Crystal Cave Trail is a 0.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from May until November.

Distance: 0.8 miles Elevation Gain: 291 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly





partially paved




no dogs

Note: The 2019 season is May 24 - September 29 Crystal cave is located off the general highway in Sequoia National Park, between the Ash mountain entrance and The Giant forest. Tickets must be purchased in advance either at the Foothill visitor center or the Lodgepole visitor center. $18 entrance fee per person.

4 months ago

​2020 Crystal Cave Tour Season: FRIDAY, MAY 22 - SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29 I love this cave! Super fun family-friendly tour with awesome naturalists! 2 miles round trip; 1/2 mile from the trail head parking lot where you check in using your confirmation number, 1/2 mile route inside the cave on the regular Family Tour (50 minutes), and 1/2 mile back up the cave trail to the parking lot. The whole thing is about 2 hours round trip. Bring your own water, restrooms are available in the parking lot, no food is sold here except bottles of water and small snacks but they do have souvenirs, parking is free. The trail to get to the cave is beautiful and you pass several waterfalls along the way, there are a few flights of stairs. Inside the cave is AMAZING, gorgeous sparkling calcite formations everywhere! Very cool history and ecology that you learn about from the naturalist guides. The road to get from Generals Highway to the cave parking lot takes about 20 minutes to drive and doesn't allow vehicles over 22 feet in length. Purchase your tickets in advance at ( Definitely a must-see!

7 months ago

FYI, sight was closed as of last Sunday 10/13/19.

8 months ago

Never seen anything like it. Beautiful Cave

8 months ago

Simple hike down to crystal cave. Very beautiful scenery and a few gorgeous waterfalls as well.

9 months ago

10 months ago

Only worth doing if you are also doing crystal cave tour. Paved the whole way, great first introduction to caves otherwise limited exposure on the hour long tour. Friendly and knowledgeable guides. Marble and creek that runs through the cave are very pretty.

10 months ago

Went with a group of friends and we all enjoyed it. The waterfall before you enter is beautiful. The cave was super neat inside and chilly which was nice after the warm day in the park.

11 months ago

This is such a great family tour to experience, I speak of this trip often and look forward to the other cave tour options. Everyone should enjoy this at least once in their lifetime.

nature trips
Sun Aug 26 2018

We loved seeing the sequoias above ground and then completed our adventures in the park by going into the caves underground. It made for a fantastic experience overall. The caves are beautiful. Since we have little kids, the family tour was perfect for us. The tour guide stopped in three large spaces to explain the caves, but the kids preferred walking through narrow corridors in between the rooms. So much to see, and it's breathtaking. The family tour was perfect for us, but it was pretty basic. If you're not traveling with small children, consider the age 13+ tour or one of their specialty tours, and I'm sure you'll see even more incredible sights. The walk back up from the cave was strenuous as we were carrying toddlers, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

nature trips
Fri Aug 24 2018

This was a really great experience. We took the Family Tour, which lasted approximately an hour from start to finish. We’re a couple and not a family, but the tour was perfect and run by an extremely knowledgeable and friendly guide (thanks Erin!). The inside of the cave is just breathtaking. If you’re in the area, I would definitely recommend this tour!

Wed Aug 15 2018

Took the Crystal Cave Tour and it surpassed my expectations. The trail has great views and you're treated with a waterfall at the end while you wait for tour to start. Highly recommend the tour!

Tue Aug 14 2018

Stunning caves not to be missed, trial itself has a bit of steps, otherwise it is pretty easy. There are pretty streams and falls along the trial.

Tue Jul 10 2018


Sun Jun 17 2018

Easy cave access with some really great views on the inside. No actual caving involved for the family tour, so it is accessible to all once down there. However the hike down and up are an over 300 ft change in elevation in just half a mile.

Wed Jun 13 2018

This is a great trail. You can only go in the cave if you buy a ticket. Then you get a guided tour wich is really interesting. The path leading to the cave is really pretty as well with a waterfall and some great views.

Tue Jun 12 2018

You can either book prior online or get your tickets at the two visitor centers. The first visitor center when entering the park only takes cash, but the Lodgepole takes CC which is farther in the park. Pretty fun experience and the hike was super easy. You get to see a beautiful waterfall on the way and back from cave and the tour guide was definitely great at presenting the history of the cave. It's pretty cold in there so make sure to have a jacket :)

Sun Jan 07 2018


Mon Aug 14 2017

Loved the cave and tour guide. But of course with a tour, you have to deal with annoying people.

