Cave Hunting – Colorado Bend State Park

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Colorado Bend State Park

Colorado Bend State Park is a 5,328.3-acre Texas state park in the Hill Country region. Within that 5,000+ acres you will find waterfalls, rivers, canyons, and caves! Majority of the caves here are wild and natural (Not tour caves). It is estimated that there are over 300 caves within the park, most of which are completely unexplored! Ready for an adventure? Lets go!

For thoese of you who would prefer to just see the photos without having to read, I've gone ahead and made life easier for you. All the photos can easily be viewed HERE!

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In The Beginning...

The trail I chose to start on today is called "Dogleg Canyon". It is a very secluded trail, and sees very little traffic. TO be honest, I've been on this trail 3 or 4 times, and have never encountered another hiker! The trail starts off very unassuming, but, based off the later terrain, I believe it has the best chance of finding some natural caves.

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Along The Way.

As you can see, this first part is pretty easy. A lot of flat ground on the way towards the canyons. Mostly, you will be surrounded by boulders, small trees, and plenty of cacti. It's pretty, silent, and relaxing...

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Almost there...

The first time I hiked this trail, I almost turned around at this point. I thought that my research had led me astray. Luckily, I was wrong (Something that occurs quite often in my world!)

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The Portal Opens!

The light at the end of the tunnel. A few more steps, and you'll see why this hike is totally worth it.

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We Made it! The Canyons!

Coming off the flat trail, you are suddenly hit with this view! This is where the hunt begins. It's time to break off the beaten path.

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One Last Glimpse

It's hard to step away form moments like these, but alas, the caves are calling out to me..

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Up or Down...

Should my adventure start up, or down? The caves I am looking for are largely unexplored, which means there is no documentation on location. As uninviting as down looks, my best chance is in the ravines. Down we go!

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A Great Start!

Shortly after my descent, I noticed a small hole in the cliff-side.

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The Right Place!

My first cave! Not very big, and I could only crawl in so far before the tunnels became too small, but I was on the right track! Onward!

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Cave Number Two!

10 minutes later, I found another cave Entrance! Looks as if someone beat me to this one though. I'm not going to say whether I took the signs advice or not...

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A Deeper Look

It was a tight fit and the decent was about 20 feet straight down. Definitely going back to explore this one further!

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Cave Number Three?!

This is the best my luck has been so far. Another pit into the Earth, and another opportunity for me to do something stupid! Awesome!

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Climbing Down!

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On The Way...

A fun climb without gear. Sadly, once I reached the bottom, I realized it was more of a pit than a cave. At one point, I believe it went deeper into the ground, but it looks as if the entrance was covered with fallen rock. Now to climb back up!

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Wrapping Around The Canyons

Continuing my hike for another 20 mins or so, I decided to climb a rocky ledge for the view. Pretty, yeah?

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Another One!

This is why I prefer to leave the trails and blaze my own way. The mouth of a cave, hidden high up in the mountain side.

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Their Getting Bigger!

Flashlight finally required. The caverns are growing large enough to crawl through now.

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Watch your head!

I must warn you, if exploring caves, make sure you have the proper gear with you, as well as another person. Essentially, do the opposite of everything I did during this trip.

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Further Exploration

After some tunnel crawling, I determined that this cavern would not lead me to a large chamber, so I made my way back out. The search continues!

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Look. A Fallen Tree.

I don't know why I took this photo. I think I just liked this fallen tree. You can move on.

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There She Is.

I wouldn't know right away, but this is the old girl I've been looking for. Hidden behind some trees and rocks, I found the opening.

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The Belly of The Beast

Light vanished quickly, time to pull out my flashlight and see what I discovered. The terrain was rough and Rocky, but I found my way to a large chamber.

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Silence.

The deeper I went, the quieter it became. I'm not sure I've ever encountered such silence.

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Remembering My Training

I was alone. I was in a cave. This is where I have to get serious for a moment. Please do not try this on your own unless you are experienced. It is very easy to get turned around in a cavern like this and lose your way. There are a number of unseen dangers in these mysterious places.

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Letting The Photos Speak.

Just take a moment to absorb this typically unseen world.

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Tunneling Through

Inside, there were some tunnels like this one, looking almost as if made for someone to walk through, yet it was completely natural. I wasn't sure what to expect on the other end... Aliens or Batman..

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Calcite!

The local mineral deposit in this cavern appears to be Calcite. Nothing fancy, but I love crystals!

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A Way Out!

After a while in the darkness, I was almost blinded by the light that suddenly appeared. Following it, I saw it was a way out.

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Gorman's Cave

Having left my latest discovery, I found my way back out to a trail. It was time to take it easy for a bit. I made my way to a known cavern called "Gorman's Cave". An easy entrance, and a great cave for beginners to go through. Plenty of headroom and lots too see. You can head back pretty far before its sealed up with Iron bars to protect the local bats that call the cave home.

