Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park
Crystal Cave is one of the main attractions for Sequoia National Park and is a fantastic way to get an introduction into what these large caves look like. This cave, which is only open in the summer, attracts hundreds of visitors a day to marvel at its beautifully maintained rooms as you go on the one hour tour. It is something you must see while in California, here is all the information.
- Cost: $18 a person
- Must book a tour to see it
- 8 mile one lane road to drive each way to get to the cave
- Plan about 2 hours to view the cave plus 30 minutes each way to drive the road
- 1.5 miles of walking
Before I go any further, I want to note that you really need to book a tour before you go. Yes, it is possible that you can get tickets while there, but tours tend to sell out and the road out to the cave takes about 30 minutes each way to drive, so you do not want to waste all that time getting out there just to see that it is sold out.
After arriving 30 minutes early like they recommend, you can sit and wait on the picnic benches, as well as use the bathroom since there isn’t one near the cave itself.
At your tour time they will gather everyone together, talk about safety, then begin the half mile walk to the start of the cave.
The walk down to the cave is incredibly beautiful and it doesn’t take too long to get to the bottom. Remember though, on the way up this is all uphill so it can take a lot longer. The trail down has a few really nice views as well as a bridge near the base over the small creek.
When you get to the base there is also a few waterfalls which weren’t flowing too much when I was there but were beautiful still.
When everyone gets down to the bottom then you will learn more about safety and head to the entrance of the cave. Tours max out at 50 people so there is almost always a lot of people with you in the cave.
The entrance to the cave itself is pretty magical as it looks like a massive spiderweb with a large black spider that serves as the lock for the gate.
As you enter the cave you will walk through a long hallway full of magical views to reach one of the three main rooms in the cave you will see.
Each room is connected by a short 5 or so minute walk through narrow paths with lots of views to be seen.
The first room has a small creek running through it as well which really makes it unique.
From the first room you will head uphill and around a half-dozen bends before making it to the second room. Along the way there will be many places you will surely want to stop and take pictures, as every turn seems to bring a more unique formation.
The second room is tiered and probably 30 feet tall, it really is massive. In here you will learn a lot more about the cave and will no doubt lose yourself in all the crazy pictures you can take.
From here you head into the most narrow part of the cave, a spot where you will even have to walk sideways to get through it. After going around a few more corners you will make it to one big dark room.
We were able to turn all of the lights off when in here and it was so dark you couldn’t even see your hand right in front of your face.
When the lights were turned on it was a huge shock as the room was massive and incredibly detailed. We were given time to just look around and take photos before heading back out on the loop trail to complete our time in the cave. It was about 45 minutes to and hour we spent in there.
After leaving the cave it is time to start the half mile all uphill climb to the park lot. Take your time here as it is steep and there is no rush. After getting back to the car it is about 30 minutes to the main road so make sure to plan your next activity accordingly.
All in all this is a majestic cave and a fantastic spot to visit in Sequoia National Park. I highly recommend that you add it to your list of things to do, just make sure to plan the right amount of time to drive there, explore and drive back. Let me know if you have been and what you thought in the comments.