Crystal Cave

Crystal Cave, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park: Address, Phone Number, Crystal Cave Reviews: 4.5/5

Crystal Cave
4.5
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About
This Place is Temporarily Closed. Crystal Cave is a marble cave with a wide variety of stalactites, stalagmites, and other geologic features and cave-adapted wildlife that add to its popularity with visitors and scientists from around the world. There is a wide variety of tour options and experiences that appeal to adults, families, and the wild caver. Crystal Cave is open early May-late November, weather and conditions permitting. Advance reservations are online. Please review the physical fitness precautions before purchasing tickets. No pets.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
363 reviews
Excellent
182
Very good
120
Average
43
Poor
12
Terrible
6

FresnoTravelers
Fresno, CA389 contributions
Couples
We were able to get reservations for the Crystal Cave your thru Recreation.com! As we had not been in a cave in many years, we were really excited!! From the start, it was an excellent experience!! My nephew was with us. As he is deaf, he often misses information. One if their rangers signed!! So the intro was presented by one ranger while a second signed!!! Additionally, they have a tablet with ASL videos of the tour guide. Our cave tour guide, Emily, was amazing!! With each stop, she held up a number so my nephew knew which video to watch. The cave is about 1/2 mile from the ticket and introduction area. It is a very primordial walk, full of vegetation and waterfalls! But it is steep going down, and you must walk back up. The cave itself is AWESOME!! Narrow passageways, babbling streams along the side, pools, large open caverns with stalagmites and stalagtites, and rock formations, great lighting! And Emily giving information on formation, history of finding the cave, geology, etc. Just fantastic!! The tour is just under an hour, but you also need an extra hour for the walk down and back. Again, a shout out to the rangers!!
Written June 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jennifer T
Devore Heights, CA309 contributions
We were so excited to be able to tour the inside of Crystal cave but the tour itself was cheesy. The tour guide used the comparison of touring the cave being likened to going on a space mission. So each room was "the moon", "another planet" etc. The example didn't add it the experience but instead took away from what could have been an informative tour about the cave. At one point, the lights were turned off (intentionally) which frightened some of the children and even made a grown woman on our tour cry. Overall, I am happy we got to see the inside of the cave but I wished it would have been a conventional educational tour. Be warned the hike down to the cave is rough, it is paved, however there is no railing and it is a steep drop off the side. I would not recommend for anyone with balance issues. Also there are snakes, lots of them. We encountered 4 on the trail to the cave.
Written May 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

spotsy
Las Vegas, NV22 contributions
Couples
I really wanted to see this place again. It’s closed down during Covid times fortunately. Years ago I took a tour it was amazing. Can’t wait until things are open again
Written July 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SequoiaGuides
12 contributions
Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park is a fun, family-friendly adventure! The cave is accessible only by guided tour but luckily tours generally run May-November and it's easy to purchase affordable tickets.

About the cave
Crystal Cave is a marble solution cave which means that it was naturally sculpted by water thousands of years ago and is predominantly comprised of marble, which is rare, only about 10% of caves in the world are made of marble. Expect gorgeous white sparkling calcite formations inside as well as multiple water features. The cave was discovered by accident in 1918 by two park employees and remains a popular destination, inspiring curiosity and awe. The walkable underground tour route has paved paths and is lighted by solar-power. The whole experience is both exciting and calming and is sure to be a truly memorable adventure.

Tours
The Family Tour is 50 minutes long and is the perfect, all-ages introduction to Crystal Cave. Other types of tours are also available for those seeking a more in depth experience. All tours are led by Sequoia Parks Conservancy Naturalists and are educational, entertaining and full of wonderful natural and human history. The tour is 2 miles round trip; 1/2 mile from the trail head parking lot where you check in using your ticket confirmation number, 1/2 mile route inside the cave on the guided tour, and 1/2 mile back up the cave trail to the parking lot. Expect to spend about 2 hours round trip. The trail to get to the cave is beautiful and you pass several waterfalls along the way. There are a few flights of stairs and narrow corridors within the cave so accessibility by wheelchair is not an option.The only items allowed inside the cave are your jacket, water bottle, flashlight and camera. No bags of any kind are allowed (including baby carriers) but they may be left unattended at the entrance of the cave during your tour.

How to prepare
Aim to arrive about 15 minutes prior to the time of your tour so you will be ready. There are no refunds for missed tours. Be sure to bring your own water and use the restrooms that are available in the parking lot before your tour as there are no restrooms at the cave. No food is sold here except bottles of water and small snacks but they do have souvenirs and parking is free. Temperatures inside the cave are 50 degrees F (10 degrees C) year round, so remember to bring a light jacket. Flashlights are not required but they sure do add to the fun so I recommend bringing one. You will be in active Black Bear habitat so you will need to put any food or heavily scented items from your vehicle into the free 'bear boxes' located around the parking lot. The road to get from Generals Highway to the cave parking lot takes about 20 minutes to drive and doesn't allow vehicles over 22 feet in length. The Sequoia Shuttle bus does not go to Crystal Cave. Drive slowly along the cave road as the road becomes a single lane at some points.

Cave protection
When visiting Crystal Cave, preservation of this irreplaceable resource is very important. Do not touch the formations or the walls of the cave as the oils in your skin can cause damage. It is also important to know about White-nose syndrome, which is a fungal disease killing millions bats in North America. Luckily the disease has not been detected in Crystal Cave but people can spread the fungus from one cave to another because it can be carried by shoes, clothing, or gear. Therefore if you have visited caves in other parts of the country, you must not wear the same clothing or equipment when visiting Crystal Cave. Thank you in advance for doing your part to protect the cave!

