Imagine what it would be like to rappel 165 feet into the darkness and explore a cavern so massive that it could swallow up the entire height and width of the “Empire State Statue of Liberty.”
This is what visitors to the “Moaning Cavern Adventure Park” get to experience and more.
What follows is a brief description of the guided cave tours and other services available at the “Moaning Cavern Adventure Park” in Vallecito, California.
Brief History of Moaning Cavern
Originally discovered by fortune seeking miners in the mid 1850’s “Moaning Cavern” was not used as a tourist attraction until the 1920’s.
At that time cave tours consisted of tourists climbing into buckets and being lowered down into the bowels of the cave with nothing more than a meager candle or oil lamp to light their way.
Today of course the guided cave tours of “Moaning Cavern” are much safer but still as exciting.
Things to do at Moaning Cavern
Modern visitors to “Moaning Cavern Adventure Park” can choose from a variety of guided cave tour options as well as participate in a multitude of activities above ground.
There are currently three main guided cave tour options. They are the family friendly walking tour, the rappelling tour for the brave hearted and the three hour adventure tour for the truly adventurous.
The first two tours take visitors to a depth of 165 feet whereas the third tour descends farther into the cavern at a depth of 300 feet.
In-depth details on all three tours are available on the “Moaning Cavern Adventure Park” website.
Above ground activities include but are not limited to; picnicking, hiking, geode cracking, gemstone mining, panning for gold and picking up a souvenir or two at the on-site gift shop.
Hours of Operation and Admission
The “Moaning Cavern Adventure Park” is open daily year round with seasonal hours of operation. From mid May until September 12th it is open from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm and from September 13th until mid May it is open from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm.
There are three main guided cave tour programs offered at the park that vary in price and difficulty.
As of 2010 the least strenuous of the three guided cave tours is the 45 minute walking tour and it sells for $$14.75 per adult and $7.50 per child between the ages of 3 through 12.
The 15 minute guided cave rappelling tour is $65.00 per person and is open to people over the age of 12 and weighing more than 90 pounds.
The three hour guided cave adventure is $130.00 per person with rappelling or $76.00 per person without rappelling.
As all hours of operation, tour program offerings and prices are subject to change, interested parties are encouraged to contact the “Moaning Cavern Adventure Park” staff in advance of one’s trip to confirm all details.
Sierra Nevada Recreation Corporation
Moaning Cavern Adventure Park
5350 Moaning Cave Road
Vallecito, CA 95251
The “Moaning Cavern Adventure Park” is just one of five that are operated by the “Sierra Nevada Recreation Corporation” throughout California.
Information about all five caverns can be found on the company’s main website.