Free Cave Tours with Food Donations on May 8th
For 136 years, Oregon Caves National Monument has been a tradition of adventure for many individuals and families throughout southern Oregon and northern California. In keeping with that tradition, the Monument will hold its annual Community Day Event over Mother’s Day weekend on Saturday, May 8th, providing free cave tours to the public from 10:00 to 4:00. Various local non-profit organizations will also be present to share free information about their involvement in the community. Is there a catch? Actually, there is; they want your food.
Superintendent, Vicki Snitzler describes how the Monument, in addition to giving free tours, hopes to make a larger community contribution this year. "A new partner for this event will be Rotary First Harvest, an organization that ensures surplus food from farmers and other distributors is delivered to our local food banks. We are asking community members who take the free cave tours to bring an item of nonperishable food. The food collected will be delivered by the National Park Service to food banks in the Cave Junction area. We hope this new addition will help foster greater ties with the Monument’s neighbors."
Cave tours on Community Day are 80-minnutes long and will be offered on a first-come first-serve basis. Long waits may be possible, especially in the afternoon. The tours are rated moderately strenuous and include over 500 stair steps that are uneven and wet with low passageways that require bending and twisting while walking. Children must be 42 inches tall and able to walk independently to go on a full cave tour. The temperature inside the cave is approximately 44°F (7°C) year round. Warm clothing and good hiking shoes are always recommended. Cameras with flash are allowed in the cave, but not tripods, flashlights, or backpacks.
The event coincides with the seasonal opening of the Chateau at Oregon Caves, which officially opens its doors on May 6th. The hotel will kick off Community Day weekend with free tours of the Chateau by Superintendent Snitzler at 11:00 and 2:00 and an evening two-act mystery comedy, "No Bones About It," The world premiere comedy explores the history of the Oregon Caves and will be presented at the Chateau at 8 pm, both Saturday, May 8th and Friday, May 14th. There is a cost and reservations are required. Additionally, the hotel will offer a Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday. The hotel will be offering an assortment of other package deals and entertainment throughout the season and always provides that special getaway close to home.
Entrance to the Monument is always free and there are an assortment of beautiful forest trails always open and inviting. Look for other exciting tours and programs to begin when late June arrives. Participate in a Ranger Program, take a Candlelight tour on Fridays and Saturdays, learn about Oregon’s past on a guided tour of the historic hotel, and watch for new and additional family-focused cave tours to begin. For the more adventurous, off-trail tours are offered by reservation for Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays during the summer months too.
Keep the tradition going or start your own. Take your friend, spouse, family and, of course, your Mother, to Oregon Caves for an exciting free experience on May 8th. Oh, and don’t forget to bring food.
Lodging reservation and dining information for the Chateau at Oregon Caves can be found at: www.oregoncaveschateau.com or by calling: (541) 592-3400 or 877-245-9022.
For more information about the surrounding Illinois Valley area, visit http://ivcdo.projecta.com
Did You Know?
The stream that comes out of the entrance of the cave is a tributary to a watershed that empties into the Pacific Ocean. There are no human-made obstructions that would prevent salmon migration, which makes this the only cave in the National Park Service with an unobstructed link to the ocean.