Packsaddle Cave Trail is a 5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Springville, CA that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Hike begins about 16 miles north of Kernville on Mtn. 99. Just north of the Fairview Campground. Trail climbs 3 miles to the cave. Bring a flashlight to explore the cave to see the remaining stalactites and stalagmites . Trail gains elevation fairly constantly with a 900 ft gain to cross the ridge/saddle. Along this incline you can see deer brush. manzanita, live oak, digger pine and sagebrush. Trail dips down to the creek - crossing it about three times. Cave has stalactites and stalagmites - bring flashlight.
great hike! and the cave was a nice finish!
Moderate work out for an old guy
1.5 hours from Bakersfield
1.15 hours to cave
1.0 hour back down
Note: there are 2 caves - the easiest one is the unanmed one a bit further up the canyon on the USGS topo. Look for a cairn on the trail pointing to the side route.
I would definitely rate this trail as moderate but not easy. If you are t sure where the cave is, it will be hard to spot but there was some rocks on the ground trying to point is in the right direction. Overall a very good hike and I would do it again but go when it's cooler.
Good day trip, we did it in 3 hours in the morning then went rafting in the afternoon. Ran into a rattlesnake at a creek crossing, be warned they're there!
This was a butt kicker! But well worth the hike. The first part of the trail is an uphill climb, when you get to the ridge and down the other side you can rest and cool off by the creek. Other than the cave this was my favorite spot (except for the bugs). After the three creek crossings, some small ups and downs in about quarter of a mile, then
the last incline up to the cave is pretty steep. Take a flashlight to explore the cave, which was absolutely phenomenal! The trek back was difficult, a steep climb up after the last creek crossing and then down hill on the broken shale covered trail. I'm 61, not an avid hiker but my grandsons are and it kicked their butts too. Take plenty, plenty, plenty of water and I suggest you do it in cooler weather, not much shade. I added this hike to my bucket list and it's checked off!
Hike was pretty intense for it being labeled easy. I do cardio for an hour a day and this trail kick my a**. Took about 4 hours stopping pretty regularly on the way up. I don't know how some of y'all took kids to this cave....I thought I was going to run out of water. Definitely worth it though!
The cave is definitively worth the hike. Avoid the mid day heat. Beautiful wild flowers along the way. A couple of steep spots, otherwise easy climb.
Pretty interesting hike but well worth it at the end to see the caves
We hiked this 2/27/16 it is pretty tough hike. It was a challenge to find the cave but in the end it was all worth it. It was beautiful inside the cave we would have never found it if I had not read the reviews on here as well as someone being kind to make trail markers on rocks with a sharpie pen. Not a hike you would want to do if the temperature is above 85 degrees to hot...
amazing trail it's a bit difficult but worth the trip. the cave is massive
This was def worth the hike! The cave was awesome! Take flashlights and enjoy the incline, it kicked my booty! Then again I'm a slow poke beginner!
The first leg of this trail kicked my booty!! Pretty steep! Maybe I'm just a slow poke, but it took 4 hours! The cave was awesome! Take flashlights and a head lamp!
Worth it though ;)
Good. Views aren't amazing but the limestone cave at the end was awesome. Things are muddy down by the river and bugs are all over the place. The first part of the hike was the most difficult, after which it's a series of mostly ups and downs but nothing as steep as the first part (a continuous climb). Would recommend.
What a reward at the end! This trail wasn't particularly glamorous leading to the cave, but there were some nice views when you're at the higher elevation areas of the hike. Once you descend from your first climb, you'll come to a creek and have several creek crossings, all easily manageable. The area is a bit overgrown, but the trail can still be easily followed, so don't let that deter you. Once you come out from the creek, you'll notice a large tree that is leaning over heavily, and the trail to the cave is shortly after this. There will be a split in the trail, and take a LEFT here to go up the hill. The cave is a about 500 ft up the hill, and easily visible once you have taken the trail up the hill. The cave is awesome! It goes back a few hundred feet, has a few chambers, and many formations still. There are some areas in the back that have been obviously damaged by people, and the entrance is littered with graffiti, but it honestly doesn't take away that much from experiencing the cave. Enjoy!
Loved this trail!! Can't wait to do it again!!!
Still snow on the trail and didn't make it to the cave as there's an icy wall covering the trail making it treacherous.