Friday, February 9, 2018

Black Chasm Caverns National Landmark 1/6/18

Black Chasm Caverns National Landmark 1/6/18
We wanted to get a fun adventure in after the new year before the kiddos basketball and soccer started up so we ventured to the Black Chasm Caverns, in Volcano, CA. We had heard from a friend that they were pretty neat so we decided to check them out. 

The drive from Davis is about an hour and 20 minutes. Before going to the caves, we stopped in the town of Sutter Creek for lunch which is an hour drive from home. The town is cute and we had pizza at Gold Dust Pizza which was really good. Not your typical pizza with the crust being thicker and they were generous with their toppings. We also loved that they had a big patio area in the back where we enjoyed the space and the kids were amused by the two cats roaming around. After lunch, it took about 20 minutes to get to the caves.
Sutter Creek
Gold Dust Pizza
The tours ran every hour and we were worried it would be filled when we arrived but surprisingly, we along with another family were the only ones that attended for a total of 8 on the tour. It was great! The cost was $17.50 for adults and $9.50 for the kiddos for a total of $54 we payed. It's kind of pricey when you think about it, but I feel it was worth it especially since it was like we had our own private tour and it made for a great family outing. 

The tour started right on time and this young gentleman was our guide. He was very knowledgeable and did a great job of making the tour interesting. He started out with some history about the cave before we headed down. Just to the right of him is the entrance and the stairs that lead us down to the cave.
It is dark when you first enter but there are lights in the cave so you can see where you are going and no flashlights are needed.
Heading down into the Black Chasm Caverns
Here is a look back up at the stairs we had just descended.

Stairs in Black Chasm Caverns
The tour consists of 3 viewing areas where the guide stops and talks about the cave. The first one he mentions and shows us our first glimpse of helictites, which is what makes this cave really special. Helictites are rare. They're a distorted form of a stalactite and look like white twigs or some say silly straws. I didn't get a shot of the first glimpse of them but in the last viewing area is where we see them the most. 

The second viewing area is really neat because our guide talked about a lake below that is about 100 feet down
Black Chasm Caverns
Here is a shot of the lake below. Look how clear and blue the water is.
View of lake in Black Chasm Caverns
The third viewing area is my favorite because it is so big and just really neat with so much to see in every direction. There are stalactites and stalagmites.
Black Chasm Caverns
Black Chasm Caverns
Third room in Black Chasm Caverns
Black Chasm Caverns
This third room is also where we see lots of helictites. 
Black Chasm Caverns helictites
Our guide did a great job of pointing out some cool fun helictites formations like a dragon, wolf, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, etc. that the kids loved and made the tour fun.
Black Chasm Caverns helictites
Family pic in the cave.
There is only one way in and out so after the third viewing area, we headed back the same way we came in. The tour was about 45 minutes total. Seemed to be just the right length for how much we saw in the cave.
Heading back Black Chasm Caverns
Exiting the Black Chasm Caverns
Afterwards, we checked out the neat gift shop and bought the boys a bag of sand to pan for gems and emeralds. The boys really enjoyed this part too.
Overall, it was a great outing for the fam at Black Chasm Caverns. The cave was really cool to see and even though the price was kinda high, I felt it was worth it. Love that it was not crowded and with only 8 on our tour, it was like we got our own private tour. Also, our guide was entertaining and we all learned a lot about the cave.

Below is a short video I took of our experience at the caverns.

Have a great weekend!

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