The Vault - Fallout Wiki

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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
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Fallout 3 locations project
This article is within the scope of the Fallout 3 locations project. This project is dedicated to standardizing Fallout 3 location articles. If you want to participate, please check the project page.
Fo3 Shalebridge.png
Icon settlement large.png
Shalebridge loc.jpg
Map MarkerShalebridge
Cell NameShaleBridgeCavernexterior (ext.)
ShalebridgeCavern01 (tunnels)
ShalebridgeCavern02 (hill)
ref id00000f5b (exterior)
0001845f (tunnels)
0002f8c2 (hill)

Shalebridge is a location in the Capital Wasteland consisting of a broken relay tower, Shalebridge tunnels and Shalebridge hill. The latter two are rival ant colonies.



  • There is a dead ant researcher in a pool of water near the eggs in the friendly ant tunnels (green mushrooms entrance) that has a Big Books of Science on his corpse. Wait 73 hours for the book and the dead researcher to respawn.
  • Quite a bit to the east of Shalebridge tunnel entrance (due south of the train wreckage, across the irradiated mud hole), there is an ant egg clutch (it is on the other side of the rocky hill) with a copy of D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine and a Stealth Boy underneath the dead raider. (See Abandoned Car Fort.)
  • If you resurrect the dead ant researcher with the console, he will immediately become hostile and attack the player or any nearby friendly ants. The ants will not attack back.
  • It is possible upon entering the ant tunnels, to run to the ant researcher and find him while he's still alive. He will be hostile and it appears that the friendly ants will be attacking him. It should be noted that upon killing the researcher he drops a finger if you have the Lawbringer perk.

Shalebridge tunnels

Shalebridge Tunnels is a small cave system that is home to a small, friendly mutated ant colony. The entrance is to the north from the broken relay station located just below the hill and resembles a circular plate or cover surrounded by glowing mushrooms.

When the player enters, the smaller friendly ants are under attack from larger, more aggressive ants. The larger ants will attack the player and can be killed to protect the colony. The larger ants will not be here if you have already killed the queen in Shalebridge Hill.

If you inspect a nearby ant egg cluster, the option to inject a stimpak is given (science 70 or medicine 40 required). There is an ant compost heap with some ant nectar in it and it will replenish faster upon killing the giant ant queen in Shalebridge hill. The compost pile is toward the back of the cave, to the right, with glowing green mushrooms around it.

If you kill and then search one of the larger ants you will see the following message:

It appears that these ants are from another ant colony. Perhaps attacking this rival colony would help the forager ants survive.

Hidden tunnels

On the local map there are what appear to be openings to tunnels that are not found when you go to that point on the map, two of these make a complete small loop, and another appears to be a long tunnel along the outside of the cave to the left.

Climbing up on the boulders to the left of the first two pillars in the first large room near a small puddle, you will find you can continue to walk up the boulders, staying close to the wall. You should be able to get in on the far left side of the opening. You may need to crouch to get in, but once in you can stand up - even Fawkes can get in here. There appears to be another opening on the left, but you cannot get through this one. Straight ahead or to the right is one of these small loops, it is however a closed loop and does not lead to the long tunnel on the left. The opening to the left of this hidden entrance can be accessed partly from the opposite side. This is directly ahead of the entrance to the Shalebridge Tunnels at the south end of the small loop. There is another small opening that appears to be the entrance to the long tunnel below it, on the ground level. You cannot enter either opening, even when crouched. A similar inaccessible opening is at the very end, centered in the back wall of the last cave with the eggs and the compost pile.

Shalebridge hill

This colony is just north of Shalebridge Tunnels, surrounded by golden fungus. There is not much here except ant workers, ant soldiers, and a giant ant queen.


  • In the "friendly" ant caves, there is an extremely large Radiation King radio directly underneath the egg pile in which a stimpak is used. It is only accessible near the green mushrooms in both the Xbox 360 and the PC versions, and it does nothing. Moving the cursor over it displays the message "Activate egg pile". The radio was likely placed there for technical reasons.


Shalebridge appears only in Fallout 3.


  • Freezes and crashes are known to happen in this area frequently, probably due to ants spawning inside walls and other inaccessible areas. Leaving the area and waiting out the respawn period (72 hours) may help. For more involved workarounds, please see the discussion page.
  • PCIcon pc.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Followers can sometimes die when you enter Shalebridge.
  • If you search the invader ants re-entering Shalebridge freezes or crashes the game.
  • Pools of water will sometimes appear invisible, though if you do walk through it the rads gauge will appear.
  • After you search or investigate the invader ants you will not be able re-enter Shalebridge tunnels. You may not load any saved games in the tunnels either.