"Buckner Caves and surroundings" Top 5 Page for this destination Bloomington Sports & Outdoors Tip by DSwede
Bloomington Sports & Outdoors: 2 reviews and 1 photos
Buckner Cave (formerly Blair or Saltpeter Cave) and the surrounding caves, like Trapdoor or Salamander, are frequented by locals and students.
In the 80's and 90's, they were freely open to the public. I should know, I used to visit the caves when I went to college near there. But due to the immature nature of many vandals, the caves have become restricted. There is an intense cleaning effort underway, and thankfully the caves are looking healthy again.
Richard Blenz owns the cave and resides in the house at the end of the street. The cave has roughly 3 miles of passages. It is a dry cave, meaning that even though you may encounter ground water, it is generally safe in rainy weather (will not flood).
Due to the vandalism and cleanup efforts, it is now required to get prior authorization to the caves. email the address below at least one week in advance. They will send you some liability disclaimers. Once they have them returned, you will be given the combination for the lock, and thereby granted access. The combination changes approximately every month.
Many of the rooms have names, such as the Air Force Room (large enough to park planes in it), the Volcano Room, the Monument Room (with a large flowstone stalagmite), and the Signature Room. The Signature Room got its name due to "L.V. Cushing" and date "1775" being etched. Unfortunately those are not visible anymore.
Rules of the cave: http://www.indiana.edu/~iusc/caving.html
For some good caving tips: http://poc.purdue.org/caving.php
Equipment: Helmet is required
3 sources of light are required
sturdy clothing/boots/food are recommended
Groups of 3 or more are required.
Only solo or groups of 2 are allowed with prior authorization.
Address: end of W. Eller Road
Directions: From Bloomington, take HW-45 south and west.
Take Garrison Chapel Rd north (right).
west to the end of Eller Rd (left).
othercontact: email: buckners-request-l@lists