• Schonchin Butte

    Lava Beds

    National Monument California

Crystal Ice Cave Tours

Visitor below the first icy slope of the cave

A visitor completes the slippery descent into the cave

NPS

Crystal Ice Cave contains some of the most spectacular ice formations among Lava Beds' many caves. Because of the sensitive nature of this cave's formations and its cold environment, Crystal Ice Cave is open to park visitors only on small ranger-guided tours during the winter months.

Tours of no more than six visitors (ages 12 years and older) are offered every Saturday at 1:00 pm from January through March and last 3+ hours.

This is a strenuous excursion and is recomended for those in very good physical condition. Tour participants must use upper body strength to ascend a sheer, 50-foot long sloped ice floor on a rope, must be able to crawl through a tight hole, and have enough fitness and coordination to negotiate loose, boulder-strewn floors and icy patches safely. This tour is not appropriate for people with major medical conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, or osteoporosis, or those with a fear of heights or tight places.

For more information and photos showing what to expect during the tour please click here

Required Items to Bring With You (if they have not been in a cave or mine east of the Rockies)

  • Helmet with chin straps (bike helmets work well, if you do not have one we will be able to provide one)
  • Warm layered clothing (such as long underwear, thick socks, warm durable gloves, and a warm hat)
  • Water resistant outer layer suggested in early and late season
  • Sturdy boots with gripping soles and ankle support
  • Kneepads (if you do not have kneepads we are able to provide some)
  • Headlamps (if you do not have one we are able to provide one)

Reservations for these tours can be made up to three weeks in advance and are very competitive. Call or visit the Visitor Center at 530-667-8113 between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm for more information or to make tour reservations.

 

The tour guide may cancel the tour at any time for health and safety reasons.

 

Tour Date

First day you can

make a reservation

Tour Date

First day you can

make a reservation

January 3, 2015 December 13, 2014 February 21, 2015 January 31, 2015
January 10, 2015 December 20, 2014 February 28, 2015 February 7, 2015
January 17, 2015 December 27, 2014 March 7, 2015 February 14, 2015
January 24, 2015 January 3, 2015 March 14, 2015 February 21, 2015
January 31, 2015 January 10, 2015 March 21, 2015 February 28, 2015
February 7, 2015 January 17, 2015 March 28, 2015 March 7, 2015
February 14, 2015 January 24, 2015
 
Ice formations in Crystal Ice Cave
Ice formations in Crystal Ice Cave evoke feelings of awe and wonder.
NPS

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