Road to the underworld of Native Americans

The name “Devil’s Sinkholes” was born due to the intoxicating depth leading to another world of a vertical abyss between the Edwards Plateau, Texas.

As a national natural monument of the US since 1985, this hole is about 122 m deep, with the mouth size 12 x 18 m. It is the third largest and deepest cave in the state of Texas. As part of the limestone system of the underground caves in the Edwards Plateau, sinkholes are created when the geological crust cracks, according to the Texas Beyond History website.

This is archaeological evidence that the sinkhole was once considered a sacred place by the Native Americans, because locals found stalactites, arrows and other treasures in the area. Evidence from the sinkhole suggests that it may have been the burial ground for the dead, because “indigenous Americans consider the sinkhole or cave, rift, stream or water flowing out of the rock … The path to the underworld and the divine place.

In more modern times, this pit was once a gathering place for cowboys and cave explorers who carved their names or painted graffiti on limestone cliffs.

Today the sinkhole is the summer lodge of about one to four million Mexican long-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis). As the sun sets, you can see several bats fly out from the crater, until millions of bats transform into a giant cloud like a dark cloud in the sky.

You can even take a tour from Wednesday to Saturday in the summer to watch the awakened bats wander between the dark sky. Because this natural area is for guided tours only, visitors who want to visit should book in advance through the Devil’s Sinkhole Society management.
Visitors can visit the Rocksprings Visitor Center on the square at 101 N. Sweeten Street in Rocksprings. All tours depart at this center.