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Side/Day trip Saltpeter Cave & Natural Bridge

 

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The destination is well worthwhile. The path you take to get there can be an adventure. I believe we went South on 145 until just above Eddyville and then East on New Home Road, continuing East at the intersection on Stone Bottoms Road. (which gets pretty bad past the trailhead, so park there) Hard to read the map there but I think the trail is 481. There are a few trails in the area and I’ll let you in on a secret. You see the Saltpeter Cave crossing? That is a horse trail crossing only about 6ft deep. You can go to your right and find your way across unless the water is running deeper. When you get to the cave, it is on the far side of the creek and you have to find another way to cross. ORRRRRRRRRR.

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You can listen to your buddy and see a cool area and not cross the creek at all. Just stay on the right bank. You will find an old trail if you look hard that evidently was the old way there before they decided it was too easy. It stays on the right bank, passes under a long curving outcropping/caveish area  and ends up at Salt Peter cave. Saltpeter cave is a cool area and very beautiful. If you want to see the natural bridge you will have to cross the creek at Saltpeter cave and continue on the left side of the creek. There are a lot of side trails unmarked along here that follow the bluff further past the cave and there are some very cool rock formations and areas not on any map. It is an easy trail other than the creek crossings and I think it is about 1.5-2 miles from the trailhead to the cave. We went back later with friends by the right side trail because the water was up and they brought along folding chairs. A picnic would be a great idea but pack it in, pack it out. I’ll post the second photos later when I come across them but we had missed the peak color season like this first trip.

When we were there this trip we went to the natural bridge and while there we heard a big crash back at the cave. Some sandstone had fallen off the roof in the far right section of the cave not far from where we had lunch. Hey, its a cave.

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