Sandia Cave Restoration Project

Volunteer Page



Sandia Cave Restoration Project

The Forest Service (Cibola National Forest in conjunction with the Sandia Grotto and the New Mexico Site Watch Program ) has implemented a project for the restoration and conservation of Sandia Cave. The cleanup of the graffiti and trash and the restoration of the cave to a more pristine state will enhance visitors experience and insure that future generations are able to enjoy this local landmark.

When you visit the cave we appreciate your help in removing any new trash that others have left in the parking lot, along the trail and in the cave.

April 21, 2015   Phase One: Dr. Loubser site visit and talk at Tijeras FS facility
Volunteer List - Phase Two 2015





Monday June 15   Pete (initial temporary gate measurements)
Monday June 22   Pete (gate fit measurements), JL travels to ABQ
Tuesday June 23   Linda McDowell, Joelle Hertel, Ann M. White, Michelle Wilson, Val & Jim Werker, Wyatt Armstrong, Pete (gate install)
Wednesday June 24   Michelle Wilson, Val & Jim Werker, Kevin Lorms, Wyatt Armstrong, Pete (fence install)
Thursday June 25  

Eric Rinehart, Val & Jim Werker, Linda Starr, Kevin Lorms

Friday June 26  

Eric Rinehart, Kevin Lorms, Katy Kallestad

Saturday June 27 Public visitor's day


Rebecca Procter, Linda Starr, Pete Lindsley, Kevin Lorms, Sam Bensonhaver, Norm Nelson, Jason Waltz, Jeremy Kulisheck, Zack Peabody, Katy Kallestad, possibly others

Sunday June 28   Day off
Monday June 29   Jean Payne, Michelle Wilson, Ron Lipinski, Sam Bensonhaver
Tuesday June 30   Michelle Wilson, Linda Starr, Bob Cornish, Katy Kallestad
Wednesday July 1  
Nancy M. Hudson, Shannon Bermea, Wyatt Armstrong
Thursday July 2  
Shannon Bermea, Katy Kallestad, Mike Bilbo, Wyatt Armstrong
Friday July 3  
Debra Beeson, Team Piirto (Cynthia Piirto, Carl, Claire)
Saturday July 4   Day off


Sunday July 5



Rock Art Field Trip: Forest Service lands, contact Sandra & meet at Sandia Ranger District in Tijeras at 9:30 am on Sunday

Monday July 6  
J. Payne, Michelle Wilson, Wyatt Armstrong, Carrin Rich
Tuesday July 7  
Kevin Lorms, Pete Lindsley, Dominic Crespin (Channel 13 Photographer)
    Phase Three: The cave reopened on July 14, 2015
    Work in progress on the Project such as trash collection, painting and additional graffiti removal will continue.


Volunteers & Visitors: We appreciate your help in removing any new trash that others have left in the parking lot, along the trail and in the cave.
Photography: Visitors are encouraged to take photos of new graffiti and suspicious vandals and vehicles and share them with the Sandia Grotto at one of the links at the bottom of this page. Selected photos may be featured on these Sandia Grotto web pages.
Photo Pages During the Restoration Project: Please check back later for updates.
Photo Page #2: First four days of Team Work
Photo Page #3: DStretch photos from washed North wall June 25, 2015.
Photo Page #4: Public Media Day on Saturday, June 2 7, 2015
Photo Page #5: Photos from Wednesday July 1, 2015
DStretch Page #3: Processed photos from Thursday July 2, 2015
Photo Page #6: This page shows some of the results of the Phase One work. Note: some of the graffiti will be removed at a future date following special techniques so that historical survey markings from the original Hibben survey will not be destroyed. Please contact the Sandia Grotto at one of the links at the bottom if you wish to assist on this delicate and time consuming task.
Photo Page #7: As we identify additional points of interest along the trail to Sandia Cave we will show proposed sign material on this page. If you have unanswered questions that would be appropriate for a small trail sign, please contact the Sandia Grotto at the e-mail links at the bottom of this page.

Back to Sandia Cave Home Page


What to expect if you plan to visit the cave to check out our restoration efforts

Please note that the site is remote. As such, you should plenty of water for the one mile round trip hike up to the cave and back. There are no nearby restroom or other facilities. (The nearest facilities are about 3 miles up the canyon road at the picnic area.)

Due to declining and limited budgets, there is no trash pickup at the parking lot. But everyone can pitch in and help our small group to keep this unique resource clean and continue to remain available to the public. Please carry out your trash and that of other less caring visitors.

For the cave visitors: Spelunkers can venture about 40 feet into the twilight zone, but should have a light. Your iPhone does not count as your primary source of light! Remember - cavers rescue spelunkers who don't follow the guidelines listed below..


Equipment:   Cavers entering the cave beyond the twilight zone (past a low rock wall) should have 3 sources of light, a helmet, gloves, knee pads and a dusk mask (to protect your lungs from the yellow ocher dust that is easily stirred up when people enter the cave).
Sandia Grotto:   The Grotto is the local chapter of the National Speleological Society. Please join us at a meeting if you are interested in visiting other caves. Additional information on Sandia Cave and our meetings can be found on the web site at [].


Rev. 5-26-2018 E-mail Contact: Sandia Grotto of the NSS Contact: Webmaster