Explore Skylight Cave

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Skylight Cave is a local gem known for its three "skylights," which provide stunning light beams that shine down into the cave. 

The hardest part about getting to Skylight Cave is the drive. Start by coming from Sisters, Oregon, and use the Google Maps pin below to find Skylight Cave. It's recommended you download an offline map of the area in advance, as it has no service most of the way. It takes roughly 5-6 miles of driving on some dirt/gravel roads to get here, so vehicles with low clearances aren't recommended. This is definitely doable in a two-wheel-drive vehicle, but is best fared by a vehicle with 4WD.

Once you reach the destination instructed by Google, park your car and walk, since the cave is just a tiny bit farther up the road. You won't be able to see it from where you park, but it's only a few hundred feet around the bend and up a small incline. Parking is not allowed at the entrance of the cave itself. The entrance is clearly marked by a forest service sign with a number of bulletins, one of which states that the cave is closed from October to May in order to protect the bat habitat. You will descend down a short ladder to enter the cave. If you make your way left, you will find the "skylights" after about 300 feet. If you go right, there is about 900 feet of cave to explore, but ultimately it dead ends. There are no services at the site, so utilize a pack in, pack out policy. Please leave this place as you found it so others can continue to enjoy it.

The cave is only open in the summer months, but luckily this is the best time to go, as this is when the three light beams illuminate the cave. In order to see the beams in their full glory, it is recommended you go between 8-10 AM. After that, the angle of the sun prevents the light beams from shining in the cave. Do keep in mind that on overcast days, the beams will not be visible, so try to plan going on a day with clear skies for direct sunlight. 

Pack List

  • Adequate Vehicle
  • Google Offline Map or Detailed Paper Map
  • Headlamp or Flashlight
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Water
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Activities:

Chillin, Photography, Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

0.2 Miles

Elev. Gain:

-25 Feet

Features:

Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic

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Added by Brian Fulda

Hi! I'm Brian, a photographer based in San Francisco that has an avid love for the outdoors, travel, hiking, redwoods, astronomy, guitar, and more.

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