Arnold Ice Cave is more historical than interesting. Originally called the Crook County Ice Caves. (Which is kind of funny since it’s in Deschutes County, it was the site of an early ice mining operation.
The residents of Bend discovered ice in Joe Cave, later to become known as Arnold Cave about 12 miles south of Bend.
During times when the Deschutes River and/or ponds didn’t freeze, ice could only be gotten from this cave.
The ice was sold to the city of Bend by one of the early saloon keepers. Ice from Arnold cave was harvested until the refrigeration and electricity delivery came to Bend just before 1920.
In the 1950's a trench was carved in to the ice by Jim Anderson and Phil Coyner They accessed about a half mile of passage way. In later years, after the ice mining had ended, the cave filled back up with ice making the inner passages inaccessible to exploration attempts.
Some of the mining equipment is still visible but to get down in to the cave is pretty rough, very industrial, you have to get down on your butt and slide over the rocks and once you get down there, it is pretty icy and not in a pretty way. More like a fall and break your camera on muddy ice for no real good shots kind of way.
I was here on 09-22-13 and all this stairway and scaffolding has been removed making the cave much more accessible.
That old wood anchor rail is all that's left, sort of. There is a lot of wood down in the cave way down there where you see the little blue man (Eric).