Tongue River Cave has just over a mile of surveyed cave passage. The hike to the cave is beautiful with the vast canyon walls towering over you and the sound of the stream below. However, as the trail approaches the entrance, the natural beauty begins to fade as the sight of graffiti becomes more intrusive the closer you get to the cave. The graffiti continues into the cave, with most of the larger rooms of the cave completely covered in graffiti. Even in the 70’s this cave was known to be highly vandalized with garbage littered throughout the cave and names written upon the walls (Hills et. al, 1976).
In 2018 the Hole-in-the-Wall Grotto participated in a clean-up of Tongue River Cave with the Bighorn National Forest and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Working to remove graffiti near the entrance of the cave, it became clear that to remove the graffiti it would take a larger effort. In 2019 our member Lorraine Lehman received a grant from the Northern Rocky Mountain Grotto to purchase supplies to continue working on removing the graffiti. Currently efforts our continuing thanks to a partnership with the Wyoming Wilderness Association and continued support from the Bighorn National Forest.
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