When most people think of Sequoia National Park, images of enormous trees and remote backcountry are likely to come to mind. But there is another gem that is underground within the national park. Crystal Cave is located about 40 minutes south of Wuksachi Lodge, and a visit to this family-friendly destination will round out your trip to Sequoia National Park nicely. Crystal Cave is filled with ornate marbled formations and decorated with icicle-like stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is opens only in the summer months, and it is only accessible with a guided tour; fortunately, there are plenty of tours each day, but make sure to check the official website for reservation because it can get booked pretty fast.
From the parking lot, a half-mile trail leads to the start of the cave. The National Park Service has installed a unique spider web gate that leads to the marbled cavern, and it is here that everyone gathers to meet the guides. The rangers who lead the cave tours are very knowledgable about the cave and the history behind it.
Once everyone's ready, the guide will lead visitors to the first big room, where there are multiple streams of water entering the cave. Next the tour heads into a smaller tunnel that winds around the cave. The next stop is in a giant room where the ranger turns out the cave lights to let the visitor experience pure darkness. It is an amazing experience! After multiple turns, the tour leads back to the first room before heading out.
This short trip is a great tour for families and anyone looking to see a different side of Sequoia National Park. Wear a sturdy shoes, because it can get slippery inside; also, cave temperatures can be on the cool side, so bring a layer to stay warm.