The strange cave formations of Oregon Caves National Monument in Oregon - June 2010

Oregon Caves National Monument

Discover more of nature’s power and beauty at the Oregon Caves National Monument. The Oregon Caves were were formed from rainwater from the ancient forest above, dissolving the surrounding marble and creating one of the world's few marble caves.

National Monument

Oregon Caves National Monument is one of five national parks or monuments in the state. The others are Crater Lake National Park, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and Fort Clatsop National Memorial.

Take the unique tour through the Oregon Caves, a trek along an asphalt trail complete with low ceilings, narrow passages and an occasional tight squeeze. General cave tours with a forest ranger include a 90-minute discussion of geology, fossils, wildlife and bats within the caves and the watersheds and old-growth forests around them. In the summertime, visitors can sign up for off-trail cave tours, which introduce visitors to caving techniques, etiquette and conservation. Summertime candlelight cave tours offer a sense of how the caves must have appeared to the first explorers. For something spooky-special, come back in October for haunted candlelight tours.

Some rules to keep in mind:

Visitors must be 42 inches (3 feet, 6 inches) tall to join to tour.
Flash cameras are prohibited.
No backpacks - you don't have room to wear them in tight quarters.
Visitors are cautioned to avoid contact with the cave walls whenever possible to reduce environmental damage. Oils from your skin can introduce bacteria to the walls as well as add a dirty, darkened tint to the wall color, officials say.

Facts and Figures

The 480-acre Oregon Caves National Monument was created in 1909.
The caves are located in the Siskiyou Mountains at elevations from 3,800 to 5,460 feet.
Temperatures typically range from 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter and from the 50 to 90 during the summer.
The cave temperature is 42 degrees Fahrenheit year round.
The caves are home to one of the largest exposures of ultramafic rock in North America and one of the largest, most pristine, and most complete segment of old oceanic crust in Western America.
It contains one of the most biologically and geologically diverse caves in the world.

Hiking trails

Discover the beauty of old growth forests of the Siskiyou Mountains in and around the preserve’s 4,070 acres. You can choose from the Big Tree (which leads to the thickest Doug fir tree in Oregon at 13 feet), Cliff Nature, Mt. Elijah, Old Growth and Cave Creek trails. You’ll walk through groves of Port Orford cedar and some of the largest Douglas fir trees in the state.

 

Oregon Caves Sign
Oregon Caves inside Banana Grove

Hours

- Spring* (March 21 - May 22):
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

- Summer** (May 23 - September 7):
9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- Candlelight Tours: 6:30 pm Fridays & Saturdays

- Fall* (September 8 - October 12):
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
- Haunted Candlelight Tours: Offered in October

- Late Fall (October 13 - November 1):
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

- Caves tours are not offered from late fall to mid-spring. However, Oregon Caves National Monument is always open to visitors. Occasionally in winter, snow can temporarily close park roads until they are plowed.

*Please note that during the spring and fall seasons, tour schedules are subject to change due to weather or other unforeseen events.

**Wait times can reach up to two (or more) hours during the summer season. The busiest times are between 11 am & 3 pm. We encourage you to arrive 2 hours before your desired cave tour time.

Contact

19000 Caves Hwy
Cave Junction, OR 97523
541.592.2100
National Park Service
Lodging at the Oregon Caves Chateau

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