Packsaddle Cave Trail

MODERATE 63 reviews
#2 of 58 trails in

Packsaddle Cave Trail is a 5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Springville, California 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.

DISTANCE
5.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1804 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

trail running

walking

cave

forest

river

views

wildlife

over grown

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.

hiking
10 days ago

Good trail but your mostly in the sun. Lots of uphill but the cave was amazing and made the hike worth it! Its deep so make sure to bring a flashlight!June 10, 2017

hiking
11 days ago

This was honestly a hard hike for me but I did just hiking trails so it may just be me. The beginning of the hike was the hardest and the the path was overgrown and full of bugs after the creek. I turned around there. Wish I saw the caves but running into poison ivy was the end of my hike for the day. Good luck

16 days ago

17 days ago

this trail is awesome took my kids and loved it.

hiking
23 days ago

Love this little cave and the great workout getting there gives. Pretty steep incline if you aren't used to hiking, so pack enough water and snacks.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Took my teen boys and they enjoyed it. A little tough for them, but experiencing a cave at the end of the trail was worth it. Beautiful creeks after a mile. Very narrow at some points.

hiking
1 month ago

Great app and it is up hill most of way but we took like 100 stops on way up

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. First part of the hike is very hard and little shade. Some erosion due to lots of rain this year. Many little pools to play in while hiking there. The cave was amazing.

2 months ago

Awesome trail! Took me about 1 1/2, mostly due to I ran all the way back, Cave is sooo dope tho!!!!

hiking
2 months ago

We had a great hike here. It took us about 4-5 hours. There are some parts of the trail that get covered from erosion, trees, water, etc but it is pretty easy to find your way. If you are a beginner, probably not the best start due to the steep grades, narrow paths at points and varied terrain. With that said it's doable but be prepared with plenty to hydrate, snacks, sunblock, bug repellent, First Aid kit, and be in a group. Start early to allow for breaks and less heat. The cave is up high so conserve energy along the way for out and back. The cave was totally worth it. Also, if you bring your dog as we did, make sure you've got everything & extra for them.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Do not walk this trail in the winter. The trail may be frozen over and you risk falling off the edge. Be aware that the trees along the trail are ridden with ticks that will drop down on you as you walk under them. Cover yourself completely and use repellant. Check your body thoroughly after the hike. There is a steep climb for the first part of the trail with no shade. After that, you may be stone hopping across creaks to follow the trail. As you get close to the cave, keep your eyes open for a trail leading up the hill on your left to get to it. The cave is amazing. It used to be more wet than it has been lately. There used to actually be a pool of water in one of the small rooms. Be sure to get on your hands and knees to crawl and explore the cave. The hike back is tough. Give yourself enough time so you still have daylight.

5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

great hike! and the cave was a nice finish!

hiking
10 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

hiking
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

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!

hiking
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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!