|Merced is located just a couple hours away from
some of the most spectacular caverns you will ever see.
There are a few to choose from, and each one will offer
a different experience. Because they are so close, they
make a wonderful day trip.
Chasm National Natural Landmark (Volcano)
You will be enchanted by the beauty of a wide variety
of formations including stalactites, stalagmites,
flowstones and the vast arrays of rare helictite crystals,
for which Black Chasm is famous.
Cavern (Kings Canyon National Park)
Located in Kings Canyon, Giant Sequoia National Monument,
Boyden cavern is one of the most beautiful and spectacular
places on earth. The popular 45-minute tour, suitable
for the entire family, from kids to senior citizens,
will take you beneath the massive 2,000 foot high
marble walls of the famous Kings Gates.
Cavern State Historic Landmark (Cave City)
Bret Harte, Mark Twain and John Muir, who wrote about
his visit in his 1894 book "The Mountains of
California," are among the early visitors to
the cavern. The rich history of the cavern, formerly
known as "Mammoth Cavern," adds as much
to the luster as the natural rock formations within.
The tours are approximately 45 minutes long and are
guided. You descend the equivalent of about a 16 story
building by way of stairs and walkways and you ascend
the same as you leave the caverns. During the tour
you will see various formations that have developed
in the caverns over time.
Moaning Cavern holds the largest vertical chamber
in a public cavern that you can see in California.
In fact, it's so big, it could hold the entire Statue
of Liberty! Guided family tours are offered, which
are suitable for the entire family. For the more adventurous
type, a 165-foot rope descends into the cave, which
can be rappelled for the most thrilling way to see
the main chamber. Challenging 3-hour caving Adventure
Trips begin with the optional rappel.