Skip to main content

4 Caves Worth Exploring Here in California

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Ms. Millar has had many books published online and in print. She learned how to bind her own books to save money on publishing costs.

California Caverns

A person can travel the world looking for spelunking adventure (Spelunking (spe-lunk-ing), verb, the exploration of caves) and the beauty found within Mother Earth. There are beautiful caves to be found like the one in the photo above in Austria. But you don't have to travel the world to find such beauty.

Spelunking in the California foothills will delight you with stalactites that hang from the ceiling, and stalagmites rising from the floor, each in their never-ending quest to reach the other in hope of joining one day to become a column. This is where soda straws and cave bacon are hung like draperies in a world rarely enjoyed by people, yet they continue to grow in the dark world they adorn. A place cave-dwelling bats call home and a spelunker calls paradise.

Check Out Their Websites!

The California foothills hide a cavernous web of delight for spelunkers and their families. These beautiful caves and their hidden wonders are available to anyone that wants to make the short trek to see them.

The following is a list of the four cave adventures available in the Gold Country, including their website addresses. If you'll notice the Moaning Cavern has tweaked their name a little bit with the addition of "Adventure Park" I like it! Now let's check out their websites:

  1. Black Chasm Cavern which is a National Natural Landmark.
  2. California Cavern which is a State Historic Landmark.
  3. Moaning Cavern Adventure Park, California's largest cave chamber.
  4. Sutter Gold Mine in the heart of Gold Country.

My Personal Favorite Cavern

My personal favorite is Moaning Caverns. With three kids, it's the easiest mine and visitors center to navigate and of course, the zip lines are great!

On a personal note, since I do live in the area and frequent this cavern often, I have always thought it might behoove the management to consider the long-tail effects of reducing the cost of the zip lines to something many people can afford compared to the effects of their current pricing plan that few can afford.

I know that for my family, friends and consumers in the area, the cost of one ride, $50, is our budget for the entire day. If the price were reduced to something reasonable that the majority of average consumers can afford, the long-tail effect would be much more profitable than the current price strategy.

"Just a thought, Mr. Fox" (quoted from "My Lucky Day").

Location, Location, Location

Black Chasm Cavern is located in Volcano, CA. They offer a 50-minute tour, gemstone mining, geode cracking, and gold panning. There's a visitor's center featuring a gift shop. They also host school programs and special events offering picnic tables for either event.

California Caverns is located in Mountain Ranch, CA. They offer a wide variety of guided tours, from a 60-minute walking tour to a four-hour middle earth expedition! The expeditions are by reservation only. There's also gem mining, gold panning, and geode cracking. Like Black Chasm Cavern, California Caverns hosts school programs and events with a picnic area and tables.

Moaning Caverns is located in Vallecito, CA and features a 45-minute tour, rappelling, a three-hour expedition, gemstone mining, gold panning, a climbing tower, AND twin zip lines!

Sutter Gold Mine, in Sutter Creek, CA offers a one-hour guided tour, gold panning, gemstone mining, and geode cracking. Sutter Gold Mine also has school programs they host and a picnic area with tables.

Closing Thoughts

Here's where you can find your favorite mine! All the caverns deserve a day of their own to be explored and enjoyed to their fullest, but if you're feeling energetic AND adventurous you can hit all four caverns in one day! They are all centrally located in California which makes it a definite do!

California Foothills Spelunkers Paradise

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Joanna


Joanna (author) from Wilseyville on November 20, 2012:

I'm glad to hear the links were helpful, I like to hear what people like. Thank you john000

John R Wilsdon from Superior, Arizona on November 16, 2012:

Fascinating hub and great photos. My wife comes from the general area so I will explore the first chance I get. The A-D links are really helpful. Thanks. Voted up.

Joanna (author) from Wilseyville on August 29, 2012:

Hi Sushma - The linking of articles is one of the biggest reasons I love working on hubpages and being a part of HubBuds team I learned how to do it! When I set up the link, for your article, I found one but I didn't recognize the name as yours?? To be sure, would you send me the exact link please.

Thank you

ps. I saw u in the forum (if I remember right it was your post) you posted #5, you have 3 more to go, you can totally do this! You still have TWO whole days to focus. Focus, focus, focus! :D

Sushma Webber from New Zealand on August 29, 2012:

Good idea Msimlar, I too will add a link to yours so if someone from USA reads my article they can find similar caves right in their back yard :)

Joanna (author) from Wilseyville on August 29, 2012:

That is a coincidence Sushma Webber, and sometimes I will elaborate on a hub I read that doesn't cover "my" area, so if someone is reading it yet they don't live near it, they will be informed of the items that are near them. Working together like this we can cover the whole globe with hidden treasures we know! If you don't mind, I'm going to look yours up and link to it!

Sushma Webber from New Zealand on August 25, 2012:

Interesting article. What a coincidence I recently wrote on the Waitomo caves in New Zealand which also have limestone formations, stalactites and stalagmites and glowworms. Mother Earth truly has many marvels all over the world, even in her underground world.