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Moaning Caverns

Moaning Caverns are the largest caverns in California that’s open to the public. It’s also the place for underground, as well as above ground adventure.

Spiral Staircase

Just the Spiral Tour may be adventure enough for some. You access the cavern by way of a spiral staircase and 234 steps down. And yes, you have to go back up those steps to get out.


As you go down and then back up the staircase, you will be treated to some very nice formations such as this drapery.

The Igloo

And at the bottom you can view this 25 foot tall stalagmite called
“The Igloo”…

They also have a 2-3 hour Expedition Tour that features an exploration of the undeveloped parts of the cavern.

If you don’t get enough adventure underground, up topside they have a climbing tower and even more exciting, 1500 foot twin zip lines

Zip Lines
Zip Lines

Unfortunately, due to recent surgery on my shoulder, I was unable to participate in the more adventurous activities at the cavern, so I’m unable to give you a first-hand account of them at this time. I do plan to return in the future and check them out for you.

The Spiral Tour is available every day of the year, lasts about 45 minutes and costs $20.00 for ages 12 and up and $15.00 for children aged 6 to 11. The 2-3 hour Expedition Tour is $95.00..

Reservations are only necessary for groups on the Spiral Tour. You do need to make a reservation for the 3 hour Expedition Tour though. The number for the caverns office is 209-736-2708.

So where is all this adventure located?  It’s about 1 1/2 hours East of Stockton, California. The address is 5350 Moaning Cave Rd. Vallecito, CA 95251.

Here’s the map…

There are a few places to stay in nearby Murphys but if you want something a little closer to airports, I recommend the Stockton Hiltonfor low-cost luxury. Overall, Moaning Caverns seems like a great place for the whole family and for the less adventurous in your group, there are plenty of wineries in the area to visit.