Update: Found the caves! They aren’t too hard to find just as long as you are headed in the right direction on the right side of the river. Here is how you get there from Smalley Rd. Follow the road down past the gate where the power house is. When the road starts to switchback to the right take the dirt road that forks off straight ahead that ends in what appears to be a parking lot. From there you’ll look up the mountain away from the river and see a barbed-wire fence that you’ll have to pass through. Stay on that trail and follow it up until you get to a main mountain bike trail that will be very obvious. Go right and take that trail down past another gate. You’ll be hiking about a mile or so till you come to an area of rocks as depicted below. You should be able to hear the running water beneath the ground.
Today a couple friends and I set out to go caving (or spelunking as some call it) at the Millerton Lake Caves. It was only a couple of months ago that I heard of a caving system here in Fresno County. These caves are located along the San Joaquin River just north of Millerton Lake off of Powerhouse Rd/ Smalley Rd. I have researched as much as I could but couldn’t find too much information on the exact location of the entrance to these caves – they have been kept pretty secret around this area it seems like. Most people I know here in Fresno have lived here their entire lives but have never even heard of them, yet alone venture into them. As I started asking around I started to find more and more resources on information about them and people that have been there.
We set out for the Squaw Leap Campground area that is located where the trailhead to the caves are. We had climbing gear, helmets, head lamps & flashlights, gloves, and layered clothing – all of which is required for this type of activity. After a few hours of hiking around looking for an entrance we decided to call it a day and come back another day.
Once I find the entrance to the cave I plan on updating this post with the coordinates so others with GPS devices may easily navigate to the caves or find them on Google Maps. Even though we weren’t able to locate the cave entrance today it was still a great time hiking in new areas along the river. I can’t wait to take the mountain bikes out there and ride the trails.