Rock shelter

The rock shelter for which Indian Cave State Park is named.
Rock shelter in the Little Carpathians
Shepherds' rock shelter in Lahaul, India
Bawa Yawan rockshelter, sieving of excavated depsits at a Paleolithic site in Iranian Zagros, April 2017
Rock shelter at Strouds Run State Park
By frost weathering
By cutting a karst gallery
By river erosion

Shallow cave-like opening at the base of a bluff or cliff.

- Rock shelter

199 related topics



Point in a river or stream where water flows over a vertical drop or a series of steep drops.

Angel Falls in Venezuela is the world's tallest waterfall at 979 m (3,212 ft).
Formation of a waterfall
The Dettifoss in Iceland on 31 July 1972
An example of an ephemeral waterfall. This one, when flowing, feeds into the Chagrin River.
Niagara Falls, from the American Side (Frederic Edwin Church, 1867)
A man practicing sādhanā in Japan

Often, the rock stratum just below the more resistant shelf will be of a softer type, meaning that undercutting due to splashback will occur here to form a shallow cave-like formation known as a rock shelter under and behind the waterfall.


Natural void in the ground, specifically a space large enough for a human to enter.

Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico, United States
Speleothems in Hall of the Mountain King of Ogof Craig a Ffynnon, a solutional cave in South Wales.
Exploring a lava tube in Hawaii.
Painted Cave, a large sea cave, Santa Cruz Island, California
Salt cave in Mount Sodom, Israel.
Glacier cave in Big Four Glacier, Big Four Mountain, Washington, c. undefined 1920
Domica Cave in Slovak Karst (Slovakia)
An entrance of the Torhola Cave in Lohja (Finland)
Townsend's big-eared bats in a cave in California
Olms in a Slovenian cave
Taíno petroglyphs in a cave in Puerto Rico

The word cave can refer to smaller openings such as sea caves, rock shelters, and grottos, that extend a relatively short distance into the rock and they are called exogene caves.


Area of rock which has a general angle defined by the vertical, or nearly vertical.

The White Cliffs of Dover
The Trango Towers in Pakistan. Their vertical faces are the world's tallest cliffs. Trango Tower center; Trango Monk center left; Trango II far left; Great Trango right.
Europe's highest cliff, Troll Wall in Norway, a famous BASE jumping location for jumpers from around the world.
The far southwestern aspect of Nanga Parbat's Rupal face, highest cliff (rock wall/mountain face) in the world. The steepest part of the face is 2 km to the northeast.
Vihren’s 460 m north face seen from Golemiya Kazan, Pirin Mountain, Bulgaria
Cliffs along the north shore of Isfjord, Svalbard, Norway.
Kaliakra cape cliffs, Bulgaria
The Matengai in Oki Islands, Japan
The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland
Cliffs on the western shoreline of Sam Ford Fjord, Canada
Cliffs near Sortavala, Russia
Close-up view of Verona Rupes, a 20 km high fault scarp on Miranda, a moon of Uranus.
Vratsata gorge, Vrachanski Balkan Mountains, Bulgaria
Mount Thor, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, commonly regarded as the highest vertical drop on Earth
Southwest face of El Capitan from Yosemite Valley
The face of Notch Peak at sunset
Ketil's west face in Tasermiut, Greenland
Salto Angel from Isla Ratón, Venezuela.

Many cliffs also feature tributary waterfalls or rock shelters.

Leatherman (vagabond)

The Leatherman (c.

John Everett Millais' The Blind Girl, depicting vagrant musicians

Living in rock shelters and "leatherman caves", as they are now locally known, the Leatherman stopped at towns along his 365 mi loop about every five weeks for food and supplies.

Minuartia cumberlandensis

Rare species of flowering plant in the pink family known by the common names Cumberland stitchwort and Cumberland sandwort.

A fence installed at Pickett State Park to protect the stitchwort

This rare plant is found only in cool sandstone rock shelters, on the moist sandy cave floors behind the drip line.

Athens, Ohio

City and the county seat of Athens County, Ohio, United States.

The College Edifice was the first building of higher education in the Northwest Territory
Fountain at The Ridges
Hocking River
Court Street, the main street in Uptown Athens
The Athena Cinema
Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center
Sells Park Lookout
2020 Presidential Election by Precinct Biden:
The Athens County Courthouse
City Hall and the First Presbyterian Church on a pre-1923 postcard
Hockhocking Adena Bikeway from Athens to Nelsonville

This park features 2,606 acre of wooded hills, including many bluffs and rock shelters, centered around a man-made lake.


Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long, stout bills.

Mycteria storks, like this yellow-billed stork, have sensitive bills that allow them to hunt by touch
Lesser adjutants will forage in marine habitats, unlike most storks
Marabou stork at Etosha National Park in Namibia
Abdim's storks are regular intra-African migrants
African openbill foraging in shallow water
European white storks in Alsace, France
European white stork in a nest in Bisag, Croatia

A Ciconia bone found in a rock shelter on the island of Réunion was probably of a bird taken there as food by early settlers; no known account mentions the presence of storks on the Mascarene Islands.

Natural arch

Natural rock formation where an arch has formed with an opening underneath.

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah, United States
The Azure Window, Malta, which collapsed in 2017
Metate Arch, Devils Garden (GSENM), a very thin arch near the end of its life
A topographic map of Coyote Natural Bridge in Utah shows how the meandering Coyote Gulch carved a shorter route through the rock under the arch. The old riverbed is now higher than the present water level.
Natural Bridge, Virginia
Natural arches in the La Cathedrale formation of Tadrart Rouge range, Algeria
Natural Arch, Tirumala, India
Arch in Timna Valley Park, Negev Desert, Israel
The arches at Marinha Beach, Caramujeira, Lagoa, Algarve, Portugal
Es Pontàs is a natural arch on the coast of Mallorca, Spain
Durdle Door, Dorset, the United Kingdom
Percé Rock, Quebec, Canada
The Arch of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Holei Sea Arch, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, United States
Landscape Arch, Utah, United States - one of the longest natural arches in the world
Rainbow Bridge, Utah, a natural bridge formed by a meandering watercourse
"The Hole in the Rock” on Piercy Island, Cape Brett, New Zealand
The arch at Tunnel Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand

The softer rock stratum erodes away creating rock shelters, or alcoves, on opposite sides of the formation beneath the relatively harder stratum, or caprock, above it.

McCreary County, Kentucky

County located in the U.S. state of Kentucky.

Historic Map of McCreary County Area
Natural Arch, a prominent feature of Daniel Boone National Forest, is located in McCreary County.

The county's bedrock is deeply incised by the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries, creating sheer cliffs, gorges, waterfalls, rock shelters, and natural stone arches.

Owsley County, Kentucky

County located in the Eastern Coalfield region of the U.S. state of Kentucky.

Combs in a photograph taken while he was playing for the Louisville Colonels
Daniel Boone

After the death of his wife, Baker became a recluse and lived in a rock house (rockshelter) near the mouth of Buffalo Creek, where he died in 1820.