Bear Gulch Cave
The Bear Gulch Cave has two sections that sometimes operate independantly of each other. The lower, main section remains open for much of the year, while the upper additional section is rarely open for more than a few weeks each year to protect the endangered bats residing there. When the upper section is closed, the lower can still be entirely passed through without turning around or going back through the way that was entered.
Schedule of the Seasonal Opening of the Bear Gulch Cave
Information About the Seasonal Opening of the Bear Gulch Cave
The Bear Gulch Cave provides a home to a colony of Townsend's big-eared bats as they rest there in winter and raise their young in the late spring and summer. Townsend's big-eared bats are listed as a "sensitive species" by the state of California, and we are required to protect them. The colony in the Bear Gulch Cave is the largest maternity colony between San Francisco and Mexico.
The lower half of the Bear Gulch Cave is usually open from mid-July through mid-May each year, depending on the presence of the colony of bats. The entire cave is closed from mid-May to mid-July while the bats are raising their young.
We have constructed a gate that will allow us to open approximately half of the cave to the public while still protecting the colony of Townsend's big-eared bats. A new trail leaves the middle of the cave and connects with the Moses Spring Trail, which leads to the reservoir.
Video of Townsend's big-eared bats in the Bear Gulch Cave
Last updated: November 11, 2021