What do ice floors, cerulean spring waters, and incredible rock formations all remind you of? The caves near Yosemite, of course! These mysterious caves provide incredible opportunities to discover new worlds and natural wonders. The next time you stay with us at Courtwood Inn, treat yourself to a day trip to Yosemite National Park and stop at these fascinating caves along the way.
For more information on the best outdoor activities and more near Murphys, download our free Vacation Guide. It’s the best time-saving vacation planning tool!
5 of the Best Caves Near Yosemite
With a plethora of opportunities for spelunking, cave diving, and cavern touring, Northern California is one of the most unique places in the United States. Here are our favorite caves near Yosemite that are waiting to be explored by you!
1. Lilburn Cave
If you want to go cave exploring in the longest cave known in California, head to Lilburn Cave. As you walk through the incredible caverns, you’ll see dazzling marble walls with white and black stripes, as well as other breathtaking colors from over 30 natural minerals. Lilburn Cave also features a smooth stream leading back to the crystal-clear Big Spring, the natural water source. It’s managed by the Cave Research Foundation and is strictly used for scientific purposes.
2. Crystal Cave
Sequoia Parks Conservancy (SPC) hopes to open Crystal Cave for the 2021 season but currently does not have an opening date. Please check their website regularly for updates on the 2021 season.
Walk through the three miles of carved passages and discover the beauty that is Crystal Cave. It serves as the park’s only commercialized cave and features unique shapes of naturally formed speleothems (mineral formations created from groundwater). You may even spot some cave-dwelling aquatic isopods living in the beautiful river running through the caverns.
3. Spider Cave
Some of the most cherished but hidden caves in Yosemite Valley are the Spider Caves. They’re found off the Lower Yosemite Falls Trail and feature stunning formations and intricate pathways. Be aware that you might have to hike, climb walls, and wiggle through tight spaces, but it’s totally worth it!
4. Mineral King Caves
The intricate Mineral King Caves consist of over 30 caverns, 15 springs, dozens of sinkholes, blind valleys, and sinking streams. As you make your way through this system, you’ll be hiking along the rocky terrain and exploring the river, which is fed by cerulean blue waters of the natural spring. You’ll discover towering rock formations and an incredible cave with an all-ice floor! You can even make your way through other caves like Batslab, Seldom Seen, and Never Seen.
5. Hurricane Crawl Cave
The Hurricane Crawl Cave is quickly becoming one of the most popular caves near Yosemite. With its large helictites, twisted formations, and gorgeous hues of orange, red, and yellow, it’s easy to see why! As you’re exploring, you’ll hear the rushing of an active, natural spring river winding its way through the cave.
Once you discover your favorite cave near the National Parks, come back to Courtwood Inn with a camera full of pictures and a head full of stories. Unlace your hiking shoes and relax in your spacious suite and spa-like bathroom. Or, pour yourself a glass of our signature wine and lounge on our beautiful outdoor deck. You’ll feel rejuvenated no matter which way you choose to relax at Courtwood!