Moaning Caverns

Moaning Caverns, Vallecito: Hours, Address, Moaning Caverns Reviews: 4/5

Moaning Caverns
4
Caverns & Caves
Read more
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
"Gold miners first explored Moaning Cavern in 1851, but Native Americans have known about the site for centuries because of the haunting, moaning sounds coming from the entrance. Today, visitors enter by descending a metal spiral staircase on our Spiral Tour. For those looking for an even more challenging adventure, try the Expedition Tour. Above ground activities: gemstone mining and ax throwing. School program available. Reservations - Highly recommended for the Spiral Tour. Reservations - Required for the Expedition Tour.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
208 reviews
Excellent
100
Very good
72
Average
24
Poor
8
Terrible
4

Kitman
Oxnard, CA719 contributions
Solo
Spending the weekend in the local area gave me the chance to finally check out this place. Although you can do a walk up, they do recommend you reserve your spot on a tour online because they limit group sizes. It would be a shame to get there and your advised the your group is full. When I called, all the earlier yours were full...so I had to reserve a spot with the last group.

This place is tucked away in the hills. Just keep following the signage. There's a small parking lot up front with overflow parking in the back. I didn't explore the park section but was told you do things like axe throwing. I was here for the cave tour. While waiting, I saw kids panning for gold in a sluice box (they sell bag of dirt in the gift shop for this).

I would say that this is not a good tour for anyone who is claustrophobic or has a fear of heights. There are some small & tight walkways. You also go up/down a spiral staircase that feels very exposed.

I've been to numerous caves and caverns. Each is unique. This is a small cavern compared to others I've been it. But it's still pretty cool. It's tall but not excessively wide. According to our guide, their are a couple off pavement tours for those of you that are cave spelunkers.

There's a small gift shop, but there's not a lot inside. If you're looking to kill 2-3 hrs, this is a good option.
Written October 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks for choosing to spend some time with us, we’re so glad you came!
Written December 2, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ashley K
1 contribution
Family
I wouldn’t recommend to kids under age 9. If you have a small toddler that needs to be carried, it’s VERY difficult to navigate the stairs. Stairs down to the platform are very narrow, steep, and you have to duck to pass through certain parts of the cave (while walking down the stairs). The entire tour also takes place at the. bottom of the 10-story spiral staircase. So while you may “opt not to do the spiral staircase if you have young kids” then your entrance fee is a total waste. They will turn off the lights at one point of the tour for everyone to experience true darkness. Can be scary for littles. If your kids are ages 9+ then go for it.

Panning for gems was a huge success. Even for adults I think this would be fun.
Written July 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks so much for joining in on this adventure! It’s always highly recommended for everyone to take a look at our website and read all about what to expect on your tour, that way no surprises and a better experience! moaningcaverns.com
Written July 4, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

craigjcoombs
2 contributions
The 3hour Adventure Tour is one of the most fun things I've ever done with my teenager. Understand this is a physically strenuous tour some 85 feet below the 165ft platform that most people descend to. You'll have to pull, push and squeeze your way through nearly a dozen passageways to move from one AMAZING room to another. Our guide, Zoe, was fabulous. It was a real treat to have her guidance with just the two of us. We got dirty, physically and mentally challenged and LOVED every minute of it. My son was so rightfully proud of himself after completing the tour. This is not for the faint of heart. Physically, I'd recommend that you be able to at least do 20 pushups, a couple pull-ups and plank for a minute to know that you're in good enough shape for this ADVENTURE. You'll be tired when you're done, but really, truly, satisfied with what you've just accomplished.
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Wow! We are so grateful that you and your son could join us on such an adventure! It’s sounds like such a great day! You two are truly awesome for conquering this challenge, you should be proud!
Written March 12, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bethany K
1 contribution
The staff at Moaning Caverns recently helped provide an absolutely incredible experience for our group. They create the opportunity for a variety of challenges during the caving expedition, so if you have anyone who might be intimidated by the idea of caving, there are options to follow along, or push your limits. Our guide Tyler was calm, encouraging, and has the perfect disposition for leading a group of first-time cavers. The ability to see and appreciate the natural wonders you can only experience by getting down into the cave is absolutely worth the price of admission!

