Moaning Cavern holds California’s deepest cave chamber, where you can descend deep underground on a guided walk tour, or reserve a challenging, 3-hour caving Adventure Trip. Above ground, race 1/4 mile on thrilling twin zip lines or climb their 32-ft custom climbing tower. For the little ones, gemstone mining at their custom flume system is always fun and cracking geodes is a big hit with rock hounds of all ages.
Moaning Cavern: Walk Tour
Descend sixteen stories underground via the spiral staircase into the deepest cave in California and see massive cave formations. Learn about the history and geology of this fascinating cavern including how the massive stalagmites and flowstones formed and how people explored the cave before the spiral staircase was constructed. You’ll also see the “moaning holes” – rock formations caused by dripping water that cause the sound which inspired the cave’s name.
Moaning Cavern: 3-hour Adventure Trip
With only a cave helmet to light your way, you’ll be climbing, crawling, squeezing and sliding through the unlit, wild areas of the cave far below the main chamber. You’ll explore areas with names like Godzilla’s Nostril, and the Meat Grinder. This cavern tour is available for ages 12 and up only – parents must accompany their children. Reservations are made in advance for a small group of up to 8 to explore this area together. We recommend using optional knee and elbow pads to protect yourself from the hard marble. Are you up for the challenge? This is one caving trip that will create memories to last a lifetime. Not suitable for those with claustrophobia – early exits are available if you run into unexpected problems.
Moaning Cavern: Climbing Tower
The 32-foot (10 meter) custom climbing tower near the Zip Shack, contains 10 routes that you can climb. In fact, if your family or group is competitive, you can race each other to the top. Each route includes a bell at the top for the winner to ring first. A full harness and belay system keeps everyone secure, and allows a gentle return to the ground. Even very young children enjoy this activity – testing their climbing skills and beating their older siblings.
Moaning Cavern: Gemstone Mining, Gold Panning & Geode Cracking
Moaning Cavern’s custom flume system, fed by a 12-foot water tower, is designed to accommodate gemstone mining and gold panning – a great activity especially for kids and youth groups. You’ll want to pick out a bag of rough in the gift shop – you can choose from several kinds and then mine out the contents into the flume using either a screen-bottomed box or a gold pan (depending on whether you’re gemstone mining or gold panning). Geodes are available for purchase from the Moaning Cavern Visitors Center and Gift Shop. Pick one of these rather dull looking rocks and help crack it to be the first person to see the beautiful, unique crystals that formed inside thousands of years ago. Inside the gift shop you’ll find lots more minerals and rocks available for purchase, plus books, jewelry and souvenirs.
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Cave and Mine Adventures, which operates Moaning Cavern Adventure Park, received the BEST RECREATION award in the 2014 Calaveras Visitors Bureau Innovations in Tourism Awards for developing the zip lines at Moaning Cavern Adventure Park and for operating and funding the Murphys Information Center.
Moaning Cavern Adventure Park’s zip lines and cave tour were recently featured on the PBS TV show: Rob on the Road. You can watch the video below: