Logan Canyon Wind Caves

2003 photo - the Wind Caves are the two dark holes about the center of the photo
Click on the photo for a larger image

The trailhead to the Wind Caves begins about 5 miles up Logan Canyon. Just past Spring Hollow, nearly straight across the highway from Malibu-Guinevah Campground/Picnic ground, on the north side of the road in a small parking lot. . The trail is moderate, rising about 1,000 feet in 1-1/2 miles. Robbie and I took up the challenge August 24, 2011.

The fancy footwear at the right top belongs to me
Robbie and me on the ledge above the caves
Robbie by the natural bridge left by the original sink hole

 

The Wind Caves (or Witches Castle, as they are also known) are two conjoined hollows in a lime-stone and quartz cliff on the canyon wall. These cliffs are sometimes called the China Wall and were formed between 500 million and 200 million years ago on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The brownish quartz is sand that formed the ocean bottom while the grey limestone is formed from shells and skeletons of small animals that lived and died in the ancient sea.

Over time the land was pushed up and the ocean retreated to the west. Eventually, 20 million years ago, the mountains we see today pushed up to the sky, dragging the ancient sea bed and deposits high in the air. Rain, wind and cold began working at the stone.

Further up Logan Canyon, near the Bear Lake summit, there are large holes called Sinks that were formed by slightly acidic rain and snow gradually eroding the limestone. The Wind Caves possibly started as a sink, with the water eventually finding it's way out to the front of the cave where driven water and wind chiselled a hole, much like a natural arch in other cliff faces.

I was surprised at the natural bridge formed by the original sink and the fact that one hole was a tunnel/brige while the other was a short cave. I was also surprised that the caves were formed right at the top of the old seabed. Most of the rock in the cave is fossilized sand while the top is a layer of limestone.

Looking at the bridge from the inside. The old man at the cave mouth Robbie at the entrance to the caves
Robbie moves between the two caves. Robbie stands between the two caves. Looking across the canyon at the backside of Mt. Logan and an ancient U-shaped glacial valley.