Hike to the Cave of Munits, and others

Published by Steve on

If your New Year’s resolution was to hike more but you’re bored with your local trails, check out some nearby hikes with caves to keep your repertoire fresh.

Source of this article, the Thousand Oaks Acorn, January 14, 2021

The Cave of Munits is in the Upper Las Virgenes Open Space Preserve and features a chimney cave that is open for exploration by able-bodied hikers. The cave, which can be reached on a two mile round-trip hike, has soaring ceilings. Though you don’t need equipment to explore the cave top to bottom, rock climbers can often be seen practicing inside.

The Cave of Munits and nearby Castle Peak are said to be culturally significant in Chumash culture and were preserved as open space in 2004 along with 2,650 acres of the Ahmanson Ranch.

Castle Peak is a corruption of the Chumash name, Kas’elew. It was used as a ceremonial site during solstices, according to ModernHiker.com.

After exploring, hikers can return the way they came or climb out through the top of the cave and head to Castle Peak, also known as Escorpión Peak, a 1,475-foot-tall summit that offers sweeping views of the San Fernando Valley.

The cave can be reached from the Victory trailhead or El Escorpión Park in West Hills.

Other caves

To see a cave from a shorter trail, check out Vanalden cave near Tarzana. The sandstone cave can be reached in less than half a mile from the trailhead on Vanalden Avenue.

Holes in the top of the cave allow sunlight to illuminate it, showing graffiti and drawings. Hikers can return the way they came for a 0.6-mile round trip or continue to a vista point on Vanalden Trail, which adds nearly a mile to the trip and offers panoramic views of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Off Yerba Buena Road, the 1.5-mile trail to the Grotto ends in a series of small talus caves that are formed by piled boulders. Park at Circle X Ranch for a three-mile round trip.

In the Conejo Valley, there’s Indian Cave in Wildwood Regional Park if you’re looking to stay close to home. The cave sits on a signed spur off the Wildwood Canyon Trail.


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