Who's ready to go DEEP underground - sounds like a pretty epic family day out to us!
California Caverns were discovered back in the mid 1800's, but they have been quietly forming underneath California for millions of years!
Be mindful that it is underground and can be dark in places, but kids might get a kick out of strapping on that headlight and exploring the twists and turns under the wonderful formations - just as they did over 150 years ago.
There are 5 tours to choose from so you can pick the one that you feel the most comfortable with.
Some tours are dry season only, and some are wet season only, and last anywhere from an hour to even 4!
The tours have varying degrees of difficulty too, and are marked so you will know which one you will be joining.
The Trail Of Lights Walk Tour is perfectly suited for the whole family, and only available during the wet season (this way you get to see all the pools of water shining through the caverns as the water levels rise!)
Taking about 60 - 80 minutes, you will meander over well lit passages and walkways, with about 60 steps to take on.
For those 8 and older there is a slightly more advanced cave tour - the Mammoth Cave Expedition which involves some walking, crawling and wiggling - sounds fun! This is perfect for those kids who really love to explore and want something more than just a walking trip. This takes about 2 - 3 hours, and group sizes are 9 people so you will be sure to get the most out of it!
Want something REALLY challenging!? The Middle Earth Expedition is for those adventurers over 16 years, and takes you up to 4 hours through 80% of the cavern system! It's about a mile long so get that energy up before you head off! Crawling and squeezing will also be required, but what a pretty awesome way to spend a few hours!
The adventure doesn't end when you get back into the sun again. There is also gemstone mining, gold panning and geocode tracking so you can really make a full day of it!
Even Mark Twain visited the caverns, so what better way to teach your kids about adventure, geology, natural wonders AND literature! (Why not!)
If you are coming from Stockton, take Hwy 4 E to Angels Camp, then Hwy 49 N to San Andreas. Turn right onto Mountain Ranch Road and head 15 miles, then turn right on the 2nd Michel Road turnoff at the "California Caverns" sign. After 2 miles they will be on the left.Get directions
From $7.95 (ages 3 - 12)
They have picnic tables if you wanted to bring your own lunch and enjoy a family picnic, or they have a restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat!
Don't forget to enjoy all the activities above ground that are available, and really make a day of it!
There is a gift shop on site if you wanted to take something special home with you to remember your exploration!
The temperatures in the caves are 55F year round so dress appropriately!
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