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While many Central California destinations allow you to see the power of geology from above ground, Moaning Caverns takes you below the surface into the eerie and beautiful world of caves. Plunging down a staggering 165 feet, this is the largest public cave chamber in California. In other words, if you tipped it on its side, Moaning Caverns could fit a line of three and a half semi trucks.
You won’t be the first visitors to Moaning Caverns. Some of its guests were most likely accidental--bones found at the cave floor suggest that ancient people fell through holes on the surface and met their demise inside. Some of these bones are astonishingly old, including some dated at at least 12,000 years (around the time that mammoths went extinct in North America). The jewelry found with some of these skeletons can be viewed at the visitor center. More recently, tourists at Moaning Caverns in the mid-1800s saw the caves by candlelight as they were lowered down in buckets. Your visit will be much more safe--you’ll have the chance to climb down a historic spiral staircase constructed with steel from a World War One battleship.
As you walk down these steps, you’ll pass colorful formations in unique shapes. You may notice dark passages that seem to stretch forever. How does such a place come to be? This lesson will teach you all about how caves are created, helping you to fully appreciate your Moaning Caverns adventure.