Shaman’s cave aka Cave of Munits
Inspired by Casey Schreiner’s recent post about the Cave of Munits we set out on mini-exploration past Saturday. Arriving at the trailhead (end of Victory blvd) we quickly found parking and went on check out the rolling hills of Upper Las Virgenes canyon.
Immediately as we walked though impressive gate we made a right turn and set out to scale the closest hill . Recommend it since you’ll be able to see all the grounds bellow and get a better perspective on where you’d like to go.
We spotted a “crack” in the hills not too far from the entrance and headed towards the spot. As we gotten closer to the entrance of the cave – more impressive it appeared. Surrounded by several smaller cave dwellings nearby it really stood out by its immense proportions. In fact this is probably the largest cave around Los Angeles.
Shaman’s cave with kids and pets
The story goes: “Chumash Shaman lived here once upon a time… ” & that’s how much I know about the whole story. Anyhow, Cave of Munits hike is great; just make sure that you don’t get out there in the middle of the hot day, cause it can get intolerably hot.
You can bring your pet, it’s a dog friendly area. We even found remains of one of the canines, might be a good idea to keep an eye out for your pet.
It’s an easy hike and a short climb that you can probably do with your kids, just keep them at your sight. There’s an opportunity to rock climb in the cave and you can actually make your way all the way to the ceiling. There are climbing hooks drilled into the walls and the ceiling. If your children fall all the way from the top that would be totally on you.
I found this funny, somewhat entertaining website while looking up info on the Shaman’s cave. Here’s a quote from that writer that may bring a bit more confusion into the Munits’ Cave naming and the story behind it.
The legend goes that Munits was a shaman who lived and performed ceremonies in the cave. He ultimately met his end by execution after “murdering” the son of a powerful chief. It is difficult to find a more explicit story than that to accompany the history of this cave that was in use during prehistoric times. I will offer my opinion, however, that it was probably very easy for a shaman to kill a person in those days, without malice of intent, considering the powerful plant medicines that were used.
Other places to go spelunking in LA
The Bronson Cave in Hollywood is an excellent spot to checkout while visiting Giffith park in the Los Feliz neighborhood. Also Check out the Vanalden Caves in Tarzana while you hanging out in San Fernando valley.
Whether you’re planning on learning more about the history of the place (which is wrapped in onion layers of misinformation), enjoy the hike to Shaman’s cave. Bring your family along and enjoy the rolling hills of the El Escorpión Park.
If you ever get to visit Redding up in Northern California – make sure to take your kids spelunking to the Lake Shasta Caverns.
Here’s an address s o you can easily locate the spot.
24501 Vanowen St, West Hills, CA 91307