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The deathclaw sanctuary is a location in the Capital Wasteland in 2277. It is located between Dickerson Tabernacle Chapel and broadcast tower KB5. It can be reached by traveling southwest from Fort Constantine, south from SatCom Array NW-05a, or east from SatCom Array NW-07c. As the name suggests, it is home to numerous deathclaws.


The deathclaw sanctuary is a cave maze that may turn back upon itself with some areas that can be climbed upon as a shortcut. There are multiple body piles and at least one pool of blood. The twisting tunnels and large obstructions are hazardous, but it is the residents that make this one of the most dangerous places in the Capital Wasteland.


Outside of the sanctuary is a small overhang concealing the body of a dead mercenary, several skeletons, and a footlocker with some loot. Further down the face of the cliff is a bridge crossing a large gorge. There will be one or more deathclaws (level dependent, but always at least one) guarding the entrance which respawn every three days. If the location is approached from the canyon entrance to the south, due west of Dickerson Tabernacle Chapel, a 'Type A' random encounter will spawn near the northerly rope bridge.

After The Waters of Life, an Enclave camp will appear on the nearby cliff northeast of the entrance. This usually consists of a Tesla soldier and Enclave scientists, as well as a mind-controlled deathclaw and two Enclave crates.

When traveling to the sanctuary from the west it is possible to fall into the gorge near the overhang as it is hard to spot among the rocks.


The interior is a dark, maze-like cave complex which contains between six and twelve deathclaws. The sanctuary seems to function both as a nest and a storage place, indicated by the many piles of maimed bodies and body parts that can be found in specific places. Several wastelanders, raiders, mercenaries, and rotting brahmin corpses are among them.

The Waters of Life

Before completing The Waters of Life quest, only deathclaws will be found here. However, after the arrival of the Enclave, a group of soldiers appear to have entered the caves to explore. This has an effect on the unique weapons found here (see the notable loot section). They spawn alive in the cave, but unless you cleared it out once before, they won't be among the living by the time you find them.

Notable loot


  • There is a locked footlocker (average) right outside the cave entrance, which contains a Duck and Cover! skill book among other items.


  • Bobblehead - Endurance directly south of the entry inside the cave, in the first large chamber - on a short pedestal near a pile of corpses and a rotting brahmin corpse (it is to the immediate left at the bottom of the entry slope, ground level).
  • Nikola Tesla and You, a Nuka-Cola Quantum, (located a few steps east of the bobblehead, next to a dead Enclave officer), and a mini nuke are near the bobblehead.
  • Vengeance, in the far southeast of the caves, near a pool of water that is colored completely red from blood.
  • Jack, (only after The Waters of Life quest) on a dead Enclave officer in the southern part of the cave, west of Vengeance.


  • The body of the mercenary near the entrance may not be present if the player character had previously passed through the area cell.
  • There are a few spots of higher ground that can be used to safely clear the entrance area of deathclaws. One can be accessed from broadcast tower KB5 and are cliffs overlooking the area. Some other spots include some steep precipices within the sanctuary, scalable only by jumping.


The deathclaw sanctuary appears only in Fallout 3.


  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 The deathclaws that spawn around the entrance to the sanctuary have been known to suddenly and spontaneously shoot up into the air. This seems to be caused by their spawn points placing them slightly below a surface they should otherwise be standing on, the resulting reaction of the physics engine seems to propel them skyward. [verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 The deathclaws that spawn near the entrance may also spontaneously die while fighting you. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 The deathclaws that spawn near the entrance may also fight each other. When one of the several that spawned die they will turn onto the player. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 The various deathclaw cages in the Enclave base outside the sanctuary have been known to only show the doors, and not the rest of the container. The doors do however still function. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 By the bobblehead, the rear half of a brahmin can be seen sticking out of the ground shaking due to it being stuck through the ground. [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 The deathclaw that is walking by the pool of blood may not attack you. [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 The rotting brahmin has been known to be situated directly on top of the Endurance bobblehead making it rather difficult or nearly impossible to obtain. It is possible to move the brahmin with a Fat Man or other powerful weapon in order to acquire the bobblehead. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Rarely, the deathclaws will all spawn outside of the cave. If you manage to clear them and head into the cave, for some reason they will be in the cave as well. [verified]