A 1966 headline in the Twin Falls Times news called Dead Horse Cave, “Probably (the) World’s Biggest Hall.” If that seems an odd way to describe a cave, blame the Odd Fellows. The Independent Order of Oddfellows (IOOF) held meetings there annually, beginning at least as far back as the 1930s. They “improved” the cave with entrance stairs and concrete benches along the sides of the main room, which is 40 feet below the surface. It’s big enough to hold 300 Odd Fellows, according to various clips about their meetings. They don’t seem to be meeting there anymore, but did so into the late 60s.
The cave is named for its propensity to swallow up wild horses. The opening is more or less in the roof of the lava tube, meaning it was an unexpected hole in the ground when horses galloped across the desert. The bones of equines piled up on the floor of the cave leading to an obvious name.
Dead Horse cave is about 11 miles northwest of Gooding. Ask around or check with the Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce. It is well known locally. A visit in the heat of summer is recommended, since the air in the cave hovers around 56 degrees year-round.