Thieves damage Danger Cave State Park Heritage Area

Humans inhabited NW Utah area 11,000 years ago

This fragment of a small basket was among items stolen from Danger Cave State Park Heritage Site earlier this month.
Photo courtesy Utah State Parks

The Utah Division of Parks and Recreation is asking for the public’s help in finding those responsible for a break-in and damages to the Danger Cave State Park Heritage Area – one of the most significant archaeological sites in North America.

“The perpetrator(s) breached the gated and protected area located near Wendover [in northwestern Utah] and stole all contents; including educational artifacts, lighting, and safety equipment,” said Utah State Parks spokesman Devan Chavez in an email.

Site Archaeologist and steward Ron Rood discovered the incursion Saturday morning, May 11, when he came to the site to set up for a public tour, said Chavez.

The cave is well known for having been occupied by humans going back at least 11,000 years. Excavations of the cave also helped set the timeline for all Great Basin archaeology. Danger Cave was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966 and became a Utah State Park Heritage Area soon after, said Chavez.

Law enforcement officers are asking for the public’s help in apprehending the perpetrators of the break-in and theft. The incident occurred after 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7 and before 9 a.m., Saturday, May 11.

Those who may have seen anyone at the site during these times, or have any information about this incident, can contact Utah State Parks Heritage Resources Manager Justina Parsons-Bernstein at 801-889-7209 or [email protected].