The first explorers and early tourists experienced the cave by the flickering light of a flame. Carry your candle lantern, watch the dancing shadows on marble walls, and imagine yourself back in time. Follow your guide and feel like one of the first people ever to explore a cave. This adventure lasts 60-minutes. Tours are limited to 12 people. Children must be 10 years or older. The candlelight tour is offered in the summer and is the last tour of the day. Go to Plan Your Visit for seasons and hours.
First come first serve tickets available daily. Reservations recommended but not required. Visit the Illinois Valley Visitor Center in Cave Junction for daily updates.
Children: For safety reasons, children must be 10 years or older.
Physical Considerations: Please be aware that the cave tour is physically demanding. It requires the ability to walk and stoop through narrow, twisting passages, some with ceilings as low as 51 inches (130 cm), and the ability to ascend and descend over 120 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 51 inches (130 cm) and take several steps. All visitors are invited to visit Watson’s Grotto, the first room of the cave, but may need to exit at that point.
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 to tacitly experience the cave.
What to Bring: Warm clothing; the cave is 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius).
Good walking shoes – do not wear open-toed shoes, flip-flops, or sandals.
What not to Bring: No flashlights, backpacks, purses, walking sticks, cameras, food, gum, candy, drinks or tripods.
Protect our Bats: Do not wear or bring clothes, shoes or other items used in a cave, mine, or other bat habitat. Spores carried on personal items spread white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease that kills bats.