• Speleothems in Miller's Chapel.

    Oregon Caves

    National Monument Oregon

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • Haunted Candlelight Tours

    Haunted Candlelight Tours Offered Sunday, October 26 through Friday, October 31, 2014. The tour begins at 4pm and are first come first serve. The tour is limited to 12 people per group. Last regular cave tour will be at 3pm.

Walter Burch

“I am confident that there are more caves, or chambers to be discovered,” Walter Burch *.

Walter C. Burch was one of the key founders in Oregon Caves’ history. Burch first heard about the caves in 1884, and within that same year got together a party of people to explore them. He and Homer D. Harkness attempted to get a title on the land surrounding the caves, but three years and $1500 later, they had nothing but squatters rights. They opened the caves as a tourist attraction under the name the Limestone Caves.

Burch’s big achievement was discovering a huge section of the cave. He was down in a room that we now call Niagara Falls when he felt a heavy draft of wind coming through a small opening. Burch spent two days laying in a pool of ice water two inches deep in order to blast out the hole. He made it barely large enough to crawl through, and even had to remove his outer garments. Walter Burch was the first person to set eyes on Grand Column, and the first to discover many spectacular rooms in Oregon Caves.

Did You Know?

Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest North American woodpecker. Funny, mischief making cartoon character Woody Woodpecker, was inspired by this bird. Other birds need this species for survival. They will use the holes or cavities the Pileated drills as nests, winter shelter, and a way to get at food inside trees that is otherwise hidden.