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Crystals!

A few chunks of Calcite I found throughout my adventure.

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What I Was Looking For...

Having found what I was looking for, I decided to break off my cave hunt and just hike some trails. I decided to make my way towards Gorman Falls. It's a tourist-y attraction, but pretty none-the-less.

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The Trail

Most of the trail heading towards the falls is barricaded by cliffs and boulders on one side, and the Colorado River (Texas Version) on the other.

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Colorado River

I decided to cool off a bit at the river.

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Can't Get Much Better...

After splashing off my face, I took a moment to sit and take everything in. This has been one of the more perfect (I know, doesn't make sense) days that I've had on a trail in a while.

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Another? Wasn't even looking!

Spotted another cave along the way to Gorman Falls. Due to my lack of water and flashlight batteries, I decided to play it safe and stay out. I shall return for this one!

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Gorman Falls!

A quick shot of the falls. It's a great place to just sit and relax. Lots of shade, mist, and cool water!

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The Last Photo

This is the last photo I took thanks to my decaying battery life, I am not really sure what to call this, but it was pretty neat!

Originally posted 2017-10-16 16:53:36.

26 Responses to “Cave Hunting – Colorado Bend State Park

  • My brother and I have been talking about going cave hunting, we are trying to plan a trip next year for his birthday. He’s turning 22 and we also want to go cliff diving. Thanks for this!

    • It’s an absolute blast! Natural/wild caves just give you this feeling that you can’t get anywhere else. I don’t even know how to explain it! I hope you guys are successful for his birthday!

  • robin rue
    1 month ago

    That’s sure not like any of the state parks we have here in Mass! I would love to go cave hunting there someday.

    • Not too familiar with Mass. But I do know that New York State has some AMAZING caves to find and explore! Not too far away. =)

  • Oh wow, this is such a gorgeous area! I would love to explore those caves.

    • It really is amazing. Most of the time, things like this are only within 1-2 hours of a person, no matter where they live (Except maybe Kansas.. I really dislike that state!). It just takes some research and getting rid of the excuses to not make the drive!

  • That park is gorgeous, I don’t think we have anything like that near me. I would be scared to death to go into the cave.

    • It’s like I told Amber below… Things like this are only within 1-2 hours of a person, no matter where they live. It just takes some research and getting rid of the excuses to not make the drive! As for being scared.. There is really nothing to be afraid of in places like this as long as you watch your step. Once you’re inside, the mysteriousness of the place takes over, and you tend to find yourself in awe. =)

  • This reminds me of shows on Netflix my husband loves. I should just take him here and say, live your Netflix fantasies! LOL

    • Truth be told, that’s sorta what started me a while back. I was addicted to watching documentaries on outdoor travel and exploration. Then it just kinda hit me… Nothing is stopping me from doing it other than myself. That weekend, I went out and found a cave. =)

  • What an amazing adventure. I engage in urban hiking from time to time, but nothing at all like this. Incredible!

  • Claudia Krusch
    1 month ago

    I would love to go explore Colorado Bend State Park. Caves have always been fascinating to me. It looks like a beautiful place.

  • As much as I love touring different places when I go away hiking isnt one of them lol but this looks like an awesome adventure

  • You just described my dream vacation! I love canyoning and trekking and my husband is trained in cave exploring! Man I am jealous!

  • Oh my goodness, this sounds like the sort of place I once would have loved to explore (sadly my mobility means I can’t anymore). However, caves still fascinate me.

  • OMG we love Colorado!!! We were there for a month last year visiting my brother and we enjoyed every minute of it!

  • We love the hill country! We will have to check this place out. The photos are amazing!

  • This is so exciting!! All these photos make me want to go there right away!! Loved your captions! 300 caves sounds so crazyy! ?

  • Colorado Bend State Park is beautiful. I went a few months ago when I visited my brother in Texas . It didn’t go on any caves but I enjoyed the trail. Your pictures took me on a great adventure. Happy you were able to find what you where looking for and enjoy yourself.

  • The Colorado Bend State Park is one of the places I want to visit in the US. Hope to see it soon! Thanks for the tips!

  • this looks like such an adventure! my husband has been wanting to go on a vacation to colorado for years. he would love this.

  • That is such a cool adventure! I would love to find some crystals.

  • How amazing that you found some crystals while you were cave hunting and your camera captured the caves beautifully. I always found caves fascinating myself too .

  • OMG your pictures look amazing. Everything is so breathtaking. We’ve been on several cave tours but never a wild cave. I am a bit scared LOL. Prehaps one day I will overcome the fear and go on a wild cave search.

  • Blair villanueva
    1 month ago

    I haven’t been visiting caves for many years, but still i remember the feeling of excitements. It is beautiful! And those calcites, magnificent. This place should be protected.

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