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Kickapoo Cavern State Park




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General Information

Description -

Kickapoo Cavern State Park, formerly the Seargeant Ranch, is located approximately 22 miles north of Brackettville straddling the Kinney/Edwards County line. It comprises 6368.4 acres of the southern Edwards Plateau. Acquired in December 1986 and was opened to the public on a limited basis in 1991.

The park is currently in an undeveloped state. The park is currently open by guided tour only. Access to the park is available through guided bird walks, wild cave tours, and evening bat flights on specified tour dates throughout the spring and summer.

Attractions - Camping (Maximum 8 people per site unless otherwise noted.) Primitive Area (capacity of 60). Check with the park for availability. No designated sites. The visitor will be directed to an area to camp. Drinking water is not available. Restroom may or may not be available. Four picnic tables and five fire rings in the camping area. These sites are not currently available. Other Facilities: * Park facilities include 14 miles of mountain biking trails, and 18 miles of undesignated hiking & birding trails. * A two-acre picnic area (located 100 yards south of the lodge) is available for day use. Visitors using this area should come prepared for the following: * Potable water is available. * Restrooms with showers are available.

Recreation -

Interesting features of the park include 15 known caves, two of which are large enough to be significant. Kickapoo Cavern is approximately one-quarter mile in length (1400'). It boasts some impressive formations and can be toured by special arrangement. Stuart Bat Cave (formally Green Cave), slightly shorter than Kickapoo at 1068', serves as a migratory stopover for large numbers of Brazilian Freetail Bats from mid-March to about the end of October. Bat flights are often spectacular, and observations are available on the same basis as Kickapoo Cavern tours. Birding opportunities abound in this area. Park facilities include 14 miles of mountain biking trails, and 18 miles of undesignated hiking & birding trails.

Tours: Staff-guided for Kickapoo Cavern are all on a prearranged basis only. Tour fees charged. Because the cave is in an undeveloped state and is moderately strenuous, a signed, dated liability release is required of each visitor participating in the tour. Individuals must bring their own lighting for use in the cave as it is not provided by the park. When making reservations, be sure to ask what appropriate gear and clothing is needed for the cave tours. Reservations for the Stuart Bat Cave bat flight observations are scheduled in early April through mid-October, reservations are required.

Climate -

Texas is a huge state with varying climates but generally the climate could be said to be primarily hot and humid in the summer months and mild to cool in the winter. Western Texas receives very little rainfall with the exception of the higher elevations. This is the driest area of the state having a relative humidity of 50 percent and an annual rainfall average of eight inches.

Northern Texas is infamous for its quickly changing weather. This is the area of the state that receives remarkable tornadoes and hailstorms. This is also the only region of the state to accumulate snow. An average of 15 inches falls each year along with 20 inches of rain.

Eastern Texas experiences hot and humid summers. Temperatures in the metro areas of Fort Worth and Dallas often reach 100 degrees in July and August. This makes for a dangerously high heat and uncomfortable for traveling. Winters are pleasant in this region, where the temperatures rarely dip below 32 degrees. Average rainfall in eastern Texas reaches 25 inches or more.

Location - The park is reached by taking US Highway 90 west out of Uvalde, then taking Ranch Road 674 north of Brackettville for 22 miles. Look for signs on the Highway. The gate is 1/4 mile past the Edwards County line on the west side of the highway. More detailed directions may be obtained when visitors call to make reservations.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: James Carfagno (Del Rio, TX)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The TPWD website says that it is accessible by guided tour; this isn't really correct. The park is apparently staffed 9-5 or thereabouts throughout the week but the front gate is always locked (why? good question). Basically, you have to call them 830-563-2342 to get the combo for the gate lock so you can get in and then pay to use the park. And by the way, your cellphone won't work at the gate/around the park; you'll have to drive a couple of miles down the highway to get reception. However, once you get past the unnecessarily complex access procedures it's a decent place; some of the trails aren't finished but they have restrooms, parking lots, and a (unopened) campground. The park was almost completely uninhabited; I guess the locked gate and phone-to-get-in thing is effective at dissuading visitors. I saw two other guests while I was there for 2-3 hours on a Sunday afternoon.


More Information

Contact Information:
Kickapoo Cavern State Park, P O Box 705 , Brackettville, Texas, 78832 , Phone: 830/563-2342

Additional Information:
Texas State Parks - Texas State Parks occupy more than 500,000 acres of pristine ecosystems, historical sites and facilities. The state parks, state natural areas and state historic sites are scattered throughout Texas.

Links:
Kickapoo Cavern State Park - Official sight of Kickapoo Cavern State Park

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