• Speleothems in Miller's Chapel.

    Oregon Caves

    National Monument Oregon

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • Cave Tours Closed for Season

    Cave Tours are closed for the winter. Tours will resume April 26, 2014. All trails on the monument remain open.

  • Road Work

    Crews are removing brush along highway 46 beginning in the lower parking lot and moving down the highway. Work is scheduled to last until April 20, 2014; expect delays.

Oregon Caves Upgrades Subsurface Communications

Heated, sealed enclosures protect cave phones from moisture.
NPS

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: October 1, 2010

Summer 2010 marked the completion of a major, eighteen-month project to upgrade the telecommunications system in Oregon Caves. The deteriorating, stand-alone intercom system was replaced with a fiber-based communication system. Park staff evaluated a variety of options for this upgrade, including radio and copper-based systems, and worked closely with Mammoth Cave IT Specialist Patrick Price to design the system. The new system enhances staff and visitor safety and the management of in-cave emergencies and incidents with several significant improvements:

• More phones: This upgrade increased the number of phones stations from three to seven – a phone for every tenth of a mile along the tour route.
• Two-way communication: With the old system, calls could only be placed to a single phone in the visitor center. With the new system, cave phones have all the functionality of office phones.
• Programming capabilities: The Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones in the cave can be dialed simultaneously and programmed to ring a distinct tone to phones on the surface.
• Expandability: The system makes it possible to add phones or other network devices, such as cameras or data loggers for environmental monitoring. Three monitoring stations have already been set up to log temperature, humidity, stream depth, wind speed, and other parameters that can be accessed real-time over the network. The park has also obtained an infrared camera for monitoring roosting bats. Eventually this live data will be available to the interested public through visitor center displays and/or the web.

Did You Know?

Horse riders rode about 12 miles to Cave Camp located next to the entrance of Oregon Caves.

Up until 1922 the only way to get to Oregon Caves was on a 12 mile trail from the town of Williams, Oregon. Once at Oregon Caves visitors explored the cave and spent the night at a camp outside the entrance to the cave.