As a young explorer growing up, I toured many caves with my parents. Going on a road trips to hike and explore caves every other summer was a normal thing during my childhood. I figured most of my friends have visited caves before however I was quite surprised to find out my friends Emily and Clara have never been inside of a cave. This made me realize how fortunate I am to have parents who took me on spectacular outdoor adventures as a kid. Since my friends missed out on cave exploring during their childhood, I decided visiting Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park was in order.
In this article, you will find:
- Details about what goes on during the tour
- Pictures of the tour
- Link to find out more information about tickets, how to get there, and when to visit
Squeezed in a quick photoshoot before the tour. See this outfit on my blog: Hiking in a Long Black Dress. Note: I wore a jacket while inside the cave. Bring a midweight jacket. It’s cold inside…BRRRR!
Cleaning our shoes before visiting Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park
The tour promptly started at 11 AM and our guide talked about what to expect from the tour, the do’s and don’ts and warned us about a bat killing fungus that us humans could spread to the bats. The fungus can be picked up by our shoes while traveling the world. To prevent the bats from falling sick, the guide helped us clean the bottom of shoes before we hiked down to the cave.
Hiking to the cave
The hike down to the cave was STEEP but luckily the hike was beautiful and only ½ miles long. We stopped by a small waterfall for a breather and snapped some photos.
Before entering Crystal Cave
At the entrance of the cave, our tour guide gave us a brief history about the cave. The cave was discovered by two curious researchers and was discovered not too long ago (I forgot the exact year). The cave is 3 miles long but the tour group is only allowed to walk through a small part of it.
Before entering the cave we had to leave behind our backpacks, food, beverages, tripods, monopods, and hiking sticks. We basically had to leave everything at the entrance that could potentially damage the cave.
Not only did the group have to leave some belongings behind, we had to walk very quietly to the gate of the cave. There are birds that nest at the entrance of the cave so visitors have to take care not to disturb them.
Amazing cave formations
The tour group walked into the cave and we all immediately ooh’ed and aah’ed at the marvelous cave formations. There were lights installed around the cave so having a flashlight was not required to enjoy the marvelous scene around us. As we walked around, I noticed the cave formations in each room becoming grander and grander!
Learning about the cave
At every room, the tour guide would gather us around and feed us more facts about the cave. We learned there are evidence pointing to humans having been down in the cave before it was discovered by the two researchers. One of the evidence includes finding human remains in the cave. The cave is also believed to have been a sacred place. Cool!
A rare silent and dark experience
When our group reached the last room on our tour, the guide asked us all to sit down. After we all were situated on the floor, the tour guide turned off the lights! We were surrounded by ABSOLUTE pitch darkness. To take things up a notch, the tour guide asked us all to be quiet for a few minutes so that we could fully experience the soul of the cave. It was an eerie but wonderful experience to sit in complete silence and darkness. This was my favorite part of the tour and I highly recommend getting out of your comfort zone to experience this.
Planning on visiting soon? Get more information before you go!
Purchasing tickets online in advance is the most convenient way to plan your trip. You can view available times and days on the site. Prices are dependent on which tour you book. Tickets are also available at the visitor center but I highly recommend that you purchase your tickets in advanced so that you can drive directly to the cave and save time. Buy tickets on: Recreation.gov
Must-read before going:
There is a great information guide on Explore Crystal Cave. It’ll give you information on how to get to the cave, time estimates, and how to prepare for your adventure.
Fun fact: Did you know there are over 200 caves in Sequoia and King Canyon National Park? There is definitely more to the park than just massive trees and canyons!