Just off Highway 89 in southern Utah, the Moqui Cave invites tourists to visit a natural wonder that is presented as a “museum depicting life in southern Utah spanning the centuries.” Inside are Native American artifacts, fossils, and one of the largest collections of fluorescent minerals in the United States.
Once used by the Anasazi people for storage and shelter, the cave was rediscovered by settlers during the early 19th-century. It was then transformed into a speakeasy.
Since 1951, the cave has been owned by the Chamberlain family. Garth and Laura Chamberlain originally purchased the cave and transformed it into a bar and dance hall. They also created a museum housing their collection of fossils, artifacts, and minerals.
Garth once studied archaeology, paleontology, and geology at Brigham Young University. He was also a standout football player. However, it was his dream to own and operate a museum. Today, the cave museum houses a variety of items including dinosaur footprints, pottery, and other Native American artifacts. There is also a collection of items that glow under blacklight, and not just minerals, but various paintings and other kitschy items.
When Garth died, his son and daughter-in-law took over management of the cave.
Know Before You Go
There is a great food truck right here called The Cave Cafe. There are paninis, acai bowls and delicious smoothies. You can take it to go, or pull up a chair at one of the picnic tables. Museum entry not required. Vegetarian options available.