Bracken Cave is a natural cave system and summer home to one of the largest bat colonies in the world. Located just north of San Antonio, this wildlife preserve houses roughly 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats between March and October.

Each year, millions of people come to Bracken Cave in hopes of seeing the bats as they leave the roost for the night. You can hike to the cave in the preserve at dusk to see the bats as they fly out to feed. The hike is easy for most people and a great experience for adults and children alike.

Bracken Cave - one of the highlights of 9 Things to Do Off the Beaten Track in San Antonio (Read all about San Antonio here)

Bracken Cave highlights

The Bracken Cave preserve, run together with assistance from organisations such as Texas Parks and Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy, and the US Department of Fish and Wildlife, is a natural landmark and must-visit attraction on your trip. During the summer months, the bats must come out in the evening to feed for the night, so you're sure to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Along with its efforts to protect the bats in Bracken Cave, the Bat Conservation International organisation is committed to rehabilitating and preserving other native plant and animal species.

Good to know for visiting Bracken Cave

You can see the bats from March to October before they enter hibernation. Each night at dusk, the bats emerge from Bracken Cave all at once to hunt insects. This process can take up to 3 hours.

If you want to experience more of nature and wildlife in San Antonio, Bracken Cave is close to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. This animal attraction is home to exotic wildlife like zebras, giraffes, and gazelle that you can see on safari. Another highlight is the San Antonio Natural Bridge Caverns cave system.

photo by Daniel Spiess (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

Bracken Cave

Location: 26101 FM3009, San Antonio, TX 78266, USA

Open: Hours vary by season

Phone: +1 512-327-9721