Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve strives to make memorable and enjoyable experiences accessible to all our visitors. The following information provides guidance on accessibility throughout the park.
Physical Considerations: Please be aware that the cave tour is physically demanding. It requires the ability to walk and stoop through narrow, twisting passages, including an 88-foot (27m) passageway with ceilings as low as 45 inches (114 cm), and the ability to ascend and descend over 500 steps, many of them steep, uneven and/or without handrails.
To ensure the safety of the entire group, all visitors are asked to demonstrate the physical ability to navigate the cave tour route. During the introduction, the guide will ask visitors to crouch down to approximately 45 inches (114 cm) and take several steps. If a visitor is unable to do so, they will be invited to visit Watson’s Grotto, the first room of the cave, but may need to exit at that point. (Watson’s Grotto is 75 feet [23 m] from the entrance and requires stooping as low as 51 inches [130 cm]).
This tour is moderately strenuous and not recommended if you have a heart condition, breathing issues, poor balance, trouble walking, issues climbing stairs, or have back, knee, hip, ankle, or foot problems.
To protect the resource, visitors are asked not to touch the cave walls or features along the tour route. An exhibit in the visitor center does provide an opportunity for a tactile experience of the cave.
Use of Mobility Devices
Watson's Grotto, the first room of the cave, is accessible to visitors using wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, and similar devices. However, the cave beyond is physically too narrow to accommodate these devices. Rangers are happy to accompany people with wheelchairs and walking devices into Watson’s Grotto.
Canes/Walking sticks: To protect the resource, walking sticks are not allowed in the cave except for people that medically require a walking assistance device. Grate openings, crevices, and low ceilings pose a challenge for people with canes. For safety reasons, we recommend that canes have a stem diameter greater than one inch and be 45 inches or less in length.