Cave Without A Name
Click on Map below for a larger image
- Website: http://www.cavewithoutaname.com
- Location: near Boerne, Kendall County
- Length: 4,332 m (14,211 ft.)
- Depth: 27.1 m (89 ft.)
- Hours: 9am to 6pm summer (memorial day through labor day), 10 to 5 the rest of the year.
- Length of Tour: 1:00 (calling ahead is advisable)
- Admission: Please call for current rates.
- Phone: (830) 537-4212.
- Author: George Veni
On the outskirts of San Antonio,
exit on 1604 (Anderson Loop) and head to Interstate 10. Take "IH 10 West"
(although you'll be heading north), go about 18 miles, take the first exit
for Boerne (Highway 87), and follow the road into town. When you reach
the fourth traffic light turn right onto 474. Follow the road out of town
for 6 miles, turn right onto Kreutzberg Road, and then follow the signs
for 5.3 miles to the cave
Cave Without A Name has
a short trail but is a wonderful cave. A staircase spirals down a pit and
opens into a 7-m-high by 12-m-wide passage decorated with large speleothems.
The trail ends after 186 m at a large stream passage.
Cave Without A Name is Texas' best
kept secret among show caves. The lack of advertising and the slightly
off-the-beaten-path location belie the cave's quality. Its entrance pit
has been enlarged to accommodate a staircase that spirals down to a depth
of 24 m. The pit opens into a passage measuring 186 m long and averaging
7 m high by 12 m wide. Large columns, stalactites, stalagmites, and draperies
divide the passage into four distinct sections. The speleothems include
some of best rimstone dams and cave bacon in Texas. The tour trail ends
at a stream passage where the real caving begins (sorry, no off-trail trips
since the owners get their drinking water from the stream). Downstream
the cave extends 100 m to a 10 m long sump, then continues about 560 m
to the Deadman's Cave entrance. Upstream, the cave has been surveyed nearly
3 km through several sumps requiring scuba. The stream passage is usually
3-5 m high and wide, and filled waist to neck-deep with water. Several
sumps and side passages await exploration.
The cave was discovered in the early
part of the 20th century when steam was seen rising from the pit entrance
one cold winter morning. A rock that partially covered the pit was moved,
but no one went into the cave until the 1920s when it was necessary to
rescue a goat. In 1927, a group of boys dug open a short crawlway at the
base of the entrance pit and found the main part of the cave. Between this
discovery and its commercialization, the cave's entrance area hid a moonshine
still during prohibition years. Significant exploration of the stream passage
required scuba and was not accomplished until the 1970s. Cave Without A
Name has operated as a show cave since 1939, when a contest to name the
cave was won by a local youth who felt the cave was too pretty to have
a name. For a few years in the 1970s the cave was called Century Caverns
before reverting to its original name.
The cavernicole fauna of Cave Without
A Name, as in other nearby caves, is poorly studied. Nonetheless, preliminary
collections from the cave yield a diverse assemblage of aquatic and terrestrial
animals that include, snails, isopods, amphipods, crayfish, spiders, harvestmen,
millipeds, springtails, cave crickets, beetles, salamanders, frogs, and
bats. Further study promises the Cave Without A Name area to be biologically
rich and interesting.
Cave Without A Name is one of several
extensive stream caves in the lower member of the Glen Rose Formation that
drain to the Guadalupe River. Recent research indicates that while these
caves drain local uplands, the main passage of most major caves is formed
by pirating water from the river and returning it some distance downstream.
Some caves obviously cut across river meanders, while others like Cave
Without A Name follow more obscure routes. The pit entrance to the cave
has formed relatively recently as indicated by Late Pleistocene bones found
at its base (see the paleontology chapter by Toomey in this Guidebook).
Ebell, Eugene. 1992. Personal communication.
Former owner of Cave Without A Name.
Elliott, W. R. 1985. A field guide
to the caves of Kendall County. Texas Speleol. Surv., pp. 22-23
Fieseler, R. G., J. Jasek, and M. Jasek.
1978. An introduction to the caves of Texas. NSS Conv. Guidebook.
19, p. 104.
Semken, H. A., Jr. 1959. Preliminary
report on the Cave Without A Name fossil fauna. Texas Caver, 4(3):6.
Texas Speleological Survey. 1991. Report
on the 60 longest and deepest caves. Texas Caver, 36(6):122.
Veni, G. 1994. Geomorphology, hydrogeology,
geochemistry, and evolution of the karstic Lower Glen Rose Aquifer, South-Central
Texas. Ph.D dissertation, Penn. State Univ., University Park, 721 pp.