Tours and Attractions

Spiral Tour
Moaning Caverns is a solution cave located in Calaveras County, California, near Vallecito, in the heart of the Gold Country. It was discovered in modern times by gold miners in 1851, but it has long been known by prehistoric peoples. It gets its name from the moaning sound that echoed out of the cave luring people to the entrance. Still today during certain times of the year sounds may be heard echoing up from the bottom of the cave. The most unique feature is the cavern’s main chamber with a vertical shaft 165 feet tall, which you may descend to the bottom of by a combination of stairs and a unique 100-foot high (30m) spiral staircase built in the early 1900s. Moaning Caverns is home to the largest single cave chamber in California. The massive room extends into the marble deposit of the Calaveras Formation over 180 feet before funneling into smaller passageways. With a 20-30 foot thick ceiling, the open area inside the chamber is, in fact, tall enough to hold the Statue of Liberty (pedestal excluded). There is only one natural entrance into the chamber in the form of a 30-foot vertical chimney dropping into the center of the room. Visitors may view the cavern’s main chamber by walking and climbing the narrow wooden staircase to a flat platform 65 feet underground. For the truly athletic and adventurous, from there, a ten-story spiral staircase leads down to a second platform at the base of the chamber.
Ability: Mild+ (~235 steps)

Availability: Year-Round

Length of Trip: 45 minutes

Underground Temperature: 61°F

Tour Prices:
  • Ages 0-5Free
  • Ages 6-11$15
  • Ages 12 & Up$20
  • Ages 6-11 (Military Discount)                     10% off
  • Ages 12 & Up (Military Discount)              10% off

How long is the tour? Our educational Spiral Tour is an easy, 45-minute walking tour ideal for families.

How often do you have Spiral Tours? Depends on what time of year you come. Summertime (June – August): We have tours daily starting at 9am. Spiral Tours leave on-the-hour, every hour. Last tour leaves at approximately 5:30pm on weekdays, 6:00pm on weekends. Wintertime (September – May): We have tours daily from 10am – 5pm. Tours leave on-the-hour. Last tour leaves at approximately 4:00pm.

What should I bring for a Spiral Tour? Comfortable walking shoes and your sense of adventure!

Military Discount? Military, First Responders and immediate family members use promo code VIP and receive 10% off. You will be asked to show your military ID when you arrive to Moaning Caverns. Check out our Deals and Events page for current discounts.
Expedition Tour
Expedition trips are offered all year by reservation, and are conducted by experienced, highly trained guides. No experience is necessary and all gear for the expedition is provided. Participants must be at least 12 years old and all minors must be accompanied by an adult. The Expedition Tour  makes an exceptional team building activity. Expedition groups explore the small cracks and crevasses below the main chamber, crawling, wriggling, and squirming through natural passages. The extended cavern trip is perfect for those who desire something more than a walk. Trip time is about 2-3 hours.

To see how to prepare for your trip, view the Expedition Preparation Guide

This activity does require a release of liability waiver. Save time! Click here to read, fill out and sign our release of liability waiver before you arrive.

Military Discount? Military, First Responders and immediate family members use promo code VIP and receive 10% off. You will be asked to show your military ID when you arrive to Moaning Caverns. FOR TOURS WITH LESS THAN 24 HOURS ADVANCE NOTICE, PLEASE CALL US AT (209) 736-2708. WE MAY HAVE LAST MINUTE SPACE AVAILABLE.
Ability: Moderate+

Availability: Year-round Click here for operational hours.

Length of Trip: 2 to 3 hours

Underground Temperature: 61°F year round

Group Size: Up to 8 people

Equipment Provided: Hardhat with light and gloves

Minimum age and size: Minimum age is 12 years. All minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Reservations: This activity REQUIRES advance reservations.

Tour Prices:
  • Child$95
  • Adult$95
 
Outdoor Activities
Zip Line
Experience the fast paced, high intensity adventure of zip line traversing! All you need is the courage to step off the platform! Bring a “ready for anything” friend because the double cables mean zippers can race the zip line in pairs (when both lines are open – please call for status). One small step off the platform and you are zooming across the beautiful Gold Country foothills at speeds of up to 35 miles an hour, in a 1/4 mile race to the landing tower. Anybody who is in good health and fits within the size requirements, can experience this exhilarating and scenic ride! We offer two options for zipping, regular seated style and tandem zipping.

What are the age and height requirements? No children under 6 years old and under 40″ tall. Children ages 6 and above who are less than 48″ tall and less than 70 lbs., must ride tandem.

Military Discount? Military, First Responders and immediate family members use promo code VIP and receive 10% off. You will be asked to show your military ID when you arrive to Moaning Caverns.

SOLO ZIP
  • Requirements: Take off from the launch tower in an upright position. Race a friend or family member on our dual zip lines if you wish! Must be at least 48″ tall and between 70 and 270 lbs., and properly fill out the harness.
TANDEM ZIP
  • Requirements: Two people zip together sharing a trolley, for a maximum combined weight of 270 lbs. Both people are in full rigging. This option is used by parents with children under 70lbs who cannot zip alone. Pairing up with a child makes this a great shared experience!
This activity does require a release of liability waiver. Click here to read our release of liability waiver.

Check out our Deals and Events page for current discounts.  
 
Ability: Moderate+

Availability: Daily, year round. On slower days, we may close one zip line. Click here for operational hours.

Length of Trip: Plan about 20 – 45 minutes from gear up, zipping, then derigging. This activity is above ground so we are subject to closures due to high wind, or severe weather conditions.

Equipment Provided: All necessary equipment provided.

Zip Line Prices:
  • Adult/Child $50 one zip
  • Second Zip same person same day $25
 
Climbing Wall
Our custom designed climbing tower is 32 feet high and includes climbing routes from beginner to challenging. It’s suitable and fun for the entire family! The tower can accommodate 10 people at a time, and includes a belay system – just climb and then jump back for a smooth, automatic descent. Participants are geared up in climbing harnesses, then clipped on to the route of their choice. Routes include life-like rock features and overhangs, making it one of the most competitive climbing surfaces available.
 
Ability: Moderate

Availability: Daily, year round, but weather dependent. Click here for operational hours.

Length of Trip: 32 feet

Underground Temperature: n/a – This activity is above ground.

Group Size: Maximum 10 people

Equipment Provided: Climbing harness

Minimum age and size: Must be 6 years old and between 45 and 250 lbs.

Climbing Wall Prices:
  • $15 weather permitting
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Gold Rush Maze
Coming Soon!
Tower Wall

Tower Wall

 
Rappelling

Rappelling

Amazing Acoustics

Amazing Acoustics

Panning for Gemstones

Just like miners used to pan for gold during the California Gold Rush of the 1800’s, relive what it was like to be a prospector and pan for your very own gemstone collection at our Sluice. Everyone is guaranteed to find some! Panning for sluice is fun for the whole family, and kids get a kick out of finding their own souvenirs to bring home.
Unique Gifts and Shopping

Unique Gifts and Shopping

We travel yearly to the Arizona Gem and Mineral show and bring back amazing minerals, fossils and rocks from around the world. Rock hounds can choose from a wide range of small gemstones and fascinating fossils, to huge amethyst cathedrals.
Fun for Everyone

Fun for Everyone