Middle Earth Cave Expedition – California Cavern

The Middle Earth Expedition - head to toe mud! Photo by Hayley Howard

The Middle Earth Expedition – head to toe mud! Photo by Hayley Howard

The Middle Earth Expedition is now open as of August 24, 2017! Call for reservations, 209-736-2708!

Expedition groups explore approximately 80% of the cavern system from the east entrance to the western most exit of California Cavern. The circuit is about a mile long, so stamina is required! The first hour of the trip consists of walking, crawling and squeezing through the historic “Mammoth Cave” area.

Then groups pass through the “Middle Earth” area which was discovered in 1980. Here there is mostly walking through nearly knee deep, sticky cave clay (high top shoes are a must) and the scenery is incredibly beautiful.

The remainder of the trip consists of exploring the horizontal fissures in the “Cave of the Quills” area and a quick, 70-foot rafting trip across “Tom’s Lake.” The trip concludes with passages filled with “goo,” more beautiful crystalline rooms, and then ascending ladders to sunshine and showers.

Participants must be at least 16 years old, and minors must be accompanied by an adult. Trip time varies depending on the number of participants and ranges from 2-1/2 to a maximum of 4 hours.

If you are interested in taking this extended cave trip, you will need to call 209-736-2708 to make reservations.  To see how to prepare for your trip, view the Expeditions-CCSpreperation.pdf .  Click here for the release of liability waiver.

Scroll down to view the “facts at a glance” and the photo gallery of the Middle Earth Expedition at California Cavern.

Facts at a Glance:
Adventure Scale Wild
Availability Dry season only. Click here for operational hours.
Length of Trip Up to 4 hours
Underground Temperature 55°F year round
Group Size Up to 10 people
Equipment Provided Hardhat with light and gloves
Minimum age and size 16 years if accompanied by a parent or adult
Reservations This activity REQUIRES advance reservations. Call 866-762-2837 to make your reservation.