Illinois Department of Natural Resources - Cave Exploration Permit Application

Illinois Caverns - All blanks must be completed and printed legibly

Name:_____________________________ Vehicle Plate # _______________

Address:___________________________ Phone# _____________________

City:________________ State:______________ Zip Code:_______________

Organization/Group:______________________Number Entering Cave_____

Conditions of Permit

Days and Hours of Operation: Illinois Caverns is open to visitors with valid permits, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The cave hours are 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. No one is permitted to enter or remain in the cave after 2:30 p.m. The site (except the cave) remains open until 3:30 p.m.

Group Size: Minimum of 4 persons. A group of 25 or more must preregister for permits prior to arrival.

Youth groups require 1 adult leader for each 5 minors.

Smoking, alcoholic beverages, fires, littering and camping are prohibited at Illinois Caverns. Any natural, geologic, or biological materials may not be disturbed or removed. Only refillable type of drinking containers may be used, no aluminum or glass bottles are allowed. Nothing is to be left inside the cave.

Due to high levels of bacterial coliform in the cave do not drink any water or expose open wounds to the caverns' waters.

The applicant agrees to use adequate safety equipment, including 3 battery powered sources of light, appropriate footwear with treaded sole, and suitable protective clothing. The use of hard hats or plastic protective head gear is required.

For and in consideration of receiving permission to enter Illinois Caverns, the applicant hereby waives all right to file any claim, and hereby exempts and releases any and all landowners and their heirs, tenants, agents and employees from all claims due to accidents, injuries, sickness, or damages to person or property which may be sustained by the applicants, whether or not due to negligence including gross negligence as a result of usage of the Illinois Caverns area. The applicant further agrees to protect, indemnify and hold harmless said landowners, including the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and its employees from any and all costs and expenses in connection therewith.

The applicant acknowledges that he or she is aware that Illinois Caverns is a substantially wild, unimproved cave system, that he or she has been fully informed of potential hazards associated with his/hers usage of the area and that there may be hidden, as well as apparent dangers. The applicant further acknowledges that he or she has been neither requested nor invited to visit the premises or enter the cave.

In the case of unsafe caving conditions, the cave will be closed by site staff.


The applicant hereby declares that he or she fully understands the conditions of this permit and that he or she voluntarily accepts said conditions.

Applicant’s Signature:_________________________________ Date:________________________

Signatures of parents or guardians if applicant is under 18 years of age:

______________________________________________ Date:_________________________

______________________________________________ Date:_________________________   

Permit approved/disapproved by IDNR staff:

____________________________Date:_________               Revised 3/07