Cave Without a Name


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  • Location: near Boerne, Kendall County
  • Length: 4,332 m (14,211 ft.)
  • Depth: 27.1 m (89 ft.)
  • Contact: Website for tour details and hours
  • Other Information: Facebook Page

Directions:

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

Description:

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).

Bibliography:

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& 66-76.

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.


All data on this page and on the linked Show Caves is revised from:
William R. Elliott and George Veni (eds.). 1994.
The Caves and Karst of Texas: 1994 Convention Guidebook.
Natl. Speleol. Soc., Huntsville, Alabama.
352 pp. + viii + 13 maps. All rights reserved. Original page author: Veni.