Don't forget to tip your guides!
Written September 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Wow! We are absolutely grateful for your visit and thrilled you had an incredible experience! We look forward to caving with you and your crew again in the future!
Written December 2, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Manateegirl
San Jose, CA235 contributions
Family
We had an amazing time here. We had my mom who is 70 years old, and my two children (12, 9 yrs old) and myself, somewhere in between! 😉. The cavern is huge. The walk down is steep, no joke, hold the handrails. They provide hand sanitizer at the top and bottom of the stairs. It is a dizzying height that you begin at as you ascend down. Don’t be surprised if your knees are a bit week and your legs are a bit wobbly once you reach the bottom. The guide said..”take a moment to get your cave legs.” They have a few benches below which were nice. The cavern is large and wonderfully cool. Our guide was really lovely and waited for my mom to climb up. He put her at ease and didn’t make her feel bad for being slow and the last one up. There are 240 stairs (?) ok honestly I can’t remember how many, but it’s a lot. The spiral staircase actually seems easier to climb than the Eiffel Tower, which I have done before too. The hard part really is the steep sections at the very beginning because it’s also a tight fit. There was a larger guy in front of us and he had to duck down and go sideways. If you are wide, you may have trouble fitting thru. It can feel a bit claustrophobic going down, but it is worth it. Hope my kids remember this forever, it was pretty awesome.
Written April 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your wonderful review! We appreciate you and your family joining us on such a memorable tour you can talk about for years to come! We welcome you back again soon!
Written April 19, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mr_Chong_15g
Island of Hawaii, HI154 contributions
Family
Excellent visit to one of the most beautiful caverns in California. This location has a guided 30-45 minute tour and expertise hour long tour. Depending on your physical capabilities you might opt to join the 30-45 minute tour which we decided to do.

The tour starts at the main office and descends hundreds of feet to the cavern below. I should warn you the trek down covers over 270 stairs, some in a spiral staircase bike in the 1900s using old military recycled materials. The staircase is crazy and worth every bit of the money. The cavern has cool gems and natural formations presented by the tour guide. The cavern is spacious and well lite. There is a portion of the tour where the lights are turned off and you get a good sense of how massive the cavern really is. They originally used candles to see and that is a crazy thought.

The walk back up is easy if taken slowly and the breathing can be laboring. The walk back to the top took about 10 minutes stopping at the mid point or deck area. I would warn that is you are afraid of heights or claustrophobic this might not be the tour for you.

Once you reach the top there is an option to pan for gems and fossils. My kids enjoyed this the most as they were able to find some really cool artifacts and gems. I found a beautiful arrowhead made out of a gem which is a keeper for sure.
Written June 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks so very much for your recent visit to our caverns, we truly appreciate you taking the time to leave such a detailed and lovely review! We anticipate your return someday!!
Written July 7, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Munge E
5 contributions
Family
Had a great tour. Its a large chamber tour, not a long horizontal distance. Scott was good. He had us singing happy bday for my nephew and at the end blew out the candle to immerse us in the darkness. Worth a stop to check it out! No escalator, instead a long cool spiral staircase!
Written October 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for sharing your review and such a happy day! We sure hope to see you again!
Written December 2, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Terry T
San Diego, CA56 contributions
Friends
Our guide was excellent and very knowledgeable! The initial part of the tour was very tight with small stairs. Being a bit claustrophobic made it hard but once we got to the spiral staircase and the cavern was more open, all was good.
The staircase was a work of art and I felt very safe.
Since the cavern was so big it was difficult to see the various formations close up.
Definitely work the trip.
Written May 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your review, we are thrilled to know it was worth the trip to see this amazing piece of art!
Written July 7, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Vince G
1 contribution
Hailey was a fantastic tour guide.
She was knowledgeable about the history and geology. Was able to answer any ?s. Most of all, she dealt w/the disabilities of the guests w/compassion and professionalism.
Another reason why their called the "Moaning Caverns," how your thighs feel the day after the 165' elevation change.
Written August 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks so much for joining us on this adventure, we’re so happy to know you enjoyed the Spiral Tour, every day is leg day here at Moaning Caverns Adventure Park! 😉
Written September 6, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

PK05
Sacramento, CA35 contributions
Family
This was heavily advertised and a great way to escape the heat! The time slots seemed to book up quickly online so I figured this is a must see! While the cave is very neat and Scott was a fantastic guide, I wasn't overly wowed by this experience. I think the 144 step spiral staircase to the bottom is the big draw. It is unique but it just takes you straight down to a standing area while the guide points at things with a flash light. No real walking around. Just down and back up. I'd recommend it but I think it's a one time thing. The whole tour felt a little rushed.
Written July 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We want to thank you for your visit and sharing your feedback. Our cave tour is definitely unique to the fact that it is indeed California’s largest vertical cave chamber with the WW1 battleship staircase leading down. We do hope you enjoyed the majestic formations!
Written July 13, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 207
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Moaning Caverns

Moaning Caverns is open:
  • Thu - Mon 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM


Restaurants near Moaning Caverns: View all restaurants near Moaning Caverns on Tripadvisor