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Ultimate Guide to Crystal Cave, California (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

Ultimate Guide to Crystal Cave, California (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

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Crystal Cave is a beautiful natural wonder located in the Sequoia National Forest. The cave was discovered by accident in 1883 and has been open to the public since 1911.

ultimate guide to crystal cave

Crystal Cave, California

This cave offers four different tours: Discovery, Adventure, Mystery, and Wild Tours. Visitors can also explore on their own or partake in our guided Night Tour! We hope you enjoy your time at this amazing national treasure – we know you will!

History of the Cave

Crystal Cave is a marble karst cave within the Sequoia National Park and is one of the 240 known caves in the Park. The cave, which was first disCrystal Cave is a beautiful natural wonder located in the Sequoia National Forest. The cave was discovered by accident in 1883 and has been open to the public since 1911. covered in 1918, and is presently operated by the Sequoia Natural History Association.

It assumed control of the cave in 1982 but prior to this, it was under the control of the National Park Service since its discovery in 1918.

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Geological Cave Formations in Crystal Cave

This cave is an excellent example of a marble cavern. It is a treasure of ornate marble polished by the subterranean streams and beautifully decorated with curtains of stalactites that look like icicles and mounds of stalagmites. It also has all kinds of colorful minerals that form blue, green, black, white, and orange deposits and formations along with the ceilings, floors, and walls of the cave.

Wildlife in Crystal Cave

Certain forms of living things are always found in caves. In the cave, a large brownish-black has been identified by the experts as a new species. There are also cave crickets and millipedes which are also known as thousand-legged worms. One will also come across mice, woodrats, caches of acorns, and other seeds.

Bats are seen in the cave occasionally and their sightings are not so common as the other caves. Skeletal remains of raccoons were found in one of the openings of the cave apart from bones of deer, bears, and other animals.

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Is Crystal Cave Haunted?

Although Crystal Cave is heavily visited and one of the most popular attractions in California, it is also known as a popular place for paranormal activity. There have been lots of ghost sightings and stories in the Crystal Cave area and many believe that it is truly haunted because of all the stories surrounding it.

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How Big is Crystal Cave

It is one of the most visited caves in the Sequoia National Park with a total length of 2.42 miles.

Crystal Cave Tours

There are different kinds of tours available for the Crystal Cave, but the standard tour of 50 min duration is perfect for the less adventurous and the families with young children. Before we go into the details of the standard tour, it must be mentioned that the tickets must be booked in advance.

One needs to arrive at least 30 min early and wait on one of the picnic benches or use the washroom as you will not get another one in the cave. As the tour time approaches, everyone will be asked to assemble, safety procedures and tips will be told and the ½ mile walk to the cave entrance will begin.

Ultimate Guide to Crystal Cave, California (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

The walk to the cave is beautiful and it does not take too long to get to the bottom. On your return, it would take a much longer time as it is all uphill. The trail down below affords some good views of the surroundings. When you reach the base, you would come across a few waterfalls.

When you get to the bottom, you will be heading towards the entrance of the cave. The tour size is restricted to 50 persons which means that there will always be lots of people with you inside the cave. When you enter the cave, you will be walking through a long hallway that is full of magical views until you reach one of the three main rooms.

Each room relates to each other through a short, 5 – minute walk. At one point in time, the guide will switch off all lights so that you can experience the darkness.

Getting back would take some time as it is an uphill journey, but you can take your time as there is no rush. All in all, it is a majestic cave and the tours help you to experience it fully.

Crystal cave map

Crystal Cave Tour Prices and Discounts

There are a variety of tours available at this cave, from the low-profile family tour that is suitable for all ages to the wild cave tour that is usually undertaken by people who are over 13 years. The wild cave tour is special as it requires the visitors to crawl on the stomach through the narrow passageways.

The family tour is of 50 min duration and prices start at USD 17 for adults, USD 9 for children aged 5 to 12, and USD 6 for kids who are 4 years and younger.

The Wild Cave Tour is a bit expensive as it costs USD 50 per person. The tickets need to be purchased in advance as they are not sold at the cave. In fact, the NPS recommends that tickets be purchased at least two months in advance.

Crystal Cave is the biggest of the caves in the Sequoia National Park & the Kings Canyon.

Is Crystal Cave Cold?

The cave always has a temperature of 48 degrees F which can be ‘cold and chilly’ for some sections of the people. So, we recommend that you dress accordingly so that you do not feel the chill.

What to Wear?

The visitors to Crystal Cave will get flashlights and necessary equipment from the Sequoia Parks Conservancy. The cave temperature is at a constant 48 degrees F; carrying a jacket or sweater is highly recommended.

Crystal Cave Hours

It is not possible to see the Crystal Cave without the help of guides. So, registering for a tour of the Crystal Cave is the best thing to do. The tours are offered from Thursday to Sunday (10 am to 4 pm). It remains closed from Monday to Wednesday.

what to do at crystal cave besides tours

What to Do at Crystal Cave (Beside Tours)

When you come to explore Crystal Cave, you should have plenty of time in hand so that you can explore the other amazing places of the Sequoia National Park. There are many other top attractions in the park such as the Giant Sherman Tree, Crescent Meadow, and the Giant Tree.

Best Time to Visit Crystal Cave

The cave is open only from late spring (May) to mid-fall (late September, October). If you are looking for the best time to visit the cave, then you should go early in the season or late in the season. The high months are June, July, and August, and are very hard to get tickets for the tours during this time. The best thing that you can do is to buy the tickets immediately as soon as you enter the park at the Foothills entrance.

How to Get to Crystal Cave

The cave is in the southern region of the Sequoia National Park just off the General’s Highway. There is a well-signed turnoff on either side of the road for the Crystal Cave. If you speak about proximity, the Crystal Cave is close to the Giant Forest portion of the park. It must be noted that Crystal Cave Road is a two-lane narrow road, and the cave is right at the very end of the road.


Hotels near Crystal Cave

There are several quality accommodations near Crystal Cave and the most notable among them are The Gateway Restaurant & Lodge, Buckeye Tree Lodge, and Stony Creek Lodge B&B.

Places To Stay Nearby

Visiting Crystal Cave

Do you need more information before visiting Crystal Caves? Call (559) 565 – 3341 or email NPS through the form for an information packet. 

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