While the area west of San Antonio isn’t known for having all that much to see, the one exception is Kickapoo Cavern State Park.
Encompassing 6368-acres, this Texas state park is notable for its stunning landscape which includes 20 known caves. Of which 2 of them can be explored.
If the thought of descending underground fills you with dread, there are also 14 miles of marked hiking trails to tackle, as well as around 18 miles of other undesignated trails. Some of which take you to lookout points that showcase extraordinary views.
Situated an hour’s drive from Del Rio, near the Mexican border, the park is also an acclaimed spot for birding and stargazing. In addition, its small RV campground, which includes full hookup and ADA accessible sites, makes for a rather nice place for people to stay too.
Visitors to Kickapoo Cavern State Park can enjoy a range of outdoor recreational activities during their time there.
Here are further details about some of the main activities you can engage in.
Kickapoo Cavern at Kickapoo Cavern State Park
Though there are 20 caverns in the park overall, Kickapoo Cavern is the only one which is big enough to allow visitors to explore.
To access it, many visitors choose to park at the Stuart Bat Cave before hiking just over a mile to get there.
Once there you can do a self-guided tour of the cavern during the park’s regular day hours. Alternatively, if you are there on a Saturday you can choose to go on a guided tour of this stunning 1,400-foot long cavern.
Some of the major highlights you should see include a stalactite that is eight-stories high – which is the largest rock formation in the state.
Please note, the cavern remains largely undeveloped. To enter it you are required to wear sturdy shoes and have at least two separate light sources with you.
Stuart Bat Cave at Kickapoo Cavern State Park
While being slightly smaller than Kickapoo Cavern, you won’t be able to enter the Stuart Bat Cave, as it has been designated as a protected breeding ground for flying Mexican Free-Tail bats.
However, this shouldn’t stop you from visiting the cave every dusk during the months of March and October. As you will see them swirl around the cave looking for food sources like moths, mosquitoes and other insects.
It’s a captivating site, which you should definitely make the effort to see when the sun starts to set.
Hiking at Kickapoo Cavern State Park
For those wanting to explore Texas Hill Country, Kickapoo Cavern State Park has a number of trails that showcase its stunning terrain and allow you to get back to nature.
Here are some of the most popular trails at Kickapoo Cavern State Park:
- trail 1 – Pine Canyon Loop. Length: 1.9 mile Degree of Difficulty: easy
- trail 2 – Barbado Ridge Trail. Length: 2.2 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate
- trail 3 – Arroyo Camino. Length: 1.5 miles Degree of Difficulty: challenging
Stargazing at Kickapoo Cavern State Park
As the skies at Kickapoo Cavern State Park are incredibly clear at night, stargazing is a very popular activity at the park.
From your vantage point at ground level you should be able to see the likes of Venus, Mars, gas nebulae and several other celestial bodies with the naked eye.
If you bring a telescope with you, the rings of Saturn, moons of Jupiter, and a host of other magical sights should be visible to you too.
Whilst you should get a terrific view of the stars all year round, the winter is an excellent time to look up at the night sky.
Birding at Kickapoo Cavern State Park
Home to over 200 different species – roughly half the amount that resides in Texas, the park is a haven for those who enjoy birding.
One of the best places to spot these different breeds is at the bird blind, which is situated a short distance from the main campsite parking area.
Be sure to bring you binoculars with you because depending on the time of year you visit, you should be able to see the likes of gray vireos, Montezuma quails, orioles, swallows and even the endangered golden-cheeked warblers and black-capped vireos.
Pets at Kickapoo Cavern State Park
Pets are allowed to join you at the park but they are subject to restrictions.
Should you want to bring your dog with you to Kickapoo Cavern State Park, it would be a good idea to contact the park’s main office to clarify what these are.
Camping at Kickapoo Cavern State Park
For those who would like to stay at the park for a prolonged period there are only a few camping options available to visitors.
These include 5 cement slab sites for RVs that come with full utility hookups for water, sewer and electricity. Some of these sites are wheelchair accessible, while tents can also be pitched on them too.
Each of them comes with their own picnic table, lantern post and fire ring/upright grill. They are unable to fit vehicles over 36 feet long, however they are situated near restrooms that have flush toilets and hot showers.
In addition to these sites, there are also 10 campsites with water available for smaller campers and tents only.
These come with the same amenities as the full hookups sites.
Please note, as the park does not have any facilities for trash disposal, you will need to take all your trash away with you when you leave.
For those visiting the park in a large youth group there is also a group site available. Covering 2-acres and containing 5 campsites, they can sleep up to 30 people and have wheelchair accessibility.
Kickapoo Cavern State Park
20939 Ranch to Market Rd 674 N,
Brackettville, TX 78832
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Kickapoo Cavern State Park:
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