Sat Aug 12 2017

Wonderful peaceful experience. The tour guides were amazing and the trail was so beautiful . The hike going up was a bit tiring but worth every view.

Wed Aug 09 2017

Hike to and from the cave was beautiful with a few small waterfalls along the way. Cave tour was interesting. However, if it had not been narrated by a tour guide it would've been extremely short.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Really appreciate the work that the Nature Conservancy is doing there

Wed Apr 26 2017

This is a beautiful cave. We took the whole family 2 years ago. The hike down and out of the cave mouth is not long but it is strenuous. So be prepared with water.

Wed Nov 23 2016

This is a short little hike down the mountain to the entrance of the crystal caves. A good little workout coming back up (after the cave tour) but beautiful scenery and multiple waterfalls.

Tue Sep 06 2016

We blindly drove to this site because it looked cool and was something others had mentioned we should see when visiting Sequoia National Park. Was skeptical and irritated that we had to pay $18/person to view this. The road that takes you there and splits from the Generals Highway is pretty old. It is paved, but is extremely bumpy. Once we got there, we were told that it was we should have purchased tickets beforehand. Yep, they were right, we should have. Though we got lucky and only had to wait about 45 minutes to get placed in one of the 50 person groups that tour every 30 minutes, because somebody cancelled or they were late. If you are late on arrival, they try to get you into the next 30 minute tour. The walkway down to the cave is paved and has some steps. There is a nice waterfall area they stage you at, while a previous group tour finishes up. Great opportunity for picture taking with the falls area. Then the real awesomeness begins. They have a huge iron webbed gate that swivels open, with a big metal spider for a doorknob. Groups of 50 enter the cave. They warn you not to use flash on your cameras, which initially had me worried about pictures. Don't worry. Because over a period of 2 years, they added lighting throughout the cave tour. When you enter the cave, it feels like you're entering another planet. In parts there are running streams beneath you, stalactites hang from different parts of the cave ceilings. In spots it's a tight fit, though my 40 year old 5'11" 225 lb frame didn't have any trouble traversing between. They caution you not to touch anything, except in one area where they tell you that you can sit on a little 18"-24" high rock wall. There they tell you some stories and turn out the lights...where you really can tell just how pitch black things are there. The tour runs between 30-60 minutes, but is well worth it, in my opinion. The path back up will get your heart and blood pumping, but it's not that far. It's not so much a hike, but more a tourist spot. Well worth it. I know people talk about Big Tree Trail and the Sherman Tree and in their own right...those are spectacular sights to see. But for me...this was the crown jewel of Sequoia National park. Note that temperatures in the cave are at least 15 degrees cooler than temperatures outside. We were there Sunday 9-4-16 around 11:30am and temperatures were about 60 degrees in the parking lot. It dipped into the high 40's inside the cave and at times we could see our breath if we exhaled intentionally. I would not miss this, but be sure to get your online reservation in advance and show up 15 minutes early...because otherwise you'll be bumped to the next tour and if all 50 people show up on time for that'll be waiting an additional 30 minutes and can only hope to catch the next one then.

Wed Aug 31 2016

There are some tight spots in the cave and a steep climb up and down but it's really worth it. There is some interesting history to the cave. Best time to go is earlier in the day smaller crowds.

Tue Apr 05 2016

Great family hike and the cave is amazing. Going to the cave is all down hill coming back up was a challenge.

Tue Mar 29 2016

So awesome in those caves!! Took the whole family & can't wait to go back!!!

Sun Sep 27 2015

This is a short walk, which leads to the crystal cave. There is a small creek-fall next to it. It is relatively inclined, but it is certainly an easier trail than most. Tickets are available at foothill, lodgepole and in some cases if free spots are available at the cave entrance as well (be nice to the person at the entrance). This is an easy hike for all ages, I had a 2.5 year old ;toddler tips: * They are not really cognizant of cave culture. * They might not be delighted by the lack of light. * They do imagine, specific parts of the cave as formations of different animals, e.g., turtles, cows...etc. * If they are out of diapers, ensure they have done their share of potty before. Getting out of the cave in between the tour, for that reason can be a relatively painful process. I rate as a 3 star when comparing it with camping, trees trails, and other activities possible at the Sequoia national park.

Wed Sep 09 2015

The trail was ok. Some pretty falls at the end. The main purpose was to get to the cave though. Make sure u get up early to buy tickets at lodgepole ranger station if u want to go in the cave. They sell out quick.

Sun May 03 2015

To my understanding, this is 1 of only 2 caves viewable in these parks. A must see for all ages.

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