Amazing Caves in Northern California

Michele Humeston

The Mother Lode area has some of California’s largest cavern systems. Professional tours of these natural wonders are fun, easy to access and educational for the entire family.

  • Pinnacles National Park in California, United States

    Image of Pinnacles National Park on Seeker
    • michele

      "Pinnacles National Park preserves some of California’s oddest landscapes with out-of-place rock spires and boulder-filled gorges with talus caves just waiting to be explored. Grab your headlamp and head to the west side of Pinnacles National Park for a trek into Balconies Cave. "

  • Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark in California, United States

    Image of Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark on Seeker
    • michele

      "A remarkable find on the north end of Shasta Lake, this series of natural limestone caves reveals an underground world some 250 million years in the making. And to make them even cooler, the caverns are only accessible via guided tours that include a boat ride across the sparkling lake—the only way the public can reach the site."

  • Lava Beds National Monument in California, United States

    Image of Lava Beds National Monument on Seeker
    • michele

      Lava Beds National Monument is a land of turmoil, both geological and historical. Over the last half-million years, volcanic eruptions on the Medicine Lake shield volcano have created a rugged landscape dotted with diverse volcanic features.

  • Subway Cave Lava Tubes in California, United States

    Image of Subway Cave Lava Tubes on Seeker
    • michele

      Subway Cave is an unusually easy lava tube to explore, at 1,300 feet (1/3 mile) long, and with ample headroom and a rubble-free floor. The U.S. Forest Service has installed concrete stairs, a trail from the parking lot, and interpretive signs explaining the origins of the cave.

  • Moaning Caverns Adventure Park in California, United States

    Image of Moaning Caverns Adventure Park on Seeker
    • michele

      Travelers may not know that they are in the tiny town of Vallecito when they visit the amazing Moaning Caverns. It is California’s largest public cave chamber, big enough to fit the entire statue of liberty! Guided tours take you down 234 steps in a spiral staircase built in 1922.

  • Mercer Caverns in California, United States

    Image of Mercer Caverns on Seeker
    • michele

      The 192 feet deep and a total of 3,389 feet surveyed Mercer Caverns are open for guided tours year round. Mercer Caverns has been toured by visitors since it was discovered in 1885.

  • California Cavern State Historic Landmark in California, United States

    Image of California Cavern State Historic Landmark on Seeker
    • michele

      "The California Caverns are one of the earliest officially recorded caves (1850) in the Mother Lode region of California. Historic documents verify that organized tourist activities as early as 1854. Although one of numerous caves in the Mother Lode region, California Caverns claims the distinction of having the most extensive system of caverns and passageways"

  • Black Chasm Cavern National Natural Landmark in California, United States

    Image of Black Chasm Cavern National Natural Landmark on Seeker
    • michele

      "With Beautiful formations including rare helictite crystals, soda straws and flowstones as well as the more common but still impressive stalactites and stalagmites. The cavern was part of the back drop scenery for the matrix underground city “zion.”

  • Pinnacles National Park

    "Pinnacles National Park preserves some of California’s oddest landscapes with out-of-place rock spires and boulder-filled gorges with talus caves just waiting to be explored. Grab your headlamp and head to the west side of Pinnacles National Park for a trek into Balconies Cave. "

    March 12, 2021
  • Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark

    "A remarkable find on the north end of Shasta Lake, this series of natural limestone caves reveals an underground world some 250 million years in the making. And to make them even cooler, the caverns are only accessible via guided tours that include a boat ride across the sparkling lake—the only way the public can reach the site."

    March 12, 2021
  • Lava Beds National Monument

    Lava Beds National Monument is a land of turmoil, both geological and historical. Over the last half-million years, volcanic eruptions on the Medicine Lake shield volcano have created a rugged landscape dotted with diverse volcanic features.

    March 12, 2021
  • Subway Cave Lava Tubes

    Subway Cave is an unusually easy lava tube to explore, at 1,300 feet (1/3 mile) long, and with ample headroom and a rubble-free floor. The U.S. Forest Service has installed concrete stairs, a trail from the parking lot, and interpretive signs explaining the origins of the cave.

    March 12, 2021
  • Moaning Caverns Adventure Park

    Travelers may not know that they are in the tiny town of Vallecito when they visit the amazing Moaning Caverns. It is California’s largest public cave chamber, big enough to fit the entire statue of liberty! Guided tours take you down 234 steps in a spiral staircase built in 1922.

    March 12, 2021
  • Mercer Caverns

    The 192 feet deep and a total of 3,389 feet surveyed Mercer Caverns are open for guided tours year round. Mercer Caverns has been toured by visitors since it was discovered in 1885.

    March 12, 2021
  • California Cavern State Historic Landmark

    "The California Caverns are one of the earliest officially recorded caves (1850) in the Mother Lode region of California. Historic documents verify that organized tourist activities as early as 1854. Although one of numerous caves in the Mother Lode region, California Caverns claims the distinction of having the most extensive system of caverns and passageways"

    March 12, 2021
  • Black Chasm Cavern National Natural Landmark

    "With Beautiful formations including rare helictite crystals, soda straws and flowstones as well as the more common but still impressive stalactites and stalagmites. The cavern was part of the back drop scenery for the matrix underground city “zion.”

    March 12, 2021