Come explore the underground beauty of Sequoia National Park! Walk by scenic waterfalls on the half-mile trail to Crystal Cave. Beautiful stalactites and curtains, impressively large rooms, and ornate marble polished naturally by a subterranean stream.
Crystal is the parks' only commercialized cave. It has 3 miles of passage, making it the second longest cave in the two parks. More than 2,000 feet of passage and three new entrances were found in the early 1990s. The cave is a complex, "anastomotic" maze and is heavily decorated with many varieties of speleothems including rarely formed "shields" and "raft cones". The cave has suffered heavy vandalism through its commercialization. Crystal has at least four unique species of invertebrates including spiders and aquatic isopods living in the cave stream. The cave contain Pleistocene era fossils, rare minerals and unique animals. They are the sites of numerous scientific research projects and provide recreational opportunities to thousands of park visitors each year.
Crystal Cave is just one of more than 200 marble caves in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Caves form only under special conditions including the right kind of rock, fractures or spaces in the rock and enough water to erode underground rooms and passages.
Beautiful Crystal Cave features a trail and lights for park visitors. This commercialized cave has seen millions of visitors since it first opened to the public in 1941. It has beautifully banded marble; many cave formations and the creative Spider Web Gate. Beautiful stalactites and curtains, impressively large rooms, and ornate marble polished naturally by a subterranean stream make a tour of Crystal Cave an unforgettable experience.
Touring the cave
Before passing through the Spider Web Gate, your guide will give a brief history of the cave and point out the unique formations and features. During the 45 minute tour, you will be led from room to room on paved lighted pathways, pausing to listen to the water and echoes in the cave in total darkness. Tours are usually limited to 50 persons. Temperature in the cave is a constant 48 degrees F (9 degrees C). Sweaters or jackets are recommended.
Take a rustic flashlight tour in this marvelous cavern! Due to a fire that burned in the area last year, electricity to Crystal Cave has been disrupted. Until it can be fixed, enjoy the adventure of a tour lit only by lanterns and flashlights. One powerful LED flashlight provided per family. Visitors may also bring their own flashlight or buy one at the cave.
Schedule changes: Tour times and schedules are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, staffing, employee housing, park emergencies, or other requirements.
Crystal Cave is located off the Generals Highway in Sequoia National Park, between the Ash Mountain entrance and Giant Forest. To reach the cave, drive down the scenic, winding, paved road to the cave parking lot. Hike down the half-mile trail along beautiful Cascade Creek, where you will be met by a guide at the cave entrance. No buses, trailers, or vehicles over 22 feet long are permitted on Crystal Cave road. Vans are acceptable.
Anyone wishing to visit Crystal Cave must be part of a guided tour. Tour tickets are not sold at the cave entrance. They must be purchased in person at the Foothills or Lodgepole visitor centers in Sequoia National Park. After purchasing tickets allow at least 1½ hours to arrive at the cave.
Prices (subject to change):
Seniors (age 62 & up): $10.00 for cardholder only
Children 6 -12: $6.00, under 6 are free
Golden Access - Free for cardholder only