Cicurina Cave

Click on Map below for a larger image

  • Hazards: Snakes
  • Surveyed length: 251 m
  • Depth: 17 m


Part of the Colorado Bend State Park, Cicurina Cave is a fun through-trip under a dry creekbed, with watchable cave fauna along the way.  Be careful of rattlesnakes!

There are two entrances, almost on opposite sides of the bed of Gorman Creek, which is normally dry. The South Entrance is a 2.5-m climbable drop into a small, circular room. However, to climb out requires a handline or step of some kind. A narrow passage slopes steeply down for 10 m to a triangular room 25 m long and up to 20 m wide. The center is silted almost to the ceiling. This room is under the creek bed and is damp from infiltration. The room contains abundant invertebrate fauna and often has a single sleeping cave myotis bat (Myotis velifer incautus). From the north end a passage 1 to 2 m high and 2 to 3 m wide zigzags generally northwest for about 60 m to the bottom of an 8-m dome-pit that connects to upper and lower levels. The pit cannot be free-climbed safely. The upper level leads through a short crawl to the North Entrance, a shallow sinkhole in a cedar brake in the creek bed. Watch out for rattlesnakes in this entrance area. The lower level leads northeast as a sinuous passage 2 to 3 m in diameter for about 30 m, where an intermittent stream enters, after which the cave gradually narrows and sumps.

The cave has more than 20 species, including the troglobites Cambala speobia (millipede) and Cicurina sp. (possibly C. sansaba, a spider). Cicurina probably is one of the better small caves in the park in which to observe fauna. The cave is one of the weekend wild tours conducted at the park and is the subject of a baseline ecology study in which visitors can participate. In 1996 the bones of two black bears were recovered from the cave by Dr. Ernest Lundelius, Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory, The University of Texas.

Revised 7/2014; original page author: William R. Elliott. All rights reserved.