Oregon Caves National Park

Useful Information

Ghost Room, Oregon Caves National Monument. Public Domain.
Location: Southwestern Oregon, 32 km east of Cave Junction. I5, exit Grants Pass, Hwy 199 southwest to Cave Junction, Hwy 46 east 32 km. Crescent City, Hwy 199 NE to Cave Junction, Hwy 46 east 32 km.
Open: 19-MAR to 20-MAY daily 10-16, tours on the hour.
21-MAY to 24-JUN daily 9-17, tours on the hour.
25-JUN to 05-SEP daily 9-18, tours every 30 min.
06-SEP to 10-OCT daily 9-17, tours on the hour.
11-OCT to 30-OCT daily 10-16, tours on the hour.
Closed 18-APR to 21-APR, 26-APR to 28-APR.
Fee: Adults USD 8.50, Children (0-16) USD 6, Golden Age Pass holders 50% discount.
Children must be 42 inches tall and pass a stair test to go on the cave tour.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave marble cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=7 °C.
Guided tours: L=800 m, St=526, D=90 min.
Bibliography: Frank K Walsh, William R Halliday (1982): Oregon Caves, discovery and exploration, Oregon Caves National Monument. Te-Cum-Tom Publications, Oregon, Third edition 1982, iv + 27 pp, many photos, survey, SB.
Address: Oregon Caves National Monument, 19000 Caves Highway, Cave Junction, OR 97523, Tel: +1-541-592-2100, E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


Millers Chapel, Oregon Caves National Monument. Public Domain.
1874 discovered by Elijah Davidson, a 25 year old hunter chasing after his dog.
1885 Homer D Harkness and Walter C Burch filed a mining claim for 65 ha. They opened the caves as a tourist attraction under the name The Limestone Caves.
1907 a party of influential men including Joaquin Miller, the "poet of the Sierras", visited the cave.
1909 President William Howard Taft proclaimed Oregon Caves National Monument.
1922 a road to the park was opened.
1934 the Chateau, a hotel, was build.
1929 development of the cave, electric light.
1985 the National Park Service started to restore the cave. A new lighting and trail system was installed.
09-MAY-2009 100th anniversary as a national monument.


The cave consists of a series of narrow twisting passages that connect with intersecting rooms in an ascending direction. The tour traverses the cave, rising 250 feet in elevation and exiting from an artificial opening on the side of the canyon. The cave is profusely decorated and although not large has colourful and interesting formations. The area around the entrance has been improved with a rustic lodge with 1930's style diner, but the land is so steep and precipitous that there is no parking area for visitors. It is necessary to park a kilometre away where the Park Service has cleared a level parking area. It is a beautiful setting with hiking trails maintained by the Park Service in the surrounding Siskiyou Forest.

Text by Tony Oldham (2004). With kind permission.

Cave visitors must register at the Chalet for the tour. Outside the Chalet is a stair test, to make sure visitors are up for the 526 stairs inside the cave. Actually this seems to be a joke as visitors are not required to make the test. However, kids must be at least 1 Metre hight to be allowed into the cave. There are some low passages too, so visitors must be able to walk some distance ducked with the hands to their knees.

Thiis cave was discovered by Elijah Davidson in 1874, while he was out hunting with his dog, Bruno. Once the dog chased a bear and disappeared into a dark hole. When he heard desperate yelps from Bruno, Elijah Davidson followed him with a box of matches as the only source of light. After a while his matches ran out and he was alone in absolute darkness. But he found Bruno as he was able to hear him and then groped his way out by following the sound of the creek.