T516 Cueva de La Cabeza de Vaca

Alternate Names: Cowshead Cavern, Cueva el Agua en Sobra, Ogof Pen Y Buwch


CO-ORDINATES: 30T 0362314 4790563

LENGTH: 3000m

LOCATION: Starting from Tresviso direction, park in obvious layby at head of Sobra Valley. Follow the obvious track down into the valley, on reaching the first set of cabanas, head down and then double back along an obvious stream running along the path. About 75m along there is an obvious stream resurging from the left hand side.


Entrance to an old cheese cave which resurges in wet weather. Right hand entrance is gated as a cheese cave. Left hand passage leads into the cave.

Picture: Entrance


Follow the streamway for a short distance into the cave before an obvious choke is reached. Heading up and to the right reaches a small climb / squeeze. After this the passage increases in size. Taking the righ hand route, leads down through some decorated passage to the chamber containing the cows head.

Picture: The Cowshead

Taking the left hand route leads down through an unstable boulder choke and rejoins the streamway. The stream can be followed for around 250m. At an obvious lowering of the stream a route on the right leads up and over before rejoining the stream once more.

The stream eventually reaches an obvious pool. A tight rift to the left appears to be the continuation, but heading up an awkward climb leads to a passage over the rift which eventually reaches a large window and 5m pitch overlooking Sump 1.

The sump was passed in 1986 (Julian Walker) after a 100m dive and leads to a further 100m of open stream passage and Sump 2. Sump 2 is 4m long and leads to 500m of open stream way and a large end chamber (25m long by 70m high). The stream enters from a passage some 8m up the wall.

Sump 3 is a few meters beyond, with around 100m of oxbows in the area. Sump 3 is -31m deep before sloping up and surfaces briefly for approx 5m before Sump 4 is encountered

(Unknown, post 1986) - passed 2 more sumps. 6th not passed. pushed to 3km