Hike into an underground limestone wonderland known as Preacher Canyon Cave. This cave features stalagmites and stalactites formations created by dripping water filled with dissolved limestone. There is also a water pool towards the back of this living cave.
- Trip Outline
Preacher Canyon Cave is a hidden gem located near Payson, Arizona. We enter this cave by either crawling or butt-scooting into the low opening. After about 20 feet, the downward slide ends and the cave room opens up where you have room to stand and explore. There are several rooms which have easy access. The cave has various stages of stalagmites and stalactites formations. A number of which have been broken off, probably as a result of heedless or destructive hikers. The rock floors are muddy, slippery and wet. Protective gloves and a good quality headlamp is a must as the cave interior is pitch black.
Clear quartz crystals resembling New York Herkimer diamonds are to be found at Diamond Point near the cave location. We will journey to this location to hunt for these crystals. Easiest pickings are to be had after heavy rains have exposed previously hidden crystals. Pockets of crystals, which can be productively worked by digging, are also to be found toward a fence overlooking a cliff.
Sollenberger Vineyards & Winery
With advance notice we will arrange a private tour and wine tasting at the secluded Sollenberger Vineyards & Winery. The winery produces organic estate wines at 6500ft elevation below the Mogollon Rim in Payson, Arizona.
Here is a brief version of the story of Preacher Cave. Less than two centuries ago, a preacher lived in a cabin in the canyon which now carries the name “Preacher Canyon”. On Sundays he would venture down to Payson to deliver a sermon and then return home to his cabin. Occasionally on his return trips he would make a detour through the area around Young, AZ and rustle-up some cattle. Someone else’s cattle! Eventually he was found out so he escaped from the posse looking to arrest him by hiding in a nearby cave for a period of time.
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