California Caverns & Mine Tours - A Great Family Adventure

By
Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

Amador County Caverns

With several days of dreary fog, and then rain today, to say I have visions of getting out there to explore the world would be an understatement!

There are so many great places in the Greater Sacramento Vicinity, and still more amazing places within a 100-mile radius of our city.  It's natural to be itching to be on the road again.  Several days ago, I blogged a title, "Banking With Magellan."  It mentioned my method of banking road trips I hope to make when either time or weather again permit.  Packing a picnic lunch and heading for adventure, is a favorite family activity for me, and any grandkids available!

In the past, we have made delightful explorations of the California Mother Lode, and California Coast.  I won't let this coming summer escape without revisiting a place we haven't been in awhile.

In addition to the 1850 style towns and communities I have chronicled in recent months, nearby Amador County is also rich in cave, cavern and mine tour adventures.

California Caverns (pictured above) is among my favorite of spelunking experiences.  Native Americans knew of its existence long before the arrival of westerners.   Bret Harte, Mark Twain and John Muir were early visitors in the Gold Rush era.  It was opened for public tours in 1850.

In addition to California Caverns, Amador boasts Black Chasm Cavern, Moaning Cavern, and the Sutter Gold Mine.  All of these, plus Mercer Caverns in nearby Calaveras County, have wonderful cave or mine exploration capabilities available.

Moaning Cavern contains the largest vertical chamber in a public cavern that you can see in California.  It is so large, the Statue of Liberty could be completely help within it!  There are also California Zip Line experiences available at Moaning Caverns.

Black Chasm Cavern is another local spelunking treasure.  In 1976 it was designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service.  Black Chasm enchants visitors with a variety of stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones and crystals.  Outside the visitor center, kids will love the gemstone mining at the mining flumes.

Sutter Gold Mine located on historic Highway 49 just north of Sutter Creek, south of Amador City is a modern hard rock mine at the site of several historic mines. Nearby Lincoln Mine from which Leland Stanford made his fortune facilitated his ability to found Stanford University and to partner in financing the Central Pacific Railroad.

For ALL California Cave and Mine Tours available in Amador County, you can visit the Cave and Mine Adventures website: http://www.caverntours.com

For more information on Mercer Caverns in nearby Calaveras County, you can visit: http://www.mercercaverns.com

 

 

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Rainmaker
1,595,381
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Myrl, I don't remember which caverns my folks dragged me through in the 60's when I was a pre-teen lad but I will always remember what a cool experience it was. I need to get my kids out there before they are to old to think it's as cool as I did.

Jan 30, 2011 12:11 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,204,461
Tony & Darcy Cannon
Aubrey and Associates Realty - Layton, UT
The C Team

Myrl, great photos!  This is a fun thing to do!

Jan 30, 2011 12:24 PM #2
Rainmaker
561,010
Linda D. Pufford
Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging - Novato, CA
ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager

Myrl,

Thanks for bringing back memories when I was younger and we went to Calaveras, and Amador Counties.  There is so much to do there, with shops and little museums.  I enjoyed it so much I brought my daughter and a friend there to see it as well.  She loved panning for fouls gold!

Thanks for sharing the picture video with us...  you have some really awesome photos!

Jan 30, 2011 01:31 PM #3
Ambassador
3,675,572
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Myrl, these photos take my breath away.  They are beautiful, and they make me claustrophobic!  Pant!  Pant!  Pant!

Jan 30, 2011 01:43 PM #4
Ambassador
413,637
Emily Medvec Qualifying Broker
Hello Realty - Santa Fe, NM
Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM

Thank you for taking my mind off of my days real estate adventures and remember days long past exploring the early history embedded in California geography. I like the way you created a slide show here. Any how-to tips you can share?

Jan 30, 2011 01:49 PM #5
Ambassador
3,082,119
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I haven't been to those caves in years, thanks for sharing...
I hope you had a great weekend Myrl...
Paul

Jan 30, 2011 02:21 PM #6
Rainmaker
643,145
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Myrl, You did another great slide show and with a subject that can be hard to photograph.  I'm on the claustrophobic side with Patricia though.

