Peppersauce Cave Arizona

  • Updated: December 28, 2013
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

December 28th, 2013

This was the second event in an extended New Years trip out to Tucson.  We did Crystal Cave, used Peppersauce Cave as a recovery day, climbed Elephant Head, and then Finger Rock before planning to finish with Cave of the Bells.  And we probably would have done that one if wasn't for a slight animal encounter the last night.

Peppersauce wasn't as big of a draw as Crystal or Bells but it fit in well as a partial day.  We'd been warned by some of Jen's friends that this place wasn't exactly pristine but my god did they understate that.  If you wonder why they put those gates on some of the other caves just take a look at this place.

We camped not long after leaving Crystal Cave.  We were all tired after a long day and very happy to crawl into our sleeping bags.  We woke up to one of those chilly wear every bit of down you own sort of mornings.

This was our recovery day and while it's nice not to have to rush cars have heaters so we didn't dawdle much.  We meandered to the unmarked spot along a dirt road and hiked a short distance to the entrance of Peppersauce.

This is the first thing you see.  You can kind of read it through all the removed spray paint and scratches.

As you can see the cave is rather neat complete with an underground lake at the end.

This was the first entrance we saw and I quickly ran inside.

It went so I went.  But don't go this way.

Me not following this advice
It gets rather small and doesn't go anywhere.  On the plus side we amused some people who had been here before and heard our grunts of exertion.

Further down after a minor bit of scrambling we following the graphiti to this entrance.

This worked better.

The graffiti everywhere was bad enough graffiti but there was also copious amounts of beer cans and other trash scattered all around with the occasional cache of used toilet paper.

And this spider eating a cricket
We explored pretty much all of the cave but we moved quickly through a few sections due to people setting off firecrackers and generally acting in a manor we didn't want to be around.

The smoke was from smoke bombs a group of college age kids had set off right before we got there.

This is the lake at the very end.  What you can't see in my pictures are the glowsticks people have tied rocks to and thrown in.  And the cigarette butts.

We came out in a hurry and were off towards the next adventure.  Peppersauce was a neat cave but the state it was in was a real shame.

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  1. I've always loved going to peppersauce but ya, it sucks that people cant respect places like this. I so badly want to find a cave that few or noone knows about so me and my wife and kids can see a real, natural cave without all the BS.

    1. That is hard to find considering how people seem treat any of the open caves. You might try which is a bit of a hike but wasn't in bad shape last time we went. Otherwise for something of the class of Cave of the Bells requires a permit since they lock them.

  2. I thought they did a massive cleanup on this cave, removed graffiti etc? Is it already trashed again?