Crystal Cave Trail

MODERATE 31 reviews
#12 of 84 trails in

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

DISTANCE
0.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
360 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

cave

forest

river

waterfall

no dogs

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.

18 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

loved this so much! it was our top pick to see while in sequoia and we enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm out of shape so I had to stop a few times on the way back up which is pretty steep, but it wasn't top bad and the views were incredible - not the mention the cave was mind blowing.

hiking
22 days ago

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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.

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Really appreciate the work that the Nature Conservancy is doing there

3 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

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.

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

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.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Thursday, September 08, 2016

hiking
Tuesday, September 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 tour...you'll be waiting an additional 30 minutes and can only hope to catch the next one then.

hiking
Wednesday, August 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.

Friday, August 12, 2016