Metcalf rock is one of my favorite places to go caving. There are several caves at this fantastic site that must be explored on every trip to Metcalfe.
The first one is the camping cave, at least that’s what I will call it. In my early twenties we used to camp inside this cave for the weekend particularly during mid winter. Good times!
From the parking lot follow the path toward the rock face and over the bridge, then up the hill. When you find the main trail head to your right along the base of the bluff. Watch for the blue blaze side trail to your left and follow it up the natural stone steps and into the canyon. The camping cave is at the far end of the canyon on your left in the deep crevice.
When you enter the cave you step down into a good size chamber, which I’ve never really stopped in for too long. The next room is almost connected and is a few steps up. There are some large boulders to climb up and sit down on, a good photo spot. There is also a skylight in the middle of this room that let’s a beam of light in during the summer and a pile of snow in during the winter.
Follow the cave wall on your right as it narrows, take care the next room is about a ten foot drop down. It is best to turn around and climb down facing backward. You are climbing down a small overhang and if it’s your first time you will not likely find a place to put your feet. There is a step, it’s in and to your right a little bit. You’ll have to stretch to reach it, when you do you can just step down into the camping chamber. This is a long room that you can stand up in, it’s about 10 feet wide and maybe 30 feet long. Perfect for winter camping.
At the far end of this room on your left you will find a passage leading down and you should be able to hear water flowing. Follow that passage down to find the stream. Yup, there’s a stream in the bottom of this cave. The passage is tight but go for it!