Bear Gulch Caves and Resivoir Loop Trail

MODERATE 6 reviews

Bear Gulch Caves and Resivoir Loop Trail is a 1.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Paicines, CA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

1.3 miles 393 feet Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

cave

lake

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Directions from Bear Gulch Visitor Center: Follow Moses Spring Trail southward .6 miles to the caves.

3 days ago

This trail was cool- until this point I had never had the opportunity to hike through a legitimate cave, so the experience was unique and unforgettable.

We hiked this trail in November on Thanksgiving weekend. Unfortunately we didn't realize that this a heavily populated time to visit the park, so on this shorter cave hike we saw many people. However, I imagine on another weekend this wouldn't be an issue.

Before attempting to hike to the Bear Gulch caves, make sure you check if they are open. Bear Gulch caves are divided into the upper and lower caves, but they sometimes are closed to protect the native bat population. Here is the site to check the status:

https://www.nps.gov/pinn/planyourvisit/cavestatus.htm

I would check that before heading out (or ask a ranger) so you don't hike to a dead end.

The trail is easy, short, and pretty. The only time it becomes a little challenging is in the cave itself, where you have some dark navigating around rocks and some ducking to do. Make sure you bring a flashlight or a headlamp as the cave will be pitch black for some sections. Also it might be helpful to bring grippy gloves as you maneuver.

2 months ago

Nice talus cave formations of the ancient geological era

4 months ago

Fun hike to beat the heat on a hot summer day! Did it with a baby on my back but had to take him off in a few tight spots.

hiking
6 months ago

7 months ago

Great trail, but gets narrow in the caves. Bring a flashlight unless you want to shuffle along in the pitch dark.

hiking
4 years ago

short and enchanting, i love the waterfalls inside the cave.