All in all, when visiting Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Crystal Cave is definitely a must-see!

Purchase tickets
​2020 Crystal Cave Tour Season: FRIDAY, MAY 22 - SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29
Purchase your tickets in advance at Recreation.gov by searching 'Crystal Cave Sequoia'
Written January 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lyle B
Las Vegas, NV240 contributions
Crystal Cave is a relatively small cave with some very nice features. This is devnot Carlsbad Caverns, but the short tour was very interesting and informative about the cave's origins and features.

Most of the formations will be familiar to veteran cave visitors, but this would be a great "starter" cave for those who aren't certain about the whole cave experience.

Note that preventative measures are in effect here, as at nearly all caves these days, to attempt to stem the spread of a fungus deadly to cave bats that has killed millions of bats nationwide. You should wear shoes and clothing that have not been worn on other cave tours, particularly in the Eastern United States.

Last, the number of tickets available on a walk-up basis is very limited at the site, which is at the end of a fairly long road off the main roads in the Park. Do yourself a favor and buy your tickets in advance online. And pay attention to the time needed to get to the cave: the road is narrow and very winding so it can be slow-going.
Written October 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Beth P
Manteca, CA183 contributions
Family
Worth the time and effort, but just a heads up...

You need to buy tickets ahead of time online and reserve your spots! There is a sign leading down to the cave that states tickets are sold at Lodgepole (?) but that is quite the drive and it seems the tours sell out pretty quickly.

Total time for the drive down, the tour, hike back out, and drive back to the Generals Highway took up about 2.5 hours of our day.

The road leading down to the cave states it takes 20 minutes. Depending on who is driving or who you might get stuck behind, the drive can take 20 minutes or an hour. It is a narrow winding road that seems to go on forever. Plan for some extra time so you don’t miss your tour.

The tour basically starts in the parking lot. They go over rules and safety before you head down to the cave. Here they tell you the walk down is about a half mile, but can take up to 15 minutes because of the steep terrain, rattlesnakes, falling rocks, and waterfalls. You basically have to be Indiana Jones to conquer the trail. Okay, it’s not quite that dramatic, but just remember it is steep and you do have to go back up! There are stairs and obstacles. I couldn’t imagine doing this with a stroller or anyone with physical impairments. As a curtesy reminder, your group is all waiting on you. Please take their advice and wait to get pictures and sight see for the walk back up.

I enjoyed the tour, as did my kids. It was definitely one of their favorite memories we made in the park! Our guide was informative and the cave itself was awe inspiring. It was worth all the time it took up in our day.
Written September 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GMSue
Roseville, CA39 contributions
Couples
The road to the Caves is to your left driving from the Foothills Visitor Center. The road to the cave parking lot is 6 miles The sign says 20 minutes, which is too subjective. One lady didn’t go to the end because there is no signage once on the road. The tour is worth the cost. The guide walks quickly ahead to each gathering spot in the caves don’t lag but take your time to look around The naturalist guide will wait for you.
Written September 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RMS310
Los Angeles, CA37 contributions
We took the 1:00pm family tour on Sunday, September 1 and were extremely impressed. The cave is mesmerizing - totally different than anything you'll see anywhere in the Park. A few notes:

- We ordered the tickets online about a week before; I'd strongly encourage doing that because it seems like the tours sell out
- Our 14-year old was on the tour and it was/is totally appropriate for children.
- Our guide (Bridget?) was tremendous - so informative and so friendly
- There is really no reason to arrive at the Crystal Cave parking lot any more than 5 minutes before your tour time; that being said, it does take a good 20 minutes to get to the parking lot from the turnoff from Generals Highway.
- We read a lot about not leaving food in our cars because of bears. We asked an employee what he thought and it didn't sound like it was tremendously risky to leave food because of all of the people around. We parked as close as possible to where people hang out and didn't have any problem with our food left inside our car. Perhaps it would be more of an issue when the parking lot isn't full, etc.
- Be prepared for a fairly strenuous walk to and from the cave (especially on the way up from the cave). It was quite warm during our stay and it was a bit taxing. Definitely manageable but be prepared to take a few extra minutes. (You can bring water down to the cave but you need to leave it outside the cave along with any bags that you didn't leave in your car)
Written September 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MelB712
Evans, GA26 contributions
Family
We visited crystal cave on our visit to sequoia national park. The cave, while relatively small was awesome to experience with our kids who are 9 and 7. There is a stream flowing through the cave which made for a very cool experience. The guide we had was Ben and he was very knowledgeable and friendly, ready and willing to answer all the questions we had. We highly enjoyed our visit and would recommend it to anyone. To get to the cave you hike down a Scenic steep hill without a very wide path that was often with a cliff on one side. On the way down it wasn’t such a big deal but it was very hot the day we went and getting back up was a bit challenging as a I have some minor health problems. I would not recommend it to those with toddlers or very small children or to the elderly who have trouble walking.
Written August 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tim B
Phoenix, AZ53 contributions
Family
We took our five kids ages ten to five into the cave and they loved it. The hike back out is a steep hike but you get an amazing water fall. The tour is just the right amount time for younger kids to stay engaged and not start touching everything or complaining.
Written July 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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We recommend booking Crystal Cave tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 1 Crystal Cave tours on Tripadvisor