If you’ve been to San Antonio, odds are that you saw a commercial or a brochure for Natural Bridge Caverns. There are lots of other caves in the area, many that aren’t as well known, but worth the trip. The Cave Without A Name is one such cave. It’s located in Boerne, so on the opposite side of San Antonio as Natural Bridge Caverns.
We went a couple weeks ago and loved it. Our tour group was small, only eleven people, including us. The original entrance is a hole in the ground. When German immigrants moved in to the area in the 1800’s, they covered the hole so none of their animals would fall down the hole. Years later, they noticed steam coming out from the rock that had been placed over the hole. By this point, no one remembered the hole or why the rock was covering it, so they moved it, and a goat promptly fell into the hole. I’m sorry, but that’s funny. The goat lived, so it’s ok to laugh. They got the goat out by lowering a boy down into the hole.
During prohibition, it was used by bootleggers. There is a section of the cave that has soot covered walls and ceilings from their fires. They ruined the area for any new growth. In 1935, three siblings decided to lower themselves down into the hole and have a look around. They got to where the bootleggers had been, then tied their ropes to a different spot and went down into the main chamber. The youngest of the kids was 7 or 8. Can you imagine? First of all, I would murder my children. Secondly, I don’t think I would have been that brave as a kid. They had a kerosene lantern and had to crawl through little openings. That right there would turn me off. Crawling through a small, enclosed space, not knowing where you’ll come out or if you’ll get stuck or be able to turn around. Shudder. I’m not really claustrophobic, but that just makes me shudder.
Anyways, they explored the cave. At the time, the cave floor was mud from the times it would flood. They got back out and I guess felt the need to tell their parents where they had been. Again, I would murder my children. They all could have hurt themselves or not been able to get back out and then what? Their poor mother. After that, the property owner decided to open the cave as an attraction. He built the new entrance and the stairs down into the cave. The stairs go under the original hole and at the bottom of the stairs, you pass by the hole the kids originally crawled through to get into the cave.
The owner needed a name for this cave, so he held a contest among elementary kids. The winning name would be $250. That’s a lot now, but that was a fortune in 1935. The name was chosen because one little boy said it was too beautiful to have a name, therefore it was the Cave Without A Name. I wonder what that kid did with the money.
When you come down the stairs, it opens up in to a large chamber. A couple more large chambers link up to it. One has seating and a stage area and concerts are frequently held there. What I liked, was that when we left an area of the cave, our tour guide turned the lights off behind us. Only the part we were in was lit. At one point, she had us all sit down and turned all the lights off. It wasn’t for more than 30 seconds, but you forget how dark total darkness is. That really makes me wonder how those kids did it. They couldn’t have been able to see more than a few feet in front of them.
I recommend it if you are in there are. I enjoy guided tours and this one was a fountain of knowledge. The listing of events in the cave is on their site.
Address: 325 Kreutzberg Road, Boerne, TX 78006
Open 7 day a week
Memorial Day through Labor Day:
9 AM – 6 PM (Last tour 5 PM)
After Labor Day until Memorial Day:
10 AM – 5 PM (Last tour 4 PM)