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“Must see”

Oregon Caves National Monument
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Oregon Caves is a place of adventure, wonder, and discovery. Join your guide and a small party of fellow cave explorers for a 90-minute tour. The route wends through narrow, twisting passages with ceilings as low as 45 inches! See strangely beautiful of stalactites, stalagmites, and other mysterious calcite flowstones as you bend and stoop through rocky passages. You will long remember your tour of the Oregon Caves. The route is moderately strenuous and not recommended for people with breathing, heart, knee or back issues. Children must be 42” tall or taller, no exceptions. The cave is 44 degrees year round. Dress warm. Tours are very popular in the summer. Arrive early to avoid long waits or closures. Reservations are available at Recreation.gov. Cave tours offered late March to early November. On the surface, explore the Oregon Caves Historic District, including the Oregon Caves Chateau, a National Historic Landmark. The Chateau offers lodging and dining, early March through early October. Trail heads in the historic district will lead hikers along paths through old growth Port Orford Cedar forests, scenic overlooks of the Siskiyou Mountains, and meadows filled with wildflowers.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

My 8 & 9 year old were amazed. Our guide did such a great job reselling the story of all the explorers in such a fun way. Dress warm. It's 90 minutes in a refrigerator!

Thank pickynotsnobby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"low ceilings"
in 12 reviews
"cool cave"
in 5 reviews
"candlelight tour"
in 12 reviews
"minute tour"
in 13 reviews
"park ranger"
in 13 reviews
"nature trail"
in 9 reviews
"stairs to climb"
in 6 reviews
"bring a jacket"
in 9 reviews
"visitor center"
in 21 reviews
"tour guide was very knowledgeable"
in 5 reviews
"great tour"
in 21 reviews
"above ground"
in 8 reviews
"entire tour"
in 5 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 15 reviews
"historic chateau"
in 7 reviews
"lots of history"
in 5 reviews
"rock formations"
in 5 reviews
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381 - 385 of 501 reviews

Reviewed June 25, 2013

It's a windy drive up to the monument, but it's worth it. The path through the cave is completely paved, so it's easy for all ages. There are (obviously) some slip hazards, and some stairs, but there are safety railings throughout.

The park ranger was very informative, and kept the kids engaged the entire time. We could tell they learned a lot on the trip.

At the end, there are two hiking paths at the top of the mountain, with some great views.

Lastly, there is a nice retro diner to eat breakfast and lunch, along with two gift shops.

1  Thank saprissaCR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

Let me start by saying that if you are claustrophobic then this is not the place for you. There are times that it gets a bit small and narrow so be prepared. The tour took us about an hour and 45 minutes but was a lot of fun. It is a bit hard on the calf's as there are a lot of stairs and climbing to do also. But very much worth the trip and a great experience. My little one 8 years old had a great time and so did the rest of us.

1  Thank Likes2Getout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2013

I've been taking tours of this cave since 1965, and guided them in 1972, yet I learn something new each time. I feel at home here, but having observed thousands of tourists over the years, I can say it's not for everyone. My wife is claustrophobic and never enjoyed the cave much. With a body 50 pounds heavier and 41 years less flexible than when I was a guide, even I find the passages a bit low and narrow in many places. The tour is mostly uphill, so expect a lot of steps and stairs. The tours are not quite as strenuous as they warn you about because the guides stop frequently to give information, giving you a chance to catch your breath.

The Oregon Caves are nothing like Carlsbad Caverns or Mammoth Cave. This is a small, intricate network, with only one really fair-sized room. Unlike more common limestone caves, however, this one is made of marble, with beautiful formations. Some are pure white, but most are tan or brown, colored by clay in the marble. This is also a live, growing cave, wetter some years than others. I don't think the tours are nearly as enjoyable as they were 40 years ago, when we interspersed history and geology with jokes and fanciful names for the formations. Colored lights also made some of the dun-colored formations appear more beautiful than they actually are. On the other hand, a complete reworking of the trail, stair and lighting systems in the late 1980s presents a much more natural cave to visitors today. Those interested in geology, including children, will enjoy it. The rest will be bored to tears, and there is no longer any place to leave the kids who can't, or don't want to, tour the cave.

Final warnings: the last eight miles of the road are mostly steep, 20 mph corners (10 mph or less with an RV or trailer). If any of your passengers get carsick anywhere, they'll do it here. There is also no WiFi. Heck, you'll be lucky to get any cell-phone reception. My wife noticed that this national monument must be incredibly challenging for a wheelchair. There are ramps up to the rest rooms at the outer parking lot. That's it. Steps block access to virtually everything else, including the cave, all buildings and trails.

So why is this one of my favorite spots on earth? The road up is a dream with a great-handling car or motorcycle. The site is lush, green and as relaxing as a Zen garden, with pine-scented fresh air. There are several scenic trails (all up or down), and one of the best little lodges of any national park or monument, including great food. The cave is almost secondary. Lots of regular visitors haven't been through it in years or decades. For those who can appreciate beauty in small details, the cave is a jewel. Just be aware of what you're getting into.

3  Thank William L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 7, 2013

It had been literally 25 plus years since I had been to the Oregon Caves, and with three grandchildren and one exchange student in tow, we set out from Cave Junction to the caves. Now I remember why I had not been back in years. It takes at least 45 minutes to drive up the narrow, winding, cliftside road to get to the National Monument. We started up later in the afternoon after checking with the tourist center in Cave Junction to be sure the hours posted on the Internet were correct.
The drive was picturesque, but the drop off to the right of the car gives you a bit to content with as there are sparce quardrails. After finally reaching the main parking area (there is parking further in if you are staying at the Chateau/Lodge), it was nice to see water and bathrooms. From there, you have to walk a ways to get to the tourist center. Not a difficult walk (I had to carry one grandchild, but if you are disabled or elderly and in poor shape, you might want to consider a wheelchair. I don't know if there are any disabled services available.
We immediately went into the sign up area, and were dismayed to find that the next tour was 2 hours away. We thought about leaving, but our student was interested. The small cafe was nice and friendly, but stops serving food at 5 pm. Our tour was to commence at 6 pm. We quickly fed the grandkids, as we were now realizing that we would not be leaving the mountain until late and we were heading for Medford, Oregon after that.
After the Cafe closes, the Chateau restaurant opens, but they were suggesting reservations. Since we had three small children with us, this didn't appeal. We tried to kill time with a ranger coloring/activity book, but this was informal, so the kids lost interest. Also, you need to be at least 43 inches to do the cave tour, plus take a step challenge to see if you are up to the climbing.
I went back to the car with the littlest child who was too small and we watched movies on an IPad. The tour was supposed to take 90 minutes, but because of the large group that had congregated, it took at least two hours. Apparently the other grandkids really enjoyed it and did well (ages 5 and 7). The whole thing was just too long and I would never consider going back unless I had the exact tour times and perhaps even tickets as the tours fill up.
The drive back was a bit faster, but one grandchild (who does have a sensitive stomach) threw up. Fortunately it stayed light going back, which I think is a must for those not familiar with mountain roads.

2  Thank CinSav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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