Located in the heavily wooded Siskiyou Mountains of southwest Oregon is the Oregon Caves National Monument. Only 90 minutes from the coast, and an easy drive from Redwoods National Park and Lassen National Park. This is an ideal place for a family vacation.
Featured in “Great Lodges of The American West” is one of Oregon’s best kept secrets, The Oregon Caves Chateau, a lovely 6 story bark covered building were you stay in a charmingly rustic room. Located close to the caves entrance the Chateau offers fine dining in the cozy dining room or a burger at the old fashioned soda fountain. There are locally crafted gifts and works of art available in the gift gallery.
for campers and RV enthusiasts, although there is no camp ground in the park, the forest service does operate two camp grounds nearby in the adjacent Siskiyu National Forest. These sites are open from late May to mid September. Neither campground has showers or utility hook ups. Located close by at Cave Junction is Mountain man RV camp. This camp boasts 50 total RV sites, all full hook-ups with cable TV, free Wi-Fi, 30 amp service, can accommodate RVs up to 60 ft .
Now that the lodging is taken care of lets get on to the available activities. Cave tours are provided March through November. Rangers lead you through the marble caves into an under ground wonderland of phosphorous stalagmites. The tours last about 90 minutes and is considered moderately strenuous. It is not recommended for people with heart, breathing or walking problems. Children less then 42 inches in height are not allowed on the full tour, however the first room of the cave is open to small children and those who are unable to manage the full 90 minute tour. this are is also open to wheel chairs.
The cave is 42 degrees so be sure to bring warm clothing and of course comfortable shoes. No sandals or open toed shoes are allowed. No Pets, flash lights are cameras with out a strap are to be brought into the caves.
The price for the cave tours is $8.50 per adult 17 and older, $6.00 per person 16 and under. Family tours of the first room are free of charge for those with children to small for the regular tour.
While you wait for an available tour you can enjoy a short nature walk in the beautiful Park or take a longer hike on one of the 4 trails located within the Monument if time permits. Miles of trails cut through the park on into the Siskiyu forest. Three 1 mile loop trails begin at the cave entrance. For a longer trek you might want to try the 3.3 mile Big Tree Trail.
If you have small children with you the park has plenty of activities to entertain them also. The Junior ranger chickeree program is for children age 3 to 5. the junior rangers is for kids age 5 and up.
For an amazing vacation for the whole family, The Oregon Cave National monument is the place to go. With nearby rivers and lakes fishing is great and you’ll even find a swimming hole or two. You might also head up to the Rouge River for some white water rafting or maybe tour one of the several wineries near by. whatever you decide to do you will have a memorable time.