Monday, March 28, 2011

Caves

We met some folks on the way back.Talked for a little while. They told some tales of mule excursions  into the most rugged areas of the Black Range on the Animas Divide Trail,East Curtis Canyon, the crossover trail from the North Percha, as well as the upper reaches of the Mineral Creek trail. Just the kind of thing that gets my imagination going for  future excursions. It also gets my frustration going at not living closer to the mountains going as well( sigh). Oh well,everything I've heard or read about these places makes them sound unpalatable even for the most seasoned backpacker( If you don't believe me, check out Hiking the Aldo Leopold Wilderness by Polly and Roy Cunningham).  I've actually hiked trails like Water Canyon and several others which are still "official" trails in the Black Range, as well as quite a few unofficial ones that provided a little more adventure than was necessary in the way of washouts,brush,downed trees,rockslides and absent tread( sour grapes now concluded).
     They also told of some caves. One is on North Percha, which they gave me some directions to, although,I probably need someone to point it out on the map. The other, they said, is on Mineral Creek,but they didn't know where.There are many intriguing holes and alcoves including one very large one in the cliffs just below the ridge with the natural arch on top. I've also heard of Robinson's Cave, Mad Hornet Cave and Coffee Cave, which are all supposedly in the Black Range,but I don't know where.Also in the Black Range on the west side is the cave at the Royal John Mine, located  at the head of Cold Spring Canyon( not 100% sure on the location, I have not visited there). This cave has a  small pond inside it. Artifacts recovered many years ago suggested that it had a ceremonial purpose to the Mimbres Mogollon people who lived in the valley.There are two small caves in the Bishop Cap area,one high up on the west face of Bishop Cap proper. . Anyone with information about these caves or their experiences on the above mentioned abandoned trails,please comment.

9 comments:

fnw said...

i am trying to find robinson's cave and other caves on north percha road but i need some kind of directions or just clues about where they are would be really helpfull

devon said...

I believe the cave on North Percha is a short ways downstream from where FR 157 crosses the stream. If the the guy who lives at the old house there is home,he probably could tell you.He's the other person commenting on this blog. Robinsons Cave is on Middle or South Percha .There used to be a site that documented a visit to that cave.

Brett Vaughn said...

fnw,

The ridge right before you drop down into the private property there is a trail going east, If you follow it and it will drop down into the creek and then eventually climb up the opposite side and it will lead to the cave.

devon,

We have had alot of winter moisture and the creeks are all running should be a nice spring to be out hiking..

Brett Vaughn said...

Oh and thats on forest rode 157

Brett Vaughn said...

ROAD not rode

Married2ahorsenut said...

I explored both Robinson's cave and another in the same area a couple years ago called cactus cave. I have a bunch of pictures on my facebook account if you want to look at them. Cactus cave is by far a better exploration, as it's less known, hard to get into (heavy people will NOT be able to enter. There is a narrow crawlway that ends at a 'drain' that's about 3.5 feet deep. You have to hop down into the hole, which is a tight squeeze, manage to sit down, scoot to laying position and inchworm into the main room. check out the pictures at https://www.facebook.com/douglas.vernon/photos_all . Enjoy.. Unfortunately how to get there is still really vague, as we had to gain special permission to explore the cave and had to be guided to the location.. but it is in the black range. If I could be put near the right place, I could find it again.

devon said...

Couldn't access your photos. I have read about Cactus Cave and I'm pretty sure it's along the north side of Mineral Creek.

©CBVTV said...

I did finally come across the cave on mineral creek..there is a gate that is locked at the entrance and you have to get a key from the forest service... its on the north side before you cross the fence

devon said...

Thanks for the information. How do North Percha and Mineral Creek look nowadays? Carbonate Creek was a mess when we visited last Fall.