Jan 30, 2011 02:54 PM #7
Rainmaker
820,770
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Myri, thanks for the great photos and the reminder to get out and enjoy all that nature has given us. 

Jan 30, 2011 05:31 PM #8
Ambassador
1,470,825
Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

We have been to Carlsbad and Ruby Falls and I love doing caverns. Thanks for this one.

Jan 31, 2011 12:11 AM #9
Rainmaker
433,526
Kristine Ginsberg
Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Short Hills, NJ
NJ Home Stager

Myrl - love your video and you're so lucky you can go "splunking" right in Sacramento! You must have had a ball and what a nice change from all the fog you've been having!  I too love "splunking" and Mexico is a great place to do it - miles fo caves to explore!

Jan 31, 2011 12:42 AM #10
Rainmaker
317,417
Susan Brown
Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too) - Kingwood, TX

Myrl, This is an excellent blog on what sounds like a great place to visit.  I've got it bookmarked!

Jan 31, 2011 02:22 AM #11
Rainmaker
2,189,557
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Leave it to you, Myrl, to go cavern exploring on a chilly, overcast day in Sacramento. Your photos are pretty cool. I've seen brochures for these caves lying around my manicurist's and wondered where they were. I don't much venture outside of my four-county area to explore Sacramento but I wish I had more time to do it.

Jan 31, 2011 03:02 AM #12
Rainmaker
2,519,842
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Bob - I remember reading Mark Twain's books when I was a kid, and becoming enchanted by the idea of caves.  However, it wasn't until my kids were little, that I was able to visit any.  The caverns, caves and mines I mention above, are really close to my home (within 60 miles).  We are lucky to have them!

Tony and Darcy - California caving is great fun!

Jan 31, 2011 05:36 AM #13
Rainmaker
2,519,842
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Linda - Calaveras and Amador are two of my favorite Day Trip destinations, for the very reason you mention!  It's a totally different environment, but close to home!

Patricia - For one reason or another, I don't feel that claustrophobic feeling inside them.  But can understand why some might!

Jan 31, 2011 05:39 AM #14
Rainmaker
2,519,842
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Emily - The slide shows are created with Paint Shop Pro's Animation Wizard.  I created a tutorial awhile back which can be accessed via: http://activerain.com/blogsview/1317373/activerain-photo-blogger-animated-blogging-tutorial-using-paintshop-pro

Paul - Everytime I return to Amador or adjoining Calaveras County, it seems there are more caves and caverns which have been opened to explore.  Perhaps it's time for a return visit.

Jan 31, 2011 05:42 AM #15
Rainmaker
2,519,842
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Marchel - Actually, I shot these photos with my old 5 megapixel Canon point and shoot a few years ago.  Oh how I miss that little camera.  It was small, but did a GREAT job.

Juli - One of the more interesting things I have done, is to take an old fashioned drafting compass, and draw 100 mile radius circles to places I was going to fly to.  For example, I would bet if you did that circle around your home city, you would be able to claim a treasure trove of Day Trips to promote for your area.

Jan 31, 2011 05:46 AM #16
Rainmaker
2,519,842
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Toni - My son enjoyed Carlsbad when he visited there.  I have never been.  Perhaps one day!

Kristine - Actually, I didn't go caving in the fog, but one certainly could.  As the post mentions, I was planning out trips to take with grandkids for this summer.  The photos in the slide show were taken on a past cave excursion to the area.

Jan 31, 2011 05:49 AM #17
Rainmaker
2,519,842
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Susan - I'm glad you enjoyed the slide show!  The earth has some really interesting adventures doesn't it:-)

Hey Elizabeth - You need to take some time out and go do these caverns and caves.  They are within 60 miles of your home!  If you can find time to go to Hawaii, Vietnam, and Yellowstone, you can do this. . .It's only a day trip:-)

Jan 31, 2011 05:51 AM #18
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Rainmaker
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Myrl Jeffcoat

Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
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