Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Black Chasm Cavern

While visiting Volcano, California, we toured the Black Chasm Cavern which is a National Natural Landmark. The last time we toured here, Bode was a baby and had to stay back with grandma, so it was fun to have the whole family along. This was also my parents first tour, so that was an added treat. It is nestled in Amador County in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This area is also surrounded by gold rush country, so there are many other historical landmarks to visit.

We went on the walking tour, which lasted a little less than an hour, and was the right amount of time for the kids. Our tour group consisted of the seven of us and another couple. Our tour guide was great and with our small group we felt like we were getting a personal tour.

The caverns are amazing (and very cold). They include stalactites, stalagmites, flow stones, "cave bacon", "cave straws", an underground pool, and the largest collection of helictite crystals in the world, which are what the caverns are famous for.

Heading down to the first room: It had stalactites, stalagmites, and a column, along with some other very cool crystals. Some of the larger stalactites and stalagmites had been cut out by previous explorers of the cave before it became a National Landmark, but we could still see how large they had been.


Heading further down: We were able to see down to the underground pool, which quite far down. The guide estimated that the pool was 60 feet deep. From the steps going down we were able to see all the way down to the pool and up to the ceiling of the cavern.

Zoomed-in view of the underground pool

Lastly we headed into the large Landmark Room. This room included a huge collection of helictite crystals, which is what the caverns are famous for. The helictite crystals are formed by pressure. Normally caverns don't have anywhere near this amount of helictite crystals. Helictite crystals are only found in 5% of all caves. This is the largest collection in the world. The collection was quite fascinating to see so close-up.

Part of the huge room

Flow stone - looks like ice cream

Look at all the helictites

Helictite close-up

Landmark room ceiling
We couldn't hang out in the cavern without some family pictures.

Family fun

Grampa & Gramma

The boys in front of the helictites.
Heading back out of the cavern we got a different view of how large the cavern was.

Black Chasm Cavern was a great visit for our family.


  1. This looks amazing! What a great place to visit.

  2. Wow!!!! Your photos are absolutely stunning! What a wonderful place to visit. I can tell by their smiling faces that they had an awesome time.

    Hope you are having a good week.
    Many blessings,