Crystal Cave in Kings Canyon

Crystal Cave in Kings Canyon
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks came into the national consciousness through the towering trees that comprise the woodlands of these parks. Subterranean wonders also lie within the parks' boundaries with small fissures in the ground providing the gateway to these marvels. The waterfalls cascading along the route to Crystal Cave provide a suitable foreword to the cavernous rooms of marble waiting beneath the ground.
 

Entering the Cave

Entrance into Crystal Cave is only allowed as part of a guided tour. Purchase tickets for the cave tour in Sequoia National Park at the Lodgepole or Foothills Visitor Centers.

 
 

Cave Tours

The three available tours of Crystal Cave vary in time and difficulty. The regular cave tour provides a 45-minute guided tour along paved and lighted paths showcasing the history and features of the cave. The discovery tour offers smaller groups a more extensive 1½-hour tour emphasizing the geology and fauna of the cave. The wild cave tour features more than four hours of strenuous off-trail exploration for groups of six people, age 16 and older.

Cave Difficulty

Most visitors to the cave can expect a paved surface for their trek. The cave has significant elevation changes, and guests opting for more rigorous tours of the cave can expect to crawl through the narrow passages avoided by more casual explorers. Wheelchairs are not permitted on the tours.

Temperature

The cave is a chilly 48 degrees, requiring visitors to dress warmly.

Vandalism

Sequoia National Park's caves have been targeted by vandals including the destruction of cave formations at the cave entrance of Crystal Cave. The Sequoia Natural History Association which operates the caves works to preserve the cave system.

 

Article Written By David Chandler

David Chandler has been a freelance writer since 2006 whose work has appeared in various print and online publications. A former reconnaissance Marine, he is an active hiker, diver, kayaker, sailor and angler. He has traveled extensively and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida where he was educated in international studies and microbiology.

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