Sequoia National Park -- Crystal Cave

July 24, 2010

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks feature more than 200 caves, but most are closed to the public. The most accessible cave is Crystal Cave, with more than 610 m (2,000 ft) of passage. “Accessible” is a bit of an exaggeration, as visiting the cave involves a 10 km (6 mi) drive down a narrow, winding road (fortunately we didn’t get caught behind some lumbering SUV) and then a 10-minute hike down a steep path. Signs sternly warn you not to hike down to the cave unless you can hike back up. Despite stopping to see General Sherman, we arrived at the cave entrance at 1:15 and were the first ones in line for our tour.

Although the weather was quite warm, we could feel the cool air coming out of the cave entrance.

Some pretty stalactites.

A detail of the cave wall.

A tunnel.

The dramatic Organ Room. This really is the size of a pipe organ.

Other views of the Organ Room.

A tongue shape sticking out of the cave roof.

This formation reminded me of Jabba the Hut.

Other rooms in the cave.

The stream running through the cave.

The gold-colored flecks in the water are called micah.

A column, formed by a stalactite merging with a stalagmite.

The roof of the cave.

The spider gate at the cave entrance.

You would never think anything underground could be so beautiful, would you? Much prettier than Moria.

We passed several cascades of a waterfall on the way back up.

Unidentified wildflowers. I am guessing they are some kind of violets, but I don’t know.

On to some Really Big logs.

Last updated: 07/26/2010 by Eric and Beth Zuckerman