New Caving Rules


A new adaptive management strategy for white nose sydrome (WNS) now allows access to some caves with important requirements to prevent the spread of WNS to bats in the region. This replaces the emergency closure of all caves that had been in place since 2010 while research was being conducted. The new rules for cavers include:

  • Required registration to access caves that are open.

  • Required decontamination of gear and clothes before and after entering open caves.

  • Prohibition on the use of gear that has been used in caves or mines in States and Canadian Provinces where WNS has been found or suspected.

  • Closure of all known bat hibernation caves during the winter hibernation season.

Before planning a trip, please visit the Rocky Mountain Region's main WNS webpage to familiarize yourself with the new regulations and information, and check to see if your cave is open, closed, or has seasonal closures.  The links below will provide this information and more.


How do I find out what the new requirements are, and how do I register to access an open cave?

Click here for cave access registration and other important caving requirements, as well as to see the most current information on White Nose Syndrome and the Adaptive Management Strategy for White-nose Syndrome at the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region webpage.


Which caves are open or closed on the White River National Forest?

Click here to see the prohibitions and restrictions on cave access for the White River National Forest.

Click here to see the Hubbard Cave Trail closure order.


In which States and Canadian Provinces has WNS been found or suspected?

White-nose syndrome map.


How do I decontaminate my gear and clothing?

Quick guide to decontamination for cavers.

National protocol for decontamination which provides detail about which techniques are best suited for different types of gear.


Additional Resources: