Tuesday, May 10, 2011

#175: The Cave of Munits (aka the Shaman's Cave)

Looking out of the Cave

The Cave of Munits (aka the Shaman's Cave, aka the Bat Cave) is believed to have been the residence of a mythical Chumash shaman who was killed after murdering the son of a Chumash chief.

Looking into the Cave

Located on the edge of El Escorpion Park in the Upper Las Virgines Canyon Open Space Preserve, the gargantuan Cave looks like the lair of an evil comic book villain.

The tall narrow entrance is guarded by a hive of bees, and there are more hives inside.

See that hole in the rock at the top? That's a hive at the entrance of the Cave.

At first we were afraid of the loud buzzing and didn't want to venture too far in, but once we saw a couple of other hikers do it, we went in too. Inside, we met a man with his two dogs who regularly visits the Cave. He said that the bees leave you alone. Just don't go throwing rocks at the hives!


To reach the Cave from L.A., go North/West on the 101 and take exit 29 for Valley Circle Blvd. Go north on Valley Circle Blvd until you reach Vanowen St. Take a left on Vanowen and you will see a trail soon on your left. Park on the street for free.

Hike about .75 miles until you see this fence:

and this sign:

Immediately past the fence, take the trail on the right. You will see this in front of you:

See that narrow opening in the rock in the distance?

This one

From the sign, walk about .25 miles to the cave opening. Climb up to the cave opening (there are footholds in the rock--no ropes necessary).

It's a little tricky
(photo by Shimage)

The Cave is a "chimney cave", meaning there's a hole up top through which you can see the sky.

The Cave ceiling

Be Prepared:

This short hike is mostly unshaded. It is flat until you take the trail on the right side up to the Cave, at which point it becomes steeper. Wear good shoes since climbing up the wall is a bit tricky. Do not go on this hike if you are afraid of bees or severely allergic to bee stings. To get to the cave in the Spring, you have to walk through lots of brush that is swarming with bees.

pollen bombs everywhere!

A little bit of welcomed shade

(photo by Shimage)


  1. This was totally awesome! Went today and had a blast! Thanks for your review :-)

  2. Yay!! You're very welcome! Glad to hear that you had a great time :)

  3. Great hike!


  4. Ex boyfriend took me to a cave that was covered by hanging vines on the side of a mountain in the Pasadena/La Crescenta Area, there is no known map to get there but it was the most awesome thing I have ever been too, it is a small hole on the side of the mountain, near a creek, you have to cross the creek to get to the mountain, and move the vines and it exposes a hole small enough for you to crouch through, once you crouch for a little bit there is a muddy floor and it opens up where you are able to stand. There are some people that know about it, because there are beer cans in there, you keep exploring it and you hear water. There are about 2 or 3 rooms, one so small you have to crawl through it, another area that is tall but not that big and the tiny area where you hear the water and a pool at the bottom. He refused to tell me where it was and I couldn't find it on my own. That was an experience.

    1. Your describing the Las Flores Canyon Mine on Lake Avenue http://www.lagoldmines.com/index.php?page=916662.txt

  5. Wow!! I wish I knew where it is! Sounds amazing :)

  6. Castle Peak is at the west end of Vanowen st, where it hits Valley Circle, in West Hills.