Nutty Putty Cave
This is a first edition of the Nutty Putty Cave newsletter. We hope that you enjoy the information and that you will invite your friends to subscribe.
Wet Opening

The opening is very, very, very wet in the June rain. Click the photo to see how tall the opening really is.

Without a doubt, June 2009 is not like most of years. The water is falling from the skies almost daily and this greatly effects the Nutty Putty Cave visitors. From the wet roads to the cave entry, the rainfall makes each trip a unique experience. Here are some tips for those visiting the cave.

1) TOW STRAP - Most of our visitors caravan to the cave in at least two vehicles. We strongly recommend that you include a tow strap in your equipment in case one of the vehicles gets stuck in the mud. The ruts in the road are deep and when they fill with water, then you have no idea how deep they really are.

2) POSTED SIGNS - Driving to the cave you are responsible to obey the posted signs. Take a moment to read them so that you are not breaking the law. There are some new white with red writing signs posted on the way to the cave (See below).

3) FIX-A-FLAT - Throw in a can of Fix-A-Flat just in case you get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. Also, check the air pressure in your spare tire so that you are not stranded.

4) HEFTY BAGS - Each participant needs their own trash bag to store their dirty gear.

5) CHANGE OF CLOTHES - Trust our advice when we say that each caver should bring a complete change of clothes, all the way down to their skivvies. This is due to the water that collects at the entry of the cave. We know that you don’t believe us, so enjoy the photo of Riley Rampton’s group. The storm hit while they were in the cave and they had to deal with several inches of water at the opening. Look closely at their clothes, especially the white T-shirts, and then think about the interior of your car... Bring a change of clothes!!!

Riley reported... “Everyone enjoyed the exit of the cave. why? While we were in the cave it rained heavily outside and we had to make our way out of the cave through high water. It was just the thing to top off a great experience.”

We are thrilled to share the new Trip Photo Gallery feature to the Nutty Putty Cave website. We are now inviting Trip Leaders to send along a photo or two of their group in the cave along with a description of the participants. We think that this will become a favorite feature as cavers can return years later and see their group and reflect on their experience in the cave. Check out the new section... CAVER GALLERY

Take a look at the following sign. It is found at several locations along the County road leading out towards the cave...

At first glance it doesn’t mean much to cavers, yet it is a huge warning. This sign alerts you that you are traveling through private property. This means that you can stay on the County road, but you cannot turn off onto little side trails or roads without the property owner’s permission. If you do, then the property owner has every right to detain you and wait for law enforcement to arrive to write you a citation.


Helmets are required to be worn by all cavers visiting the Nutty Putty Cave. Trip Leaders need to educate the cavers in their group to this rule. Failure to do so will result in injuries and ultimate closure to the cave.

We want to eliminate major accidents in the cave, while at the same time train beginner and novice cavers in good caving technique. Many of our visitors opt to join the Timpanogos Grotto with the desire to learn how to improve their caving skills and learn how to safely explore more difficult vertical caves. Helmets are a must in horizontal caves to keep from banging your noggin, and imperative for safety in vertical caving to prevent death from falling objects busting your skull open.

So let’s be really clear on this point, cavers who do not want to wear a helmet in a cave should not visit the Nutty Putty Cave. Trip Leaders must self-police their group and enforce the rule. Failure to do so will lead to injury and possibly ruin it for the rest of us.

PLEASE NOTE: If you see other groups, please report this on your Trip Report so that we can ban them from future visits.


The majority of the Nutty Putty Cave visitors have never been to a Timpanogos Grotto meeting and they have no idea how their joining will help the caving community. We invite you to come to the grotto meetings and become a member. JOIN THE GROTTO


As the Nutty Putty Cave Access Manager, I had the privilege to visit the cave on June 15 with some very experienced cavers and our dialogue while driving along the west side of Utah Lake led to the unrealistic expectations of many new cavers that join the grotto. It was obvious that the biggest new member disappointment deals with not being able to find out where all of the Utah caves are located.

New cavers see the very low $15 annual Timpanogos Grotto membership fees and think, “Wow, for just $15 I can join and then receive access to all the known caves of Utah.” That is far from reality.

I know very few cavers that know where more than 20 of the hundreds of Utah caves are located. Most cavers get exposed to Utah caves one cave at a time. Line upon line, precept upon precept. As they gain the favor of a Trip Leader qualified for a certain cave and they prove themselves by being responsible in that cave, word spreads that they can be trusted and another Trip Leader will invite them along to another cave. The biggest disqualifier occurs when the new caver is reckless and unwilling to follow direction from the Trip Leaders. Over time the responsible new cavers become exposed to many caves. It should be noted that most private cave trips have a purpose far beyond just experiencing the thrills of the cave. This may include cleaning the cave, installing monitoring equipment, or mapping a new section of the cave.

So why can’t joining the Timpanogos Grotto be like buying a “Map of the Stars Homes” that would allow new grotto members the ability to just start touring all of the local Utah County caves? Why? Cavers destroy caves. Cavers destroy cave habitat. Cavers destroy cave features. Cavers are just plain bad for caves... But wait a minute. If cavers do all of this damage, then why are their caving grotto clubs like the Timpanogos Grotto?

The Grottos are established to teach good caving ethics and help preserve caves. People join the Grotto to get involved with cave conservation, preservation, exploration, and mapping. Unfortunately, many cavers just want the next rush, the next challenge, the next video game type experience. And this is why most seeking the high adventure adrenalin thrill never get to do it with caves. Out of frustration, they end up moving on to other adventure sports like bungie jumping and hang gliding and leave the subterranean world behind.

But there are a few of us who learn to love caves and want to invest time with conservation, preservation, exploration, and mapping projects. Those that express these desires to help get invited on private cave trips. One of the first thing new grotto members realize is that they will rarely see highly published cave trips attempting to garner huge masses of the public. Instead, most cave trips are planned in private amongst groups cavers that have proven themselves to be involved for more than just the immediate rush of adrenalin.

And this is where the Nutty Putty Cave fits so nicely into the Utah County caving experience. The Nutty Putty Cave is a sacrificial exploration cave that allows beginner to novice cavers the adrenalin rush in a rather safe horizontal caving environment. It is difficult to do any real damage to the Nutty Putty Cave because there are no delicate features. Most of our visitors have no grand motives of conservation, cleaning, or mapping. Instead, they are there for the thrill of making it through the next tight spot and into that next room. The Nutty Putty Cave fuels the desire to explore more caves and this is where we invite our Nutty Putty Cave visitors to give caving more thought and hopefully we can inspire you to join the Timpanogos Grotto and learn to care for our other great caving resources. And while you won’t be immediately flooded with cave access directions, you will find opportunities to both enjoy and preserve the caves of Utah.


There are plenty of time slots available and we need to spread the word that visiting the cave is free and that there is no need to break through the gate for access. There are very few people in Utah that don’t know about the Nutty Putty Cave, yet there are relatively few that know about this website and how they can gain access to the cave. Please help spread the word!

Thanks, Michael Leavitt - Nutty Putty Cave Access Manager

First Name: Last Name:
City, State: E-mail:
FEEDBACK PAGE - Click here for feedback comments from this newsletter