“3.4 miles of geological awesomeness!”
Crystal Cave is an excellent example of a marble cavern. A half-mile loop trail leads through the cave, and there's also a steep half-mile walk to and from the cave parking area to the entrance. Because of fragile formations, the only way to visit the cave is on a guided tour. Tours are suitable for all ages. If you decide to see the cave, plan on spending about half a day traveling to the cave, walking to the entrance, and taking the 45-minute tour. Guided tours of Crystal Cave are offered from spring through fall by our partner, the Sequoia Parks Conservancy. Buy tickets online at least two days in advance, or earlier for weekend and holiday tours. If tickets are not sold out, they may be available at visitor centers. Tickets are never sold at the cave. On the day of your tour, be very sure to leave enough travel time to make it to the cave on time for your tour. This may be affected by delays due to road construction between the road to Crystal Cave and the foothills of Sequoia National Park. Note that vehicles over 22 feet and those towing trailers are not allowed on the narrow and curving Crystal Cave Road. Bring jackets; the temperature inside is 50 degrees F (10 degrees C). Before buying tickets, check other important information about tours. Directions Crystal Cave is near the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park. From Foothills Visitor Center: turn right on to Generals Hwy. Drive 13 miles (20km). Turn left on to the Cave Road -- look for the sign as you enter Giant Forest. Drive 6.5 miles (10km) to the parking area. From Lodgepole Visitor Center: turn left on to Generals Hwy. Drive 6.5 miles (10km) through Giant Forest. Turn right on to the Cave Road. Drive 6.5 miles (10km) to the parking area.
This is the second longest cave system in the park at 3-ish miles. The longest cave in the park is like, 20 miles long! But it's closed to visitors. In fact, there are 240 caves in the park, and this is the only one you can go inside! It's closed in the winter, and you have to get a ticket to go inside, but it's so worth it.
The guided tour is about 45 minutes long and you can only buy tickets the day you plan on taking the tour. So, on weekends when it's crowded you should get there early to grab a ticket before the tours sell out for the day.
Not as impressive a cave system as Carlsbad Caverns, but still pretty impressive.
The cave is neat to see but the hike down and back is not for the faint of heart.
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