Baatara Cave

Baatara Gorge Waterfall - Cave of Three Bridges - Baatara Pothole - Balaa Cave


Useful Information

Location: On the Lebanon Mountain Trail. Near the village of Balaa, between the cities of Laqlouq and Tannourine. (34.173433, 35.870367)
Open: no restrictions.
[2020]
Fee: free.
[2020]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: VR=255m.
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility:
Bibliography:
Address:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

1952 discovered by French bio-speleologist Henri Coiffait.

Description

The Baatara Gorge Waterfall is also called the Three Bridges. A waterfall falls down through three cave passages which are one above the other. The place is quite spectacular, and a favorite on pinterest. However, as Lebanon has an arid climate the waterfall is dry most of the year. But the mountains receive some snow and so it flows during snow melt. The best time to visit is between November and April. There are trails along the ledges in the cliff face and it is possible to cross the bridges.

This place is called a gorge, a waterfall, a doline and a cave, and all of this is correct. We nevertheless classified it as a cave. The trail is part of the Lebanon Mountain Trail and uses the ledge created by the differential erosion in the different layers of Jurassic limestone. Obviously this is a contact karst feature caused by the border between limestone and insoluble rock. The river runs on top of the insoluble rock, and is not able for form caves here, but as soon as it reaches the limestone karstification starts. But the cave below is in a late stage of its development. Most of the cave ceiling has already dropped and what remains resembles a gorge.