Indian Cave Trail

MODERATE 53 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Indian Cave Trail is a 3.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Falls City, Nebraska that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
393 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

cross country skiing

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

cave

forest

river

views

wildlife

muddy

snow

Indian Cave SP adjoins the Missouri river with high bluffs and rolling hills covered with timber and small meadows. The trails range from 1/2 mile to seven miles. A number of trails are interlaced so a hiker can continue for many miles without having to go from trail head to trail head. Primitive tent camping is permitted along hiking trails throughout the park. There are nine Adirondack shelters with fire rings. Group campsites are available, including a horseback rider campground. A 131/2-mile trail is designated for horseback riding. Supervised horseback rides are held Friday through Sunday during the summer and on autumn weekends.

3 months ago

picked a cold day to ride and somehow missed the south end of the trail. not well marked at south end or I was just too tired to see it! beautiful trail. didn't see a human for over 2 hours

hiking
4 months ago

I think we picked a bad time to go as everything has recently been burned so the scenery was black and uneventful. The Indian Cave trail says “Dogs on Leash” however once hiking through a bunch of bullllshit because the markers and directions are a little confusing you finally get to it and it says “No Pets”. When you put in the trail in AllTrails it takes you to Trailhead 9, I believe. You hiked a bunch of wooded area until you come to the top where there is a campground sight and field. We took trail 11 because that’s where everyone said the cave started at. PLEASE BE CAREFUL, when I read all the stuff that Trail 11 was a “death trap” I scoffed it off. It is a very steep, very small and not well maintained trail down a cliff side. At some points if you were to fall it would be close to deathly. We hiked after a rain so add this trail plus mud with some grip for your feet is was miserable. At one point we were on our asses scooting down. You get to the end of it and the cave is nowhere to be found. Let alone no signs. However it says it starts at trailhead 11. Low and behold you have to walk down the road along the river about a football field and there it is, the big beautiful red staircase which said “No Pets”. All in all, was not worth the 4 hour drive. If it was closer it definitely is worth it. The park is giant and when everything turns green it will be beautiful. Plus, you can’t beat spending 5 hours outdoors and not seeing a single soul. Just you, the dogs and nature.

5 months ago

We enjoyed backpacking here. Lots of up and down hills. It was muddy but the views were worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

We just hiked trails 9 and 10 today. It was a beautiful day and the trails were well maintained and marked. I think we had the most fun on trail 10 and it provided some great views of the park and the Missouri river basin for as far as the eye could see. Also, there are some great campsites tucked back in on the trail. We are definitely going to come back for a hike and overnight camp out there as soon as possible!

hiking
9 months ago

Trails are reasonably challenging and pretty well-kept, but not well marked. Asked for a map at the park entrance and was provided with a list (no map). The roadside maps are only vaguely accurate (e.g. there's a trail somewhere around here, good luck!).

I went in late summer and bugs were a problem, but this is to be expected in Nebraska.

By far the biggest disappointment was the "cave" itself. It's not really a cave, as it's only a few feet deep. The Indian carvings are laughable, as the walls of the cliff have not been even remotely protected from vandals over the decades.

hiking
9 months ago

We hiked up 8 then down 7. Definitely a steep hike up 8, but it was dry and early November so no bugs. Gorgeous view from the top totally recommend it!! Will do it again with better planning. Phone service was spotty so plan for that also.

10 months ago

wonderful trial with my family. a bit steep in some areas.

hiking
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Began at Trail 9 and finished with Trail 11 and then hiked back along the River Road... made for a nice loop. Trail 9 was a good start as it has a long ascent up to the ridge, not too steep. Ending with Trail 11 was nice as we got to descend its steep steep trail. Trail generally well maintained but watch out for the stinging nettles hanging into the tight trail on 11.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

multiple trail levels, lots of options. beautiful sceneries.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

the waldo trekking fellowship spent the weekend in these bluffs. great time at the clean back woods sites...pack in-pack out rule has been observed, mostly. hammock and tent friendly.

