is not developed, a visit is not very dangerous. An easy to follow track through the cave goes through the cave. Wear warm clothes and bring sturdy shoes and lamps.
The Paris Ice Cave is located up a dirt road about 10 miles west of Paris, Idaho. There is signage leading to the ice cave as you drive. The road wasn't too bad but driving over 30mph wasn't really an option in our minivan. It was a pretty drive in the middle of August though. I've heard this cave is not really accessible unless it's late spring or summer. They get a lot of snow in this area.
The cave is undeveloped but there is a US Forest Service sign at the entrance. I don't think this cave gets much traffic (certainly not like Minnetonka Cave) and it was fun to explore as a family. There are small plank bridges to cross at the beginning of the cave. The cave actually opens up to the sky above after that. Surprisingly, there was SNOW in that room, even though it was open to the elements and it was at least 75 degrees outside. It was shaded though, so I guess that's why there was still snow at the end of the summer.
You may think that's the end of the cave but there is actually one more room and it's fairly hidden. You have to go to the back of the room and crawl under a space that's about 2 1/2 feet high to find another room. The temperature dropped dramatically in this room and there was ice in it! It was as cold as a fridge.
Take a jacket and a flashlight for this adventure. It takes only a short while to explore this small cave. It's a free, fun family activity. I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way just to see it, but if you're in the Bear Lake area, I would recommend this as something new and fun to do!
The Paris Ice Cave is not a developed area but it was fun to go and see them. They are called ice caves because they have ice in them year round. Part of the cave has collapsed. There is a short area that you hike through and then the area that is open to the air. The road into this area was not bad at first but as we got higher into the mountains, we encountered snow and ice on the road. Our station wagon did okay but it would have been better if it would have been dry roads and no snow. And, if you go, watch out for the cows on the road. Yes, there was an area with ice!