How accessible are the different locations?
What are the age & size limits?
What else is there to do in the area?
What are the best times to visit?
Can I bring my camera?
How should I dress?
Do I qualify for a discount?
What facilities are at the caverns & gold mines?
Can I bring food and drinks underground?
What are the operating dates & times?
What information can you give private pilots?
Where can I stay nearby?
What are the regular prices?
What are the discount prices?
How and when should I make reservations?
What are the driving conditions in the area?
How safe are the tours & expeditions?
What are the tour sizes?
What kinds of tours & trips are at each location?
What travel distances & times should I allow?
Can I use my own equipment?
A: In general, the best times to visit are when we are less crowded, which tends to be in the winter, early spring and late fall. These are also beautiful times to visit the Mother Lode which is beautifully green from the rains. Below are descriptions of what's available and when, at each individual location:
Landmark Tours are available every day of the week. The cavern is open year round but in icy weather, the road is likely to be hard to navigate. Weekends tend to be busier than weekdays, and when Daffodil Hill is in full bloom sometime in the spring, Black Chasm is also very busy.
Guided walking tours are now available year round. During the rainy season when water levels are higher, you will see the Trail of Lakes Tour which follows the accessible part of the Trail of Lights Tour, and shows the cavern at its most picturesque when there are plenty of pools of water.
During the summer season you will see the Trail of Lights Tour which follows the entire trail into the Jungle Room. You will not see pools of water, but will navigate through a longer route and see the enchanting, pristine Jungle Room which is not available on the Trail of Lakes Tour.
You can choose to decide when to visit depending on your preference for a particular walking tour, or you can choose to visit when there are less people in the winter, early spring and late fall. Summer is our busiest time, especially on weekends and holidays.
Expeditions are available as the water recedes in the cave. You will need to check California Cavern's page on this website for updates.
When California Cavern is open in the spring, the Trail of Lights Walking Tour may be all that is available. The chance to see pools of water that cannot be seen later are worth the possibility of missing some rooms due to high water.
By August the water level has gone down enough to allow access to the whole cave for all three tours and it is the height of the season. Memorial Day through Labor Day are the busiest times, especially on weekends and holidays.
Fall is a perfect time to visit because it is not busy and the cavern is fully accessible.
The winter rains begin the flooding process. The cavern stays open as long as possible. However, we never know when complete flooding will happen. This is also a nice time of year to visit since it is not so busy and the pools of water are once again in place. The wild cave expedition areas are the first to flood. When the Trail of Lights route floods the cavern is closed.
Moaning Cavern is open every day of the year, including Christmas. Memorial Day through Labor Day are the busiest times, especially on weekends and holidays.
Fall and winter is a wonderful time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds. While Moaning Cavern doesnt flood in the winter the cavern does get wet and visitors may get dripped on. The Rappel and Adventure Trip (both also available year round) can get very wet and muddy during the winter, which most people feel adds to the fun.
The zip lines are also available daily, year round (wind conditions permitting). Generally weekends and holidays are busy, and weekdays are less busy.