PEEC Offers Rare Chance to Explore Buckman Cave

A caver explores Buckman Cave during a PEEC trip. Courtesy photo

PEEC News:

For those who seek an adventure this fall, look no further than the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) caving trip to explore Buckman Cave in Diablo Canyon.

Buckman Cave is an elusive spelunking spot outside of Santa Fe. Few locals know about it. Local outdoorsman and adventure guide Tony Hinojosa will lead the PEEC day trip Sunday, Sept 22.

The group will meet at 8 a.m. at PEEC and return by 5 p.m. The length of time in the cave will be approximately three to four hours. Hinojosa will lead the group through the cave, stopping for lunch.

Buckman Cave is known for its maze of tunnels, which lead to a number of rooms deep underground. The atmosphere is cool and dark.

“This will be a very physically demanding cave outing with a lot of ups and downs,” Hinojosa said. “Participants should be in good physical shape and prepared to climb.”

Cavers need to be able to lift themselves up and over obstacles without aid from others, Hinojosa said. The hike to the cave will include difficult rock scrambling over a mostly off-trail venue.

Participants will need to wear tough, close-toed shoes or boots and clothes that can get dirty and ripped. They are advised to bring layers (long-sleeve shirt or jacket), as it can be very hot in the canyon approaching the cave, but it may feel cold when sitting in the cave. Participants should also bring lunch and water in a backpack or bag that can handle being dragged through the cave, and they also need to wear kneepads and gloves.

Hinojosa is the physical education teacher at Mountain Elementary School and an avid outdoorsman. He enjoys all types of sports and adventures. He is certified in Wilderness First Aid and has led numerous groups of all ages through many different caves in New Mexico.

The cost for the trip is $30 ($24 for PEEC members). Advance registration is required. For more information and to register, visit,, or call (505) 662-0460.

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