Moaning Caverns is the largest single cavern (cave chamber) open to the public in California, with the main chamber boasting a height of 180 feet, which is about enough to contain the Statue of Liberty (excluding its pedestal). There are two entrances: the original entrance used by miners in the 1800s, which has to be rappeled (yikes), and the one created specifically for easy access. This entrance begins on the first platform with an initial descent of 65 feet down various steps and through tight spots, meaning you really have to watch out for your head, arms and legs as to not collide against the surrounding rock.

The original entrance, which I’ll call the pit of doom, leads directly to the main chamber.

Finally, there is a other platform that leads down the 100 foot spiral staircase. Hope you don’t skip leg day because all these steps can be very tiresome and definitely left me with sore muscles for a few days! Once down, you have access to a spacious area at the bottom of the main chamber. You can see the original entrance discussed earlier, and appreciate just how tall and massive the main chamber is. You may also appreciate all the beautiful lighting, which as part of the tour may be switched off to experience true darkness. With total silence, all you can hear is water dripping.

This lighting configuration and view is known as “The Cathedral”

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