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Free tours Saturday at Oregon Caves

National monument is 20 miles east of Cave Junction, Ore.

The “Ghost Cave” at Oregon Caves National Monument. Free tours will be offered Saturday. Normally, admission costs $8.50 for adults, $6 for ages 16 and under. Courtesy Oregon Caves National Monument
The “Ghost Cave” at Oregon Caves National Monument. Free tours will be offered Saturday. Normally, admission costs $8.50 for adults, $6 for ages 16 and under. Courtesy Oregon Caves National Monument
Free ranger-led tours will be offered Saturday during the Oregon Caves National Monument’s annual Community Day.

Explore the caves, bend and squeeze through narrow marble passageways, and imagine what Elijah Davidson and other early cavers discovered. Join a ranger for a tour, share stories about the past, and what modern scientific exploration is revealing about this dark and mysterious place.

Free tours of the Oregon Caves Chateau, and nature walks, will also be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Besides your sense of adventure, we request that you bring a non-perishable food item to donate. All collected food will be given to the local food bank.

Cameras are allowed in the cave, but backpacks and large purses are not permitted. Bring a jacket because the temperature in the cave averages a chilly 44 degrees. We strongly recommend good walking shoes; the tour route includes over 500 stone steps. Cave passages are narrow, short, and winding.

Visitors in wheelchairs can access only the first room of the cave. The cave is unsafe for small children: kids 42 inches and under in height are not allowed.

Oregon Caves is located about 20 miles east of Cave Junction, but the last eight miles of the highway are steep and winding, so allow 45 minutes after leaving Cave Junction.

The Monument can be busy on Community Day. We recommend arriving early. There is plenty to do, however: Visit the chateau, walk one of the four hiking trails, or earn a Junior Ranger badge — kids can pick up an activity book in the visitor center.

Food service is available, with lunches and dinner available at the Chateau dining hall and coffee shop.

Please, do not to bring any clothing, footwear, or gear that were used in any cave, mine, or bat hibernation site east of the Rocky Mountains since 2005 or in Europe ever. This restriction and a screening procedure help limit the spread of white-nose syndrome, a fatal disease in bats.

For more information about that, visit the Oregon Caves’ white-nose syndrome web page, http://www.nps.gov/orca/naturescience/white-nose.htm.

The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing to address safety issues and improve accessibility at the chateau. Constructed in 1934, this National Historic Landmark (NHL) hotel became a property managed by the NPS in 2003.

Enjoy the caves this spring and all season long. For more information about the Oregon Caves Community Day, call (541) 592-2100, ext. 2262, or visit http://www.nps.gov/orca.

 


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