It's a Subterranean Centennial for Crystal Cave

Ready to stalactite-up your summer? Explore this Sequoia National Park gem.

SPELUNKING? CAVING? Thoroughly exploring a subterranean space? We don't get a lot of chances in our day-to-day lives to go underground. Sure, we might head for a subway, or a basement, or another commonly visited spot, but calling upon a cavern, one that has existed for eons, is an errand not often seen on our to-do lists. But there are caves to know here in the Golden State, and the beneath-ground destination at Sequoia National Park has been a summertime favorite for roadtrippers for decades. True, Crystal Cave, with its "... impressive chambers, magnificent formations, rare minerals, unique animals and polished marble stream" existed long before roadtrippers or roadtripping or, indeed, roads, but, today, it is a popular must-see on the sequoia-loving vacationer's warm-weather list. That it is having a centennial of sorts in 2018 — it was discovered in 1918 by a pair of park staffers — might make a weekend visit even more interesting for a fact-loving, date-obsessed family group. And those weekends are coming up very soon, for Crystal Cave reopens on...

MAY 25, 2018: "The Sequoia Parks Conservancy offers several different tours from mid-May through November," so be sure to book your tour sooner than later. You can do so starting 60 days ahead of when the tour date is, so best keep a calendar close, because these tours remain highly sought after each year. Keep in mind that there are a number of important must-knows surrounding the cave, such as the half mile trail you'll need to hike in (it is described as "steep and strenuous"). Other points, like restrooms and parking, are all listed here. And while no centennial activities are listed for the summer of 2018, it is interesting to learn a bit about the history of this fascinating cave before you go. After all, the tall trees are understandably in the spotlight, but there's a stalactite-y secret below ground, too, one that has wowed visitors since 1940, when a trail to the cave was fashioned by the Civilian Conservation Corp.

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