Anthony Gap Cave Trail is a 2.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Anthony, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 2.4 miles Elevation Gain: 482 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly


nature trips


bird watching


wild flowers


Advanced day pass reservations required; face coverings recommended; gathering of groups larger than five people are not allowed, except for families or people living in the same household; maintain six-foot social distancing. Visitors should check the Texas State Parks Alert Map regularly for the latest status of parks. Hike up a canyon to a hidden cave (call park office to arrange cave tour) Start up the trail headed south up the canyon. About 1/2 way up you will cross the TX state line. At the top of the trail, look for a trail to the left and continuing up hill. Follow the trail up. At every fork, choose the higher path. Look for the cave near the top. NOTE: At the cave, ranger contact is Texas Parks and Wildlife, Franklin Mountain State Park. (915) 566-6441

no shade
washed out
3 months ago

So the trail leading to the cave is dog friendly but as stated In previous comments the cave is a 8ft drop down. Now we can climb in and out pretty easy but our four-legged friends not so much and honestly I would not recommend getting a dog in there anyways not very friendly terrain. Also there are some tight and I mean tight squeezes to get it there, like army crawl belly to the floor back touching the ceiling in some area I will head back to explore a later date and that time it would be without my dog.

no shade
7 months ago

I agree that this is a moderately easy path, the last section to reach the cave is more inclined and rocky, but not difficult. On the application map, the path is not marked to the top where the cave is,

no shade
washed out
Sat Mar 23 2019

A lot of loose rock from the halfway point up. Didn't make it to the top as my dog couldn't make it up the last bit of slick rock.

Sun Jan 20 2019

The trail is moderately easy, I went to explore the cave, once you get to the top go left stay on the trail. It goes up and around the top of the mountain and it’s on the back side. I made the mistake of stopping where the highlighted trail this app shows and it doesn’t lead you exactly to the cave, it’s another 100 or so yards up passed where the highlighted portion ends. Once I found the cave I started exploring and it is NOT for the claustrophobic, very nerve racking the further and deeper you go into the cave. A cool experience though

Fri Jan 04 2019

The trail should really start at the paved road because the sign indicates no motor vehicles, but lots of people do drive parts of the trail.

Mon Dec 10 2018

Great moderate trail. Cave looks difficult to get out of.

Thu Sep 13 2018

cool cave

Thu Jul 05 2018

Parking was a little rough having to leave your car next to the road. Trail is nice once you get off the Jeep path. Cave was easy to find.

Tue May 08 2018

Needs designated parking signs...but all in all an awesome hike!!

Thu Dec 21 2017

Not too difficult of a hike. Steady hike up the hill. Good views of the surrounding area.

Tue Oct 10 2017

Fun trail, it's possible to get off track but not too bad. Once you turn to start going up the mountain just keep going up the trail and you'll run right into the cave. It was pretty awesome.

Mon Aug 14 2017

Good trail! It's easy to get off the correct path, especially if your goal is to find the cave. Now the cave isn't your typical entrance of a cave. It's literally a hole in the ground at the top left side and can be easily missed. Once we found the hole we were a little discouraged and didn't think we'd be able to get out but we made it down and out with no problems, just focus on your foot placement and you will be fine, I do recommend bringing flashlights and even a change of clothes such as extra shirt because there is a point in the cave where you will have to crawl but It's really a great experience and definitely encourage anyone to at least attempt this and you will be so proud and accomplished. I would do it again for sure.

Sun Jul 30 2017

This time I visited the Anthony Gap Cave with my granddaughter Natalia. We had a great time going inside, although we did not go to the end because water on the floor. We decided to return not by the trail but by the ridge of the cave mountain, it seems difficult but it is not, you only have to take care of the lechuguillas, and walk not too fast. Definitely this is a place to visit with the family; the trail is steep and rocky in some sections but not difficult to walk.

Sat Jul 22 2017

This is a very nice and well maintained trial; you start in the state of New Mexico and you end up in the state of Texas. Just a little steep and rocky in some sections but not difficult to walk, it does not take long to get to the cave. Once at the top, take a moment to enjoy the beautiful scenery. It is not hard to enter the cave; you will have a pleasant experience if you try. It was nice to be inside, I did not reach the end of the cave because there was water on a section due to the rainy season, for sure I get there the next time I come.

Mon Apr 24 2017

Kept hearing people talk or ask about this trail but no one I knew had done it so I went to find it. Required a little offroading to get to the trailhead. Definitely not meant for cars. You can park and walk back to the trailhead though. The hike itself is short and I'd probably say moderate. But the cave was awesome. It was about 15ft down and then you had to crawl roughly 100ft to get to one of the bigger rooms. Then there's a hole in the back that leads to an even bigger room. I had so much fun exploring it. I recommend it for anyone.

Sun Oct 02 2016

Great rocks and if course the cave!!!!

Sat Jan 02 2016

Short but challenging hike to a hidden cave that at times was difficult to track path. Going on a weekday will almost ensure you're the only one there if you like solitude. Be wary of the gun range on the other side of the ridge.

Tue Jun 16 2015

Very short hike although it is somewhat steep. The cave is pretty extensive, the opening can be entered and exited by most without climbing gear although I would not recommend it for anyone without at least a small amount of bouldering experience. Be prepared to get extremely dirty and extremely hot and sweaty. To get past the first hundred feet of the cave you will need to crawl on your belly. Once you pass the first crawling section the cave becomes extremely humid and hot(note I did this in winter). Also be aware that some belly crawl passages will not have space to turn around and will dead end, so be prepared to crawl out backwards. Definitely not for the claustrophobic.

Fri Jun 12 2015

great hike and cool cave. We only dared to go in about 20 feet - and we did bring a rope just for safety. Flashlights too. Four stars only because it was rather short, I prefer a little longer hikes. Definitely worth checking out. Saw a horned toad on the way back down.

Tue Apr 08 2014

Started this hike in the early evening and while it doesn't take long to get to the cave, the change in elevation is constant and could be challenging for those not accustomed to steep climbs at high altitudes. The trail splits near the Gap, stay to the left and up the south of the mountain. The cave itself is actually more like a vertical hole in the mountain face (as opposed to the other caves in the Franklin Mountains which are easily seen from a distance) Entrance is steep and you will need a headlight inside. It is also recommended to bring someone along with you if you plan on exploring.

Wed Aug 28 2013

This is a great hike you do have to be wary of those who might be shooting all in all lots of fun if you're gonna go in the cave make sure you have rope light and had protection you will be on your belly

Sat Sep 24 2011

Significant elevation gain for those of us who don't do this kind of thing regularly. Bring water. No shade on this hike mid day. Be careful of shooters at "the range". No backstop and they will be shooting towards the trail. I had to rough it back to stay out of their line of fire. Good hiking boots a must. Bring a rope and a friend to enter cave. Could prob scale it with some experience. From the saddle between the two highest peaks, hike up the left peak. Trail is obvious until you get to the ridgeline. Just past there look for small stacked rocks. Follow them almost straight up towards the peak to the cave. Entrance is higher up than you would think. Awesome views.

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