Location: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
Length, One-Way: 3.5 miles
Trail Type: Out and Back
Minimum Elevation: 6700 feet
Maximum Elevation: 7200 feet
Best Season: March to December
The Blue Ridge Cave Trail offers a variety of points of interest in a relatively short distance. From the trailhead on porter Mountain Road (Forest Road 45), one will experience a riparian environment along Porter Creek and Scott Reservoir before climbing to higher elevations.
Parts of the trail are quite rough due to the volcanic origin of the rocks and soil. Just beyond the mid-point of the trail is the Blue Ridge Cave, a lava tube which was probably discovered by sheepherders prior to 1910. The first trail to the cave was marked by a group of local Boy Scouts around 1920 and it has been visited regularly since that time. It is also know as the “ice cave”, probably because of the constant flow of cool air (around 52 degrees F) leaving the cave. It is probable that the entrance to the cave, which is simply a hole in level ground, was created by a cave-in.
The cave has been fenced off and locked for protection and preservation by the Forest Service.
From Lakeside Ranger Station:
Drive 0.2 miles towards McNary on State Highway 260. Turn left onto Porter Mountain Road (Forest Road 45). Drive 1 mile to the trailhead on the right, immediately before Forest Road 45 crosses Porter Creek.
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