Moaning Caverns is a solution cave located in Calaveras County, California, near Vallecito, in the heart of the Gold Country. It was discovered in modern times by gold miners in 1851, but it has long been known by prehistoric peoples. It gets its name from the moaning sound that echoed out of the cave luring people to the entrance. Still today during certain times of the year sounds may be heard echoing up from the bottom of the cave. The most unique feature is the cavern's main chamber with a vertical shaft 165 feet tall, which you may descend to the bottom of by a combination of stairs and a unique 100-foot high (30m) spiral staircase built in the early 1900s. Moaning Caverns is home to the largest single cave chamber in California. The massive room extends into the marble deposit of the Calaveras Formation over 180 feet before funneling into smaller passageways. With a 20-30 foot thick ceiling, the open area inside the chamber is, in fact, tall enough to hold the Statue of Liberty (pedestal excluded). There is only one natural entrance into the chamber in the form of a 30-foot vertical chimney dropping into the center of the room. Visitors may view the cavern's main chamber by walking and climbing the narrow wooden staircase to a flat platform 65 feet underground. For the truly athletic and adventurous, from there, a ten-story spiral staircase leads down to a second platform at the base of the chamber. How long is the tour? Our educational Spiral Tour is an easy, 45-minute walking tour ideal for families. How often do you have Spiral Tours? Depends on what time of year you come. Summertime (June - August): We have tours daily starting at 9am. Spiral Tours leave on-the-hour, every hour. Last tour leaves at approximately 5:30pm on weekdays, 6:00pm on weekends. Wintertime (September - May): We have tours daily from 10am - 5pm. Tours leave on-the-hour. Last tour leaves at approximately 4:00pm. What should I bring for a Spiral Tour? Comfortable walking shoes and your sense of adventure!
Cost: $20; $15 children
5350 Moaning Cave Rd
Vallecito, CA 95251
Other Dates & Times
- Saturday, September 28, 2019, 10:00 AM
- Sunday, September 22, 2019, 10:00 AM
- Sunday, September 29, 2019, 10:00 AM