October 04, 2015

The Dixie National Forest has some interesting high elevation features that come with this region in Utah.  You will first notice the mountainous plateau’s where pastel colors of red and white mix in to create a palate of cream and pink color to the sand stone where the pines grow in abundance. At times, you can reach an altitude of over 10,000ft. on your way through the Dixie. 
Duck Creek "Mammoth" Lava Tube Cave, Utah

  Cedar Breaks is a great place to stop and view the vast vistas of spire formations and at times you can even see Zion in the distance. 
Duck Creek "Mammoth" Lava Tube Cave, Utah

Among these pines and the sandy soil, lava beds have formed through cracks in the earth and have spread across sections of the Dixie as little as 2000 years ago.   Some of these lava Beds cooled where lava kept flowing creating lava tubes that extend for quite the distance.  
Duck Creek "Mammoth" Lava Tube Cave, Utah

One in particular Lava Tube, which has been named “Mammoth Lava Tube” or Duck Creek Lava Tube, extends for over 2 miles with multiple entrances and thru trips from one side of the tube to another.
This particular lava tube sees a lot of heavy traffic and is closed from October thru May to protect the bat population.  Please respect these closures so we can protect the bat populations and enjoy the lava tubes for generations to come. 
The Mammoth lava tube has four directions to go if you enter from the main entrance at the parking lot location. There is some nice walking passage that has been heavily travelled but there also is some breakdown sections that I bet filter out a lot of people which helps control the human impact and keep the cave in pristine condition. 
Duck Creek "Mammoth" Lava Tube Cave, Utah
There is a gate at the main entrance to protect the bat population on effective closure dates. 
Duck Creek "Mammoth" Lava Tube Cave, Utah
Another direction in the cave takes people through some interesting varnished walls and ceiling until finding themselves in crawl spaces and breakdown piles to manipulate themselves around which can become a challenge for some people.  I did not have a lot of time but the time that we did have, we enjoyed the cave and got to see a few healthy bats flying around along with one of the fattest rats we have ever seen.

Duck Creek "Mammoth" Lava Tube Cave, Utah

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