Imagine stepping underground and into a world that has never seen the light of day.
That first hollow touch of cavern air, the echo engulfing your every intrepid footstep, and a low, eerie moan that crosses the walls and settles into your eardrums. This is the beginning of the descent into Moaning Cavern, California’s deepest show cave, and a daring adventure for family members of all ages.
While first officially discovered in the 1850s, mother nature had been working overtime for years creating a main chamber that could easily host the Statue of Liberty in its maw, and depths recorded at an astounding 410 feet. It doesn’t come as a surprise that over 100 human skeletal remains have been found along the bottom, but some have been dated back more than 12,000 years! Our ancestors may have taken a long walk off a short cliff, but intrepid explorers today can reach the floor below via spiral staircase, crafted from the metal bones of WWII battleships.
The cavern itself receives its name from the strange and downright creepy moan that can be heard bounding across the walls. But that’s just about as horrifying as the adventure gets. In truth, this is the ultimate escapade for those seeking thrills off the beaten path without unexpected hazards.
In what’s called the Wild Cave Adventure Trip, guests are encouraged to begin their journey through Moaning Cavern by rappelling from the very top. Upon touching down, a group of eight, with the help of a trusty guide, are led into a 3-hour exploration of the inky blackness that dips away from the main chamber. Explorers brave claustrophobia-inducing tunnels that may have them sucking in their breath to squeeze on through.
That part of the journey not your cup of tea? Fear not! Moaning Cavern boasts fun above ground as well. When you’re ready to leave your fear of enclosed spaces behind, take to the sky! Moaning Cavern offers a climbing tower that will take you to new heights, and an incredible zip line that sends you soaring through the range. A perfect end to an exciting trip beneath the earth’s surface before the long drive home!
Find Your Adventure At:
Moaning Cavern Adventure Park
5350 Moaning Caverns Rd., Vallecito