hills provided some challenge. 20 minutes unlaiden for water run.

be aware of ticks. and beauty. TRISH seems to think she is important enough to epitaph herself umongst the petroglyphs. WTF?

hiking
Saturday, April 22, 2017

We enjoyed our first hike here and plan on coming back until we have hiked all the trails. After our hike we the kids loved seeing the horse's, the view and skipping rocks. a great FAMILY DAY!

backpacking
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

My first time backpacking - it was great. The trails we did (trailheads 3, 2, and 7) were perfect for us - not too difficult but hard enough for an out-of-shape beginner to get a lot of enjoyment out of the whole experience. The storm that hit us overnight made the trails a tad more difficult to traverse and I loved it. Certainly will be making more trips here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Great little hike. This was the busiest trail in that area, lots of families. Decent inclines and descents and beautiful views of the Mo River.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The weather was great so we decided to head out. There were some great views. I'd bone up on where you want to go first. There aren't many options for directions on the fly and depending on your carrier, cell services can be sporty. It's probably the best in this area of the state for topography. Expect some mud. Not a bad place for access to the Mighty Mo for fishing.

hiking
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

We camped on one of the loops and hiked during the day with our dogs. What you'll find here is a nice little park with a good variety of backpacking, RV or tent spots.

What you won't find here is anything as it is depicted on the park map. It is more "Picasso" and less "accurate." We drove a lap around the park to actually find the correct trailheads.

Trail 2 (history trail) is a good little loop with an outlook and a stop by the 100% racist "Halfbreed Cemetery." If you've got kids they'll probably dog the old timey candle maker and soap maker people. As we are complete assholes, that didn't interest us at all. The outlook is beautiful.

Trail 11 (nature trail?) is a legit death trap. It's a short, steep loop with a lot of fallen logs up to a decent view. It was a bit muddy, full of loose roots and we had our pups, so this is the only trail ever where the hike up is more fun than the hike down. Have fun spraining your ankle or, if you're graceful like moi, doing a fall/slide combo into a tree while your 15 lbs dog watches you like you're a fool. Glad I finished it, though.

I'd like to go back and do the high trails (7 and 3, I think?) and stay in a spot with a view.

hiking
Tuesday, August 02, 2016

It is so gorgeous nature mother for green!!! And interesting historic of Indian cave and oldest cemetery

hiking
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Great!! High trails were best! The lower ones were very muddy and mosquitos were unbearable while wearing deet!! I look forward to throwing on the backpack this summer and spending the night!!

hiking
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I took the number 11 trail way down by the cave. The trail was a little more than a muddy deer trail. It was steep and it was raining when I hiked so it was extremely slick. The "scenic view" at the top was bushed in and nothing special. Not worth your time. Try a different trail!

hiking
Thursday, March 24, 2016

I did a solo overnighter here over spring break, and had a wonderful time. I started at Trailhead 4, hiked a few miles to one of the Adirondack shelters, spent the night, and then the next morning, hiked the Lincoln Bend Wetland Trail and North Ridge Trail. It might have been even more enjoyable just a little bit later in the season, when more of the park is coming back to life, but that's a small thing really. The only other thing to say is that there are some trails that aren't marked on the map, and that can throw you off, but the park's small enough its no big deal. Overall, fantastic place, and I look forward to hiking it again.

hiking
Sunday, February 21, 2016

I hiked trail 5, 9, and 11 down to the cave. It was pretty soggy today and this is a long challenging hike. Full round it is about 8 miles. Beautiful day for hiking though!

hiking
Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I hiked this park last weekend on Trail #3 to the river and to some shelters on the ridge. Fantastic views and this place way exceeded my expectations. A really cool place. Some pics attached.

hiking
Friday, October 02, 2015

Nice state park with plenty of camp sites. Was impressed with primative camp sites. Nice hiking trails. Some could be marked better. Great for family camping and hiking. I will go back again.

hiking
Sunday, June 14, 2015

First time here. Enjoyed the hike but others are correct in that trails are poorly marked in most places and don't always match the map. It has been rainy but most of the trails are passable, over grown and have some downed trees. Many marked for no horse traffic still have had horses on them.

hiking
Friday, September 12, 2014

We went on a horseback riding vacation at Indian Cave State Park, it was our first visit to the park. The equestrian area was well groomed but not many level areas to park or to set up a camper or trailer. The only water source is a water wagon for the horses but the park personnel make sure it is full and the water is clean and fresh. There is a nice covered shelter area with picnic tables by the corrals and picnic tables, fire pits and tie posts around the area. The 12 pen corrals look nice but we were disappointed to see how muddy they were and even if the ground was dry how rough it was in the corrals. There is no drainage for these corrals and they were ankle deep in mud, we had to set up our own electric fence corrals on the grass for the four days we were there. A suggestion would be to thoroughly clean out those corrals and fill with sand.
The trails are wide, nice and for the most part well maintained. They were beautiful tree covered, fun trails, some easy trails quickly turned steep and challenging, they are also very slippery when wet! Want to be sure your horse is in shape for these trails! Be sure and get a park map marked for horse trails, not all trails are open for horses and can be misleading and you can’t ride to the historical sites. Trail heads are marked well but interior trails are not ,very confusing. The entrance into the equestrian area is narrow, it was a tight fit for our larger rigs. A note, the weekend we were there a black powder shoot was going on right next to the horse camp, very loud! All in all we enjoyed the beautiful scenery, the trails and had a great time riding the park!

hiking
Saturday, September 06, 2014

We've been to this park twice and enjoy the trails. The park is far enough away from main roads that hiking here is very peaceful with no traffic noise. The trails are decent, although they do need to trim in some places and remove fallen trees others. We enjoy a little adventure and don't mind climbing over or ducking under trees, so if this doesn't bother you, you should enjoy the trails here. One thing to note is that the trails are very poorly marked and the park map doesn't quite match the trails.

hiking
Saturday, August 02, 2014

Went out to Indian Cave Park July 16th this year 2014. It was my first time there. I was a little disappointed because I was expecting more than one cave. I did enjoy the trials and driving through the park. There was some repair and/or renovation happening on the road to the cave. I did climb trail head #11; which goes up behind the cave, because I wanted to get to the over look at the top. That trail was wash mostly away and all the plants had grown up over the trail. It was tough for me (a newbie to hiking) and I was not very prepared but I made it and found my way back down. I would go again. I've heard it very prettying in the fall.

hiking
Saturday, May 03, 2014

I have been to the park twice now, once in the spring and another in the fall. There were plenty of trails to choose from and if planned correctly you can spend all day with minimal exposure to pavement. There are both camp sites and shelters setup along certain segments of the trails which make this one of the most pleasurable backpacking sites in Nebraska.

My only advise is to plan your walking around the water well as plumbing is located only in one area of the park.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Found this park online few years back been there at least 3 times sence...horse back was fun for us all and engender the hiking

hiking
Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Great park. I used this park to introduce my kids to hiking as it is well sectioned out to do as little or as much hiking as you want. In addition, there are other activities for the family to do as well throughout the park. Some awesome views from bluffs and overlook area. My kids and I entered at section 9 and continued to 10 and 11 to the cave and used the road to loop back to our campsite. Section 11, the descending trail to the cave was a little washed out but overall a great experience.

hiking
Monday, October 28, 2013

Beautiful park. Visited in late October when the trees are in full autumn color. Great views, no bugs!

Trails cater to equestrians on weekends (individuals as well as park-led groups), so either leave the dog at home or take advantage of the other activities the park has to offer (lots of opportunities to soak up important history). In my experience, horse trails are indicated by "no pets or bicycles" signs. More hiker (and dog) friendly trails lack that signage.

Privies available at every trail head and historic site, but very little water available- make sure to bring in what you need. Some of the trail markings are missing or ambiguous, and the map you get at the visitor's center is not detailed. Be prepared!

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