Underground Texas Grotto

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  Grutas de Bustamante - Formation with graffiti to be cleaned (if possible).

Grutas de Bustamante - Formation with graffiti to be cleaned (if possible).


  • knee pads—athletic types worn under pants work well—avoid kneepads with hard shell plastic on the front. [more info]
  • elbow pads (Use Kids or Adult fabric soccer-shin guards, $4.99 at Academy)
  • head lamp with fresh batteries (back up batteries are not a bad idea)
  • long pants that you don't mind getting dirty (short sleeve t-shirts are fine)
  • sturdy closed shoes (no sandals!)
  • eat something! Caving is strenuous. You need carbs. Do not come on an empty stomach.
Helmets will be provided.

  • Gloves (Cloth work gloves or the dipped garden gloves work fine)
  • Water in a plastic bottle (1/2 liter should be enough for the three hour trip)
  • Snack
  • Backup flashlight(s)
  • batteries
  • small pack to carry these things
  • change of clothes for driving home (or a towel to put on your car seat)
  • cloth to wipe face/hands
  • Throw away camera with flash. See the FAQ for more details.

For the UT Grotto Training trips, we will provide you with a helmet, but if you have a rock climbing helmet please bring it. To keep it economical, bring at least 2 sources of light (Cavers always bring at least 3 sources of light to any cave), one of which should be a helmet-mountable headlight. I recommend the this headlamp that you can get at Wal-Mart. See the FAQ for more details.


Expect to spend about 3 - 3.5 hours in the cave. Larger groups take more time to to move people through.


Make sure to get the cell phone number of your trip leader. Contact the trip leader in case you cannot make it.

Cave Safety and Etiquette

It is always appropriate to check the entrance for snakes. Once inside the cave you may come across cave crickets, salamanders, scorpions and very small beetles that may be protected species. Please do not harm or touch the cave fauna. Finally, we always request that you take nothing from the cave and leave nothing behind. Care should be taken to stay on trail and avoid touching pristine areas or formations.