Avalanche Cave Reopened

The WCC is excited to announce that a cave that has been closed off for several years is open again. Avalanche Cave, located in a remote, high elevation region a couple of hours drive from Nevada City, is now under ownership of the US Forest Service. Previously it was part of a timber tract owned by Sierra Pacific Lumber Company.  While for a few years we did make once annual multi-grotto trips, the hoops we had to jump through were rather onerous. Then, when negotiations with the Forest Service began, all trips were denied. During this time the WCC provided information to the Forest Service and the Trust for Public Land which assisted with the project. We also committed to assisting with future management in any way that proved helpful. After several years, when the sale was completed, the WCC offered to introduce Forest personnel to the caves, which we were able to do just recently.

We have had two very successful trips to the cave, taking the District biologists who are in charge of the resource, and Joel Despain, the USFS Regional cave specialist. They found these visits extremely helpful as the first step in developing a formal management plan. As it stands right now, due to the remote location, high altitude and difficult access, special protection measures like gating and trip reservations were not felt to be necessary. The Mother Lode Grotto will continue to monitor visitation through their register program and will share this information with the WCC and the Tahoe National Forest.

This cave (and a couple of smaller ones nearby) are not well known and even with GPS can be very difficult to find. The WCC recommends that if cavers wish to visit these caves that they contact either the Mother Lode Grotto, the Diablo Grotto or the San Francisco Bay Chapter, all of which have knowledgeable leaders. These grottos have always welcomed cavers from other grottos to join their trips. This cave is only accessible from late June through September in most years.  In heavy snow years it is often mid-July before it can be reached. Early snows close it quickly. The last 15+ miles are rough dirt road and vehicles with all wheel drive and decent clearance are recommended. Ordinary cars can probably make it but will consume a lot of extra time due to slow travel speeds . The hike is approximately a mile with much of it in extremely steep, rocky and overgrown terrain.

The cave itself is basically horizontal in nature and includes approximately 2000 feet of passage. An extremely narrow connection joins the upper entrance section to the lower entrance portion. While not heavily decorated, there are some nice examples of boxwork and the stream passage has some small but lovely helictites. The lower entrance area is very biologically active and there are historic signatures in two areas.  Being an alpine cave, the in-cave temperature is on the cool side, probably in the low to mid 40’s. The surrounding canyon is really beautiful with some outstanding old growth firs and cedars.

The WCC will continue to work with the Tahoe National Forest and provide any assistance we can to help them manage the cave in a way that protects the resource and allows reasonable visitation by the caving community.



Fall 2018 Quarterly Meeting of the WCC


The Fall Quarter 2018 meeting of the

Western Cave Conservancy

will be on 

October 28, 2018  

All are welcome to attend. 

The meeting will be held between 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Mark and Sharon Bowers

4116 Loch Lomond Way,

Livermore, CA 94551

(925) 583-6042
Remote attendance links will be anounced as the date approaches. 

The next Western Cave Conservancy Board Meeintg

will be held on

Sunday, July 8,  2018

at the home of

Barb Maeso-Ruble and Steve Ruble

13621 Wolf Road

Grass Valley, CA 95949


The meeting wull sart at approximately 1 PM.  

LIght refreshments will be available.  

If lost, pleae call (650) 773-0160




Spring 2018 Meeting of the WCC Board Of Directors

We are pleased to announced the Spring 2018 meeting of the WCC Board of Directors on Sunday, April 15, beginning at 1PM. 
This meeting is open to the public and all are welcome.
It will be hosted at Ms Eileen Belan’s residence at 1208 Rose Tree Way, Sacramento, CA 95831, (916) 399-1393
If you can't attend in person, you can videoconference from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Or iPhone one-tap:
US: +16699006833,,554458117# or +16465588656,,554458117#
Or Telephone:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656
Meeting ID: 554 458 117

Winter 2018 Meeting of Board of Directors of the Western Cave Conservancy

Winter 2018 Meeting of Board of Directors of the Western Cave Conservancy

NOON*, Saturday, January 20, 2018


Peninsula Open Space Trust Headquarters

222 High Street, Palo Alto, CA 94551

(If lost: (510) 301-2003)

(*Note somewhat earlier start time!)

The Winter 2018 Western Cave Conservancy Meeting will be held in Palo Alto, in the heart of Silicon Valley area of California. We chose this location to better serve our loyal supporters in northern and central California and adjacent areas. This meeting is open to everyone and we hope to have a good turnout this year.



  1. Drive US-101 (Bayshore Freeway) north to Palo Alto (exit west onto University Ave.)

  2. Follow University Avenue west to Middlefield Road

  3. Turn right (north) onto Middlefield Road and continue one block to Lytton Avenue.

  4. Turn left onto Lytton Avenue and continue west for 9 blocks to High Street.

  5. Turn right onto High Street and continue for about 100 feet. POST Headquarters will be the left (west) side of High Street.  


  1. Drive south on US-101 (Bayshore Freeway) to University Avenue exit, west .

  2. Follow the above directions from University Avenue.


  1. Take I-880 south to San Mateo Bridge (CA-92)

  2. Cross San Francisco Bay on San Mateo Bride to US-101 (Bayshore Freeway)

  3. Follow above directions south to Palo Alto-University Avenue, west exit.  

Note 1: Alternate Route across San Francisco Bay: Continue south on I-880 to CA-84 and cross SF Bay at the Dumbarton Bridge west.  Head south on US-101 (Bayshore Freeway) and follow directions from the University Ave. off ramp.


For those in the San Francisco Bay Area, you may take Caltrain from San Francisco or San Jose and points in between to Palo Alto and avoid driving.  Exit Caltrain at the Palo Alto station.  Walk east across Alma Street and then about two blocks north on Alma past the fire station.  Then walk a block east on Everett Street to High Street, turn hard left (north) and look for POST on your left.  


There is plenty of parking is available on the street.


There will be a selection of light refreshments to keep you alert through the meeting.


Please feel free to re-post this announcement on your local grotto list!

Thank you and we hope to see many of you on January 23rd!