Enter At Your Own Risk!
If you are taking in the sites as you start up Alamo Canyon Trail (t104) it is hard not to notice and begin to wonder about the dark slot high up in the cliffs to the north. It appears to be an opening cut out of the rock face with a narrow trench falling away below.
The approach appears to be a terrible bushwhack up a narrow defile, with unclimbable cliffs below the cave.
It is not.
If you make the entry into the first side canyon heading up towards those cliffs (less than .2 miles from the trail head parking) you will think you are in for a less than fun push through overgrown shrub and cacti…
…crossing the old Alamo city water pipe, rusting away across the cut, you push past a few odd shrubs… and then… a trail!
Cutting to the right up the side of the wash, a very nice trail carries you up and on to the bench that divides the two drainages that comprise Cave Canyon.
You could hike up the bottom of that second drainage, but with this very nice trail access there is no reason to make that more difficult effort. Stay with the trail up to the saddle. At the saddle, hike over and look down into the lower portions of Pock Rock Canyon. Then, follow any of a dozen game grazing paths up to the bottom of the canyon slot.
You will note a large chock rock at the mouth of the slot… it blocks your passage. Simply move around to your right to access the next level up, moving up the eastern cut. Once to the base of the cliffs immediately above, move back into the slot to your left. From there it is a steep scramble up to the cave. It may be a bit overgrown.
Once at the cave… at present there is a six foot high ledge, overhanging, that has to be scaled to enter.
Note the sign painted on the cave wall, complete with skull and crossbones: “Enter Here At Your Own Risk”… take heed: beyond this point may lie monsters.
This is not really a canyoneering hike, yet its steep grade (averages 1400’ per mile!) and the nature of the upper section makes it more like moving through that more difficult setting. If you go high on this hike take care.
The eastern drainage continues on up a few hundred feet higher than the cave level… providing access to The Mesa and possibly a connecting loop over to Pock Rock Canyon.
This shorter outing gives you a great workout and impressive vista views. It is worth the effort.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.