Iron Door Cave of Joshua Tree (Joshua Tree National Park)

The Iron Door Cave, is well hidden among the boulders of the Wonderland of Rocks.

The Iron Door Cave, is well hidden among the boulders of the Wonderland of Rocks.

 

The desert can be an odd place, especially when humans get involved.  For instance, take the Iron Door Cave in the Wonderland of Rocks area of Joshua Tree National Park.  What would have possessed someone to seal a cave with an iron door? The most obvious answer would be the storage of explosives, but there are no mines in the immediate vicinity.

The are a couple of myths that surround the Iron Door Cave, one goes along with the theory of explosives. It has been told that local rancher/miner Bill Keys added the iron door to the cave, using it as a storage facility for dynamite. This is the most likely explanation, but again, there are no mines in the immediate area, so why store dynamite here?

The second myth, is that a local unnamed rancher kept his mentally ill son inside of the cave.  I guess it is possible, odder things have happened.

Whatever the true story is, we’ll likely never know, but at least we have a cave with an iron door.

 

Iron Door Cave - Enter if your dare!

Iron Door Cave – Enter if your dare!

 

Inside looking out.

Inside looking out.

 

The Iron Door Cave - Lots of graffiti inside.

The Iron Door Cave – Lots of graffiti inside.

 

 

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.

1 Comment

  • I’m not sure what I like the best, the cave, or the legends.
    I took my granddaughter there a while back and there were some guys “bouldering” on the large rock next to it. They had no idea it was there!

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