by Kathy Eide Casas
Don’t miss the coupon for Sunnyside Bicycles at the end of this post.
The Crystal Cave…even the name sounds intriguing, especially when teamed with ‘Halloween.’ Yes, Halloween at the Crystal Cave is not the usual Halloween haunt.
The surface of Sequoia National Park is known for an array of nature’s finest specimens of mountains, foothills and the world’s largest trees, featuring a showcase of sizes, beauty, and diversity. But did you know there is a cascade of nature below the surface as well? Visitors are delighted to discover that Sequoia National Park is also home to the famous Crystal Cave, a magnificent display of nature’s creations, offering an exceptional experience for children and adults alike. The Cave is nestled under the surface of the Park. Visitors enter through a gigantic spider web entrance, which sets the tone for their experience with nature’s phenomena. In just a few steps, one finds oneself in an underground marvel that includes ornate marble, subterranean streams, and icicle curtains of stalactites.
Each year, nearly 50,000 visitors enjoy this breathtaking underground adventure. Open generally from May-November, weather permitting, the Crystal Cave also offers a special Halloween treat for cave-goers that includes the ghosts of Crystal Cave’s past.
Dayna Higgins, Communications Director for the Sequoia Natural History Association and Sequoia Parks Conservancy, explained, “Any guided tour of the infamous Crystal Cave will always be educational and exciting, interesting and fun, no matter what time of year. Our tour guides continually take the opportunity to talk about the human history of the cave, as well as the history of its formation. However, during the Halloween Crystal Cave tour, a little bit more of the past is incorporated, including all those involved with the cave since its discovery. There may even be a little bit of the “creep” factor included to keep things extra-interesting at Halloween time; but it’s all in good fun and still educational. Visitors can truly have the best of both worlds during Halloween at the Cave.”
Guests are captivated in the middle of the Cave, while surrounded by natural formations. Their guides regale them with tales of the spirit of past visitors and adventurers, known affectionately as the ghosts of Crystal Cave. From the explorers of past times, to Native Americans, to National Park Service personnel, there’s a chance to learn about all those who have left their marks in the Cave.
Be sure to do your homework before purchasing tickets. Each tour is limited to 30 people and the Halloween tour takes about an hour and a half, compared to the normal tour time of approximately 45 minutes. Children must be at least eight years of age to participate, and visitors must be able to walk throughout the tour. Starting at the parking lot, plan to walk about 1/2 mile to the Cave entrance. Following the tour, there is a fairly steep hike on a combination of paved walkways and stairs, back to the parking lot. The temperature of the Cave runs around 48-50 degrees, so be prepared with a light jacket and some drinking water.
This year, due to the popularity of the Halloween Crystal Cave tours, tickets for the Halloween tours are being offered online. For times and prices, visit explorecrystalcave.com.
Crystal Cave is located off the Generals Highway in Sequoia National Park, between the Ash Mountain entrance and Giant Forest.
Crystal Cave is operated by the Sequoia Natural History Association (SNHA), a non-profit organization in partnership with the National Park Service. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit educational support in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Check out more Halloween fun in KRL’s Halloween Fun in the Valley article!