When can I visit Westcave?
Westcave is open Tuesday - Sunday.
Tues - Friday, 10am-2pm, public access is available for the Uplands only. Private tours for field trips and education programs can be scheduled in advance to visit the canyon, cave & grotto areas. Weekday Program Requests
Saturday - Sunday, access to the canyon, grotto & cave, is only provided through guided tours. The Upland area is also available on the weekends for additional hiking.
Summer Tours: 8 am, 10 am, 12 pm and 2 pm. Gates open at 7:30am & close at 3:30pm (Summer Tour Schedule: June 8th-September 1st.)
Fall/Spring Tours: 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm & 4 pm. Gates open at 9:30am & close at 4pm (Fall Tour Schedule Starts September 7th)
Winter Tours: 10am, 12pm, and 2pm. Gates open at 9:30am & close at 3pm. (Winter Tour Schedule will be posted late fall.)
The Warren Skarren Environmental Learning Center (Visitor's Building) is open to the public on weekends and seasonally during weekdays.
Preserve access is weather permitting.
Please call 830-825-3442 or check the website for updated information.
Do you take credit cards?
Yes, we accept all major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, Discover)
How long is the tour?
Tours last approximately 1.- 2 hours.
Do I have to take a tour? I just want to hike to the canyon and cave by myself.
Access to the grotto and cave is available by guided tour only. The Upland trails are open for self-guided hiking.
Is the weekend guided tour child-friendly? Can my baby/toddler attend the tour?
Yes! Children love exploring Westcave. With the assistance of parents, many toddlers have trekked in and out of Westcave's canyon. Only half the trail is stroller friendly, so come prepared to assist or carry your child once the tour enters the canyon. Children (0-3 yrs) are admitted of no charge.
How difficult is the hike?
The tour is a 1-mile, roundtrip, moderate to difficult hike. Visitor's hike in and out of the canyon by way of long, winding, uneven staircase built into the slope of the canyon. Once in the canyon there are additional steps, rocks and roots to navigate. We encourage visitors to wear sturdy shoes, use hand rails, and bring along a walking stick if needed.
What is there to do and see on the Uplands?
The Uplands offer opportunities for easy hiking, birding and wildlife watching. These trails have expansive views of the hill country for a peaceful self guided experience. Trails are wheelchair and stroller friendly.
Can I make a reservation?
Weekend guided tours operate on a first-come, first-served, basis. All reservations are made in person. To maximize visitor's experience, each tour has a 30 person limit and may be reduced based on our daily operations. We recommend arriving 1- 3 hours before the scheduled tour time during our busy season (March - November) to sign up and reserve your spots with payment. Gates open at 9:30 am on Saturday/Sunday.
For groups 10+, please contact Paul for more information.
What should I bring/wear?
Dress comfortably in tennis or hiking shoes, preferably with ankle support. In cooler weather, dressing in layers is recommended. Hats, sunscreen, camera, and sunscreen are recommended as well.
Binoculars, walking sticks, & explorer backpacks are available to rent with a photo ID.
While water is available, we recommend bringing your own water / reusable bottle.
Picnic tables are available if you bring food or snacks, but grilling isn't allowed.
Do you allow pets?
No pets are allowed on the premise of Westcave Preserve, even if on a leash. If you are found with a pet on the Preserve or locked in your car, you will kindly be asked to leave.
We recommend visiting Milton Reimers Ranch Park (2 miles away) if you like spending time outside with your pet.
Do you have restrooms? Water? Vending machines?
Westcave has a compost toilet facility equipped with sinks, running water & soap as well as baby changing stations.
Water fountains & bottled water can be found in the visitor's center. There are no vending machines available. Picnic tables are available for your use, we advise bringing snacks/lunch to enjoy under the shade of junipers & oaks.
Is there river access? Can I walk to Hamilton Pool?
No, there is no access to the Pedernales River from Westcave. If you'd like to access the river, we recommend visiting Milton Reimers Ranch Park, only 2 miles east of the Westcave entrance.
Visitor's cannot leave their car at Westcave and walk to Hamilton Pool. To access Hamilton Pool, a Travis County operated preserve, you must enter with your vehicle through their entrance, 1 mile away.
Can we swim at Westcave?
There is no swimming at Westcave or access to the Pedernales River.
Can I rent the Environmental Learning Center?
Yes, the ELC is available to rent for meetings and other events for groups of 65 or less. Corporate and nonprofit pricing is listed on our website. Learn more.