Cave Without a Name is a beautiful solution cave located approximately 12 miles outside Boerne, Texas, in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The cave is open for tours every day of the year except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Cave Without a Name was named a National Natural Landmark in 2010. The beauty of this cave is inspiring and should definitely be on your list of things to do when visiting the Texas Hill Country. The tours take about one hour and are well worth the time.
The cave was first discovered some time during the 1920s when a local noticed steam coming from beneath a large rock on the property. It is believed that the early German immigrants of this area placed the stone over the opening, likely to prevent the loss of livestock. When, out of curiosity, the local man moved the stone, he discovered a large sinkhole which is the original entrance to the cave. One of his goats promptly fell into the sinkhole for a 45 foot drop. The first known humans to enter the cave was when this local went in to retrieve the body of the goat. The stone was then placed back over the sinkhole to prevent the loss of more livestock.
During prohibition the cave was discovered by moonshiners and was used as a hideout for making whiskey. The soot from the operation of the still collected on the ceiling of the area closest to the opening of the cave, and remains to this day. Once prohibition ended the moonshiners abandoned the cave, and it was later discovered by three area children, aged 17, 14, and one of their younger sisters aged 8. These three children were the first to go beyond the initial opening of the cave and discover the larger rooms, after they felt a breeze coming from a small opening and crawled through to reach the main part of the cave.
Not long after the children discovered these rooms, locals entered the cave to see what the children had discovered, and a photographer from San Antonio came out to take some astonishing photographs. Some of these photographs still grace the walls of the gift shop at Cave Without a Name.
After seeing these remarkable photographs, Jimmy Horn from San Antonio, came out to see the cave and fell in love with the property. Mr. Horn purchased it and opened it for commercial use in 1938. When Mr. Horn passed away, his widow remarried and she and her husband continued to operate the cave until 1998, when it was sold to the current owner. The cave received its curious “un-name” when Mr. Horn sponsored a contest in Boerne to name the cave. A nine year old boy told his mother that he had seen the cave and thought it was too beautiful for a name. This boy won the prize of $250 for this name, which was a good bit of money in 1940!
This National Landmark will inspire you with its beautiful formations. Today, weddings and other events are held in the cave, including concerts with singing bowls and flutes. Scenes from the film “The Cloth,” scheduled to be released later this year, were filmed in the cave in October of 2011.
The gift shop at Cave Without a Name offers beautiful gem stones as well as “panning for gemstones” for children. Kids have a lot of fun with this! You can also choose a geode for purchase with cutting included in the nominal price. Campsites are available and there are trails for hiking, picnic tables, and a labyrinth.
Texas State University is currently conducting studies to determine water flow into the cave. The researchers believe these studies will help determine the effect of surface vegetation on the flow of rainwater into the cave, and ultimately the impact of surface vegetation on rainwater recharge of the area aquifer. The aquifers in this part of Texas are the sole source of drinking water; therefore they are an invaluable and protected resource.
Don’t miss taking a tour of Cave Without a Name the next time you visit the area. You’ll be glad a tour of this beautiful national treasure was on your list of things to do in the Texas Hill Country! Nearby Boerne, Texas has several hotels and other types of lodging are available, with shopping and restaurants. There’s plenty to do in this part of the Hill Country, so come out and pay us a visit!