The Dye Clan
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  • TR: May 2012

Hole on the West Cave

Jeremy getting ready to rappel into Hole on the West Cave.

Hole on the West Cave is a large sandstone sinkhole. The rappel from the entrance is about 110 feet and involves rappelling down a waterfall. We got completely soaked on the way out.

Hole on the West Cave Map

Trip Report: May 19, 2012

A co-worker's brother-in-law found this cave while out hunting. They threw some rocks in and could tell it dropped a long ways, but they never explored it. When they heard I was into caving, they said I had to go check it out. So they looked on Google Earth and guessed where the cave was and gave us the coordinates.

To be honest, we didn't really expect to find the cave, and if we did find the cave, we didn't expect it to be very good, so we just took minimal gear (87' rope, rappelling gear, and ascending gear).

Access to Hole on the West Cave:

Start at 300 N in Richfield, UT. Cross under I-70. This is the Civilian Conservation (CC) Road. Set your odometer. You'll know you're on the right road when you pass the Richfield water tank. Stay on the main road for 7.7 miles. Turn right at the fork in the road ( 38°46'31.83"N, 112°11'40.93"W). There is a sign for people going the other way.

Go 6.2 miles to 38°50'19.17"N, 112°14'46.36"W (picture below). Turn left toward Devil's Armchair.

Hole on the West Cave
Hole on the West Cave

At 38°49'30.91"N, 112°16'6.50"W, take the small 4-wheeler track that forks to the left. Continue for 0.5 miles and park at 38°49'12.31"N, 112°16'28.14"W. Hole on the West Cave is approximately 900 feet down the hill to the left.

In the picture below, Anthony and Zac are standing at the entrance to the cave. It is quite large and easy to find. And the best part is that the coordinates we got from Google Earth were within 40' of the cave.

Hole on the West Cave

A view of the entrance from above.

Hole on the West Cave

Cave Exploration Story

We used a 50' length of webbing around a tree as our anchor. If you use less webbing, you'll need more rope. Your choice.

Hole on the West Cave

Jeremy rappelling into Hole on the West Cave.

Hole on the West Cave

The entrance has lots of loose dirt and rocks, so make sure to wear a helmet.

Hole on the West Cave

Zac getting suited up.

Hole on the West Cave

The first drop is approximately 30 feet to a ledge. When we were there in May 2012, water was seeping down all the walls and collecting into streams.

Hole on the West Cave
Hole on the West Cave
Hole on the West Cave

Anthony rappelling into the cave.

Hole on the West Cave
Hole on the West Cave

Since Anthony was the last one down, he kept going into the next pit. We don't have any pictures of the lower pit because the camera battery died, so you'll just have to go with a written description.

About 15-20 feet below the ledge where Zac and I were standing, all the water (and the rappeller) gets channeled into one spot. From that spot, it's a free rappel (meaning you're not touching any walls) to the bottom. That only problem was that our rope was about 10'-15' too short. So Anthony had to switch over to ascending and climb back up - and all the while water was pouring down on top of him.

Hole on the West Cave

We really wanted to get to the bottom so we could explore a side tunnel, so Anthony ascended all the way out and extended the anchor rigging another 30' so the rope started at the ledge where Zac and I were standing.

Hole on the West Cave

Zac and I then rappelled to the bottom and explored the side tunnel (lots of snow, ice, and rotten logs) then ascended back up the waterfall to the top ledge. We got off rope, then Anthony shortened the anchor so we could ascend the rest of the way out of the cave.

We then rode the 4-wheelers a half-hour back to Richfield in soaking wet clothes.

It was awesome.