Cave of Munits

Located in Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve lies the Cave of Munits. For thousands of years the Chumash Native American tribe lived in the current Preserve’s area. Supposedly the cave was once occupied by a Chumash shaman. Legend has it he was executed after killing the son of a powerful chief.

It’s an easy hike to the cave at just 2.6 miles. There’s a little climbing involved, but I think it’s perfect for beginner hikers. There are also numerous trails in the surrounding hills that you can explore to extend your outing. At just a little over a half mile you will want to bear right and the cave is fairly easy to spot with the distinct opening in the rock face. I advise wearing shoes with grippy tread. The most difficult part of the hike is trekking up the steep incline to the cave, as well as climbing up the cave walls. You might need an extra hand from a friend to boost you up into the entrance of the cave.

Once inside the cave, it’s fairly easy to navigate. The cave lets in a good amount of natural light from the opening at the top, so flashlights are not necessary. It’s unfortunate that fellow hikers disrespect the “Leave No Trace” behind policy. I found garbage littering the cave floor along with graffiti markings along the walls. There are also numerous birds that roost near the top so beware of droppings that litter the cave floor. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can even climb the interior chimney that leads to the top of the cave. The view is spectacular, particularly in the spring when the hills are a beautiful shade of green! I advise starting out early to beat the heat and the crowds!

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