Oregon Caves Open for Spring Break

Oregon Caves National Monument is gearing up for another season of cave tours, school programs, children’s activities, and adventure beginning on Saturday, March 21st.

The Oregon Caves Visitor Center is proud to announce the opening of a brand new hands-on exhibit! View a 3D model of the cave, marvel at the impressive act of a bat catching a moth as captured on video and wonder at the foot-long models of cave insects. Also, learn how caves are created and take a turn in the cave crawl through. Come up and check it out!

General cave tours will be offered at least once per hour, from 10 a.m.–4 p.m., until May 23rd when summer hours go into effect. Cave tours will continue until the season closes on November 1, 2015. If you plan to visit the cave early this spring, bad weather may cause road closures or tour cancellations;please be prepared for ice and snow on trails leading to cave openings. Check the Monument’s website or call ahead for current conditions. General cave tours last about 90 minutes and have a limit of 15 people per tour.

Tours are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The general cave tour fee for 2015 is $10 for adults and $7 for youth ages 15 and under. Group discount rates are no longer available. The Monument accepts the Interagency Senior Pass, the Interagency Access Pass, The National Park’s Golden Age Passports, and Golden Access Passports which provide the card holder half price for a general cave tour in accordance to the provisions of the individual pass. Tour fees help to fund projects that improve Monument facilities and visitor services, including the restoration of the historic Chateau and new interpretive displays.

The cave tour route is rated moderately strenuous and includes over 500 stair steps that are uneven and wet with low passageways that require bending and twisting while walking. For safety, children must be at least 42 inches tall and be able to walk independently to negotiate the cave’s stairs and passageways. Visitors in wheelchairs can access the first room of the cave. The temperature inside the cave is approximately 44°F (7°C) year round so warm clothing and good hiking shoes are recommended. Cameras with flash are allowed in the cave;but tripods, flashlights, food, backpacks, and purses are not permitted.

Bat populations at the caves are threatened by the spread of “white-nose syndrome,” a fungal disease that is devastating bat populations east of the Rocky Mountains. Oregon Caves is trying to protect its bat population and needs your help. If you have any items that have been worn or used in a cave or mine east of the Rocky Mountains in the US or Canada, or a cave or mine in Europe, please leave those items at home.

Entrance to the surface areas of the Monument and Preserve is always free and there is an assortment of beautiful forest trails always open and inviting. Minimal food services will be available by the Natural History Association in the Visitor Center through early May. The Historic Chateau will open with food, lodging and gift shop services on May 7, 2015.

For more information call 541-592-2100 ext. 2221 or visit www.nps.gov